A week or so ago I was driving along and noticed a Nissan Leaf decked out in 100% electric decals and had to stop and take a look. Turns out it was a courier vehicle for Maximum Express, so I contacted the owner Al Hasham to find out more. They added the 2012 Nissan Leaf to their Victoria fleet of 14 vehicles in May 2013. Al was looking for an electric vehicle to reduce his company’s ecological footprint, and to reduce costs for his company and his customers through elimination of fuel surcharges. EVs of course also require much less maintenance and the Leaf in particular also converts very well into a delivery car by removing the back seats.
Al arranged for me to come and take a ride along for a delivery and to take some photos. I met with Juan, the principal driver of the Leaf who has been with the company for a year and a half, at the Victoria headquarters on Hillside and Rock Bay Ave. I was surprised that they only had a 240v Sun Country charger on the lot, thinking that for sure a courier company would need a fast charger station set up. “The only hurdle is longer distance trips. They only send me out to Sidney or Saanichton once a day on top of my regular in town driving, and I rarely have to charge the car during my shift.” Juan also has noticed that the efficiency goes down while on the highway. The car has put on 9,624km since purchased in May. “I always drive in Eco Mode, at or under the speed limit. I use the car’s computer to try and drive as efficiently as possible.”
Besides startling people because of the near-silent electric motor, Juan says he gets frequent compliments, often being stopped and asked about the car. “Someone even walked up while I was on the road stopped at a traffic light, tapping on the window wanting to ask me about the car.” The car’s decals clearly communicate that this is an electric vehicle, and of course people are naturally interested.
On my ride-along, Juan picked up a gift basket from Hoyne Brewery for delivery and some documents at an office, all his trips being coordinated by Justin back at the shop. Juan listens to Sirius XM radio while making his pickups and deliveries, his favorite channels being Radio Faction and Backspin, a mix of hip-hop and nu-metal. Earlier that day he transported a large office chair and is able to fit a considerable amount in the hollowed out Leaf. Juan also gets to help with promotion. He attended the unveiling of the Saanich municipal hall charging stations earlier this year.
Well done Maximum Express!