Written by Joel Levin, Executive Director, Plug In America
1. Merging onto the highway can be the best part of the trip. The ability of an electric motor to give maximum torque from low speeds completely changes the experience of zipping onto a fast-moving highway. This is one EV secret that no one talks about.
2. Everyone is curious about the car. All my friends ask questions about it. Even strangers in parking lots—all the time. No one has yet turned down the chance to take it for a drive around the block, and they all come back surprised.
3. I don’t miss gas stations that much. Yes, I still visit for a car wash or to use their bathrooms once in awhile or to check my tire pressure. But otherwise, I don’t miss them.
4. I hardly ever use public charging. I nearly always charge at home. There are a pretty good number of public chargers in my area—and I am glad they are there—but it’s cheaper and more convenient to charge at home at night. The one place that public charging is really a lifesaver is DC fast charging along highways.
5. I’m saving a lot of money on fuel. My utility has a time-of-use rate, so we always plug in the car in the evening, when the cost is low. We have solar panels and sell power back to the grid mid-day when the cost is highest, which is also great. My best guess is that we are saving about $100/month on gasoline, even with current low prices.
6. There are a range of dealer experiences. I test drove a zillion cars before I settled on my Nissan LEAF. Some of the sales people were on their game, others were not. (My Nissan experience was great, which definitely helped to close the deal.)
7. The cars are quiet. EVs are noticeably quieter inside than gas cars. It makes it more pleasant to talk on the phone, listen to music, hold a conversation, or just think.
8. Range is generally not an issue. You have to buy the car that fits your lifestyle and then get a feel for its capacity and limits. On a daily basis, the range of my car is more than enough and I don’t really think about it. When I have a long trip planned, I don’t use the EV.
9. I could probably charge on 110 volts. Most days, we use around 50% of the charge in our car. (It’s a 24 kWh battery.) We installed a beefy 40 amp Clipper Creek charging station in front of the house and it charges the car up pretty quickly. But since the car is generally parked at least 12 hours, a standard wall outlet would be adequate most of the time as well.
10. The acceleration scares my kid. When I have an open stretch of road, it’s always fun to put the pedal down and feel the car’s quiet smooth acceleration. And this is a LEAF—not a Tesla. But my son doesn’t like it. Check out people riding on Insane Mode in a Tesla below:
(This article originally appeared on Plug In America. It has been reprinted here with permission.)