Monday, March 03, 2014

My little red car is sold and gone and 1 step closer to getting our new car

My teeny tiny red car has been sold and is gone and is now living in Tokyo. My car was picked up yesterday, the person who bought her, sent some folks with a flat bed to pick her up and bring her to them. They went through a lot of trouble to get her, so I know they'll take real good care of her. I know logically speaking, it's the right decision, but it was still hard to see her go yesterday. She was my first car in Japan. Not my husband's car. Or the family car (that's what the MPV was). This was my car... I drove her. We bought her when Noah was about to start yochien, because given the time our elementary school started and the time yochien started, I couldn't be waiting at the bus stop for Noah to take the yochien bus and take Branden to school at the same exact time, so we knew..... time wise, there was a definite time conflict, so I had no real choice, but to drive Noah to yochien daily back and forth... from our tiny town to the small city nearest us ....where the yochien is/was. Round trip in the mornings and round trip in the afternoons. She did it brilliantly too, I might add. Never had any car problems the whole time we had her. She's so small, I could fit her in almost any parking spot. Her name was Pepper. You, know, the same color red as a Dr. Pepper. : ) 
She has/had an ECO function and as far as a gas car, she used so little compared to normal regular cars. 

It was cold and rainy all day yesterday. The new owner had emailed a few days earlier and this time matched us both. Noboru would be off work at 2pm Sunday/yesterday would be home at 2:30pm and the time decided, was they'd be here at 3pm. So, I made sure, I said my good byes to her in the morning. 

At 3pm, the sound of a big vehicle coming... was clear in the quiet hush of our neighborhood. Yep, it was them. I didn't go outside, I just watched from upstairs. I saw the flatbed that would be taking Pepper to live in Tokyo. I stood there watching the flatbed a bit. Noah was upstairs peeking with me. Branden was peeking out the side kitchen window too. : )  I thought about how she picked up my baby's with me from yochien and elementary school, these past 5 years or so. 

And then a man got into my little Subaru R2 and drove her onto the flatbed. Right here...this moment is when it became sorta real. She's leaving and she's not coming back. Again, I know we sold her for a reason, because we want an all electric car or hybrid, plus we want a newer car. But it was still sorta hard, you know what I mean. Okay...don't laugh. : ) 

And then they locked and closed the back of the flat bed, paid the money to Noboru and she was about to be driven away. Noah is meanwhile saying through the window..."we love you Pepper, we love you!!!" Branden could be heard downstairs..."mom they have Pepper on the flatbed"..."I know, kids, I know!" "It's okay. She's going to be with a new family now. And yes, we do love you Pepper!!!" And then in an instant she was gone. You know...for some people.....we really get used to our cars. We sometimes name them. We have so many memories being in those cars. I know it's silly...but yeah we become attached. Now we're fine and all. But yeah it honestly was.... a little sad to see her go yesterday. Anyway she was an inaka/countryside car and now she'll be a big city car! : )  Anyway...in other car related news....
Noboru already applied for our quick charging card for the highways, here in Japan. And we received it already too. Sorry this pic came out sideways.

Here it is. We have been researching like mad ever since November 2013 to get either a hybrid or a 100% all electric car.  Noboru doesn't want us to get a hybrid. I personally don't mind either way, either way is totally cool with me. But, Noboru logs everything in our house. Not to make him sound like a guy from The Big Bang Theory or anything (we love this show btw!)...... but, from his records, I drive an average of 900km a month. On average 10,800km a year. Gas prices these days on average are... for our area... 150 yen per liter. Average price.What is the chance gas prices will lower in the future? Umm not likely, it will only increase. If I had a hybrid, for example Noboru checked this out already for the Prius that Brian drives from Family Guy...so if I drove a hybrid, for the mileage that I actually drive...it would cost us, if I drove a Prius...80,000 yen/$800US for gas a year, for the miles that I do drive. Plus....hybrids still have an engine... so I still need to change my...oil...air filter..spark plugs...transmission oil, etc etc. See, yes he really did thoroughly check and research... the cost for us and we have that total yearly cost to own a hybrid and it isn't so cheap actually. However if we owned a 100% electric car..I wouldn't ever need an oil change or an air filter replaced...and no spark plugs either. Perhaps we would have to change our differential gear oil. Again...Noboru has really made a price sheet for both cars... on his laptop...a cost of driving a hybrid (for us) also a cost of what it would be like owning and driving a 100% EV car, factoring on the miles that I... on average personally drive and have driven for the past 5 years @.@....yep he seriously keeps records for stuff like that.... and the numbers just make more sense for us to personally get a 100% electric vehicle.  I have friends though with hybrids and I do think they're great too. But, I do trust Noboru and I know how much he researches and so I trust his decision completely. Oh and the yearly cost for us owning a 100% electric vehicle, by Noboru's estimate 15,000 yen /$150 US a year, so super cheap!

Now when to buy....between our trip to Guam coming up. My non-stop yakuin/fuku kaicho meetings. Plus Noboru's schedule too. The next day we are both available is March 11th. Now...3/11 is a sad day to buy a car, we both know, but it's just the only and closest day that works, so March 11th, as soon as the boys get sent to school, we have to go and check out the Nissan Leafs. We have been looking online, we have been considering between 20, there are a few favorites we both like... but we want to see them in person and test drive them. If it all works out and we find the one...we will buy it. The car dealership is expecting us already March 11th, Noboru has been emailing with them back and forth quite a bit.  So anyway, one step closer to making the car switcheroo. : ) PS...as for right now..it looks like we only own 1 car, well technically we do, lol.... but we were wondering what our neighbors must be thinking, hahaha. I mean, you guys reading this... know what's happening and what's up. But we are extremely tight lipped about it to our neighbors and friends in real life. Our neighbors must be thinking...what??? @.@ In October they had a white MPV and the red car, now they have neither of those cars and now have only a tiny silver/gray mini minivan. lol! The grandma next doors husband finally asked mid December...where's your MPV? Noboru said "oh we sold it." : ) But he didn't elaborate or say anything else. We know they are indeed wondering...or curious. Hahaha. : ) Anyway...that's enough from me, for now. : ) Weather here today is chilly and gray, very cloudy, it was raining earlier, but now it's not. Anyway, I better get myself packed...my carry-on packed. I got everyone packed already yesterday, except for myself. : ) 


Also, I want to add, we are still 90% sure about the Nissan Leaf. And yes we are still considering the Prius about 10% still. Money wise/gas price wise... it makes more sense to pick the Leaf, especially for our lifestyle and driving pattern. However and this is the part that is giving us the biggest debate. The Toyota Prius has been around since 1997, for 17 years! 17 years of drivers saying they LOVE that car. 17 years of them tweaking and making tiny minute changes and stuff on that car. So 17 years says a lot to Noboru too. Where as the Nissan Leaf is basically a newbie...a baby. Has only been around since December 2010, so basically 2011. Nobody wants to make the wrong choice for their family. So it is such a hard choice. Anyway...hopefully we can figure this whole thing out soon. : )