Life With an EV

I test-drive new cars each week in order to convey to you, the potential new car buyer, what it is like to drive the new cars I get to test-drive. I’d like to convey to you what it is like to live with an electric car, since most of you likely haven’t had any direct experience of the experience.

So as to warn you about what life will be like in the electrified future.

When I get an electric car to test drive, which is infrequently, it arrives via truck – which is why I don’t get sent electric cars to test drive very often.

A truck is necessary to ship the EV to me – because otherwise, the press fleet driver would have to stop at least once along the way for a lengthy recharge session – because it is some 240 miles from where the press fleet for my region is located in the Washington, DC area to my area in rural southwest Virginia.

Most electric cars available can’t quite make it that far – and the few that can will be unable to make it much farther once they’re delivered.

I’d have to plug the thing in, first.

And for hours, at the least  – since my home, like almost all private homes cannot “fast” charge an electric car. You have probably not been told about this, notwithstanding the inconvenience of this. Most private homes have 100-200 amp service panels, which can accommodate a couple of doubled-up (240 volt) three-prong outlets as for electric stoves and such.

The “fastest” charging you’ll be doing on 240 volts from a 100-200 amp home service is 4-6 hours.   

Which means you’ll be waiting at home at least that long before you can drive the thing again. In the meanwhile, I could have driven up to DC to pick up the EV – and had an hour or so to spare for sight-seeing.

Which is why the press fleets truck the things to me – since they’re not sending the EV to me to look at it. Or to wait for it. My job is to test drive it. This is hard to do when you cannot drive it.

When a non-electric car arrives at my place, it is ready to go. Fully fueled (EVs only partially charge when they are “fast” charged, which means you’ll be “fast” charging again, soon) because there’s a gas station five miles down the road. The driver stops there for the less than five minutes it takes to gas up the car to full before dropping it off at my place, ready to go – and taking off in the car he brought to my  place the week before, to test drive. Which is also ready to go – even if I left it nearly empty. Because he can fill it to full in less than five minutes, five minutes down the road.

He swaps cars – and heads back to the press fleet depot in DC.

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