People have tons of questions about owning and driving an electric vehicle (EV). There are also a bunch of people that nay-say and make assumptions about EVs without first hand experience.

I look at the new Ford F-150 Lightning as a truck of the future. The base model is around $40k, it has a 230 mile range, and can tow 11,000 lbs.

Here are some common concerns/complaints:

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I was talking to a friend about my Chevy Bolt after I got it, and remarked how many features it has. Then I realized nothing on the list of features would impress him. He’s the type of guy that gets a new car every 2 years, so he’s seen the gradual stair-step addition of features across several models.

The “new” automatic windows that go all the way up/down with a single button press astound/annoy me. That’s how far behind I was.

I’d driven a 2002 Subaru WRX since 2005. It was a fantastic little car that was terrifically fast. At the time it didn’t have a lot of extra features – you could buy the base WRX for less than $25k in 2002. While the base MSRP for a 2021 Chevy Bolt is in the $30k range, tax and dealer incentives frequently brought it to the $25k price point.

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Being a die-hard Minnesotan, I’ve developed some habits that I need to break. Many of these are stubborn/stupid habits that simply come from getting old and always doing things the old way.

One of them is my insistence on not using seat warmers in cars. Mostly because my first encounter with them was unknowing. I was riding in someones fancy car (Lexus) and it detected that a butt was in the passenger seat. Combined with the outdoor temperature, the climate computer decided it should activate the heated seat. About a minute later I was wondering if I had peed my pants πŸ˜³πŸ‘πŸ”₯

I decided then and there that it would be the first and last time I used a heated seat… But was it really?

Driving my Chevy Bolt in winter, the range is reduced due to several factors: batteries don’t like the cold, the factory heater is a resistance unit instead of an efficient heat pump like on the newer Teslas. Combined with the fact that my car is currently limited to an 80% charge, the juice gets used up much faster in the winter.

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I knew having two electric-powered vehicles in the garage would initially present some charging problems. We have a garage fridge and an air compressor that already like to trip the circuit breaker when both are running full-tilt. Charging two vehicles from that same 120V circuit was going to be tricky.

Offset Charging Schedules

Until we could add a dedicated 240V circuit, the first thing I did was set charging schedules for both vehicles. I set the Bolt to charge from Midnight to 4PM. Because I work from home, I tend to drive my car (usually to rehearsal) after work.

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There’s a terrible article from the Detroit Free Press making its rounds – claiming to be a “study” comparing EV charging costs to gas costs. It has been picked up by USA Today and other news outlets. There have also been several rebuttals, most notably one from Car and Driver.

I took a road trip earlier this year in my new Chevy Bolt. While it’s not a study, I hope you’ll find my personal story and anecdotal evidence compelling.

TL;DR? I drove from Minneapolis to Chicago and back, and it cost me $45.90 in energy for the whole trip.

  1. $11.15 – Tomah, WI
  2. $14.62 – Rockford, IL
  3. $5 – Hotel
  4. $9.31 – Madison, WI
  5. $5.82 – Eau Claire, WI

Here are all of the details…

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