I started writing today’s post intending it to simply be another progress update but had to pause and step away for a customer phone call before I finished. When I came back to finish it up, I realized I couldn’t stop thinking about what our customer said. So I’m starting this post over with a different focus: Stories from Fēnix customers.
Recently I’ve been talking to our CPO Battery customers on the phone, and over the last year I’ve likely talked with a hundred or more of our customers and followers, and I have been privileged enough to hear their stories. The most common theme everyone experiences is feeling like their world is shrinking, places they used to be able to go are simply too far now. Yet despite having their cars impact their world so much, their love for their Leafs is unwavering. We all love these cars. Aside from their batteries, they truly are great cars. Plenty of room, good visibility, easy to drive… And for those of us driving the first generation, a little reward for learning how to drive with efficiency in mind, a little forest of trees to grow on the dashboard.
The customer I spoke to today, is down to 5 bars, and lives in the warm SouthWest. He’s been following Fēnix for well over a year and looks forward to our updates, but he’s really looking forward to his CPO battery and here’s why: Often when driving home with his daughter in the car he has to choose to go without AC to avoid seeing that dreaded turtle on the way home. Another shared how he no longer has the range to pick his kids up from school on his way home from work and has to commute with his ICE car instead. I hear about how the range is impacting parents driving their kids way too often.
Other common themes are how people simply aren’t going for drives on the weekend like they used to. Favorite destinations go unvisited, family or friend visits only happening when the weather is mild. Not too hot, and not too cold, so they can squeeze an extra couple of miles by keeping the climate control off.
Over the last couple of months I’ve also heard people admitting that COVID’s restrictions like stay at home orders have been a mixed blessing, often said with a sigh. That they feel like they’re able to live a few more months with their limited range since everything is locked down anyway. A few mentioned how they feel safer knowing they don’t need to touch gas pumps or venture into gas stations.
And just a week or so ago, I had one of the hardest calls I’ve taken. The son of a customer called to learn more about Fēnix as shortly after placing his order, his father was diagnosed with COVID. His father loves his Leaf, but we thought it best to refund the purchase, but hold on to the reservation for him with the best of hopes for him. My heart goes out to that family and they’re in my thoughts constantly when I hear discussion of the pandemic in the news.
I share every story I hear from customers with my team here at Fēnix, both the lost range impacts and the great stories people have about their cars. Building Fēnix has seen more than a few challenges along the way, but knowing just how much of an impact our work will have makes everything worth it for all of us. I am looking forward to new stories that we will be hearing very soon, stories about how people are falling back in love with their Leafs once again.
So on that note, it’s time for the updates I intended to share when I started this post. First, our installation partner contracts will be going out to installers this coming week, and we’ll get back to shipping batteries and scheduling installations very soon. I will be helping out with those installation scheduling calls and look forward to speaking with our CPO customers again.
But the big news, we’ve been working hard the last month to get our subscription CPO launch complete. Our business partner we’re working with is very excited to be a part of Fēnix, and we’re already discussing how to integrate our next generation battery solution into their program that is backing our subscriptions. We have just a few more hurdles to get that ready for everyone and expect to be able to share a launch date early next week.
Our subscription partner has asked us to reach out to you to see how much interest we’re going to have in our CPO subscription, so I need a quick favor from you. Please take a moment to take our CPO Subscription Battery interest survey, as always, thank you for your input!
I would love to share the many dozens of stories I have heard from our customers, talking with each of you has been an amazing experience, you all are truly why I keep pushing Fēnix forward and keep hunting for ways to make batteries more affordable and accessible to the EV Communities early adopters. We all should be thanking you for jumping into EV ownership before the industry actually knew what it was doing!