August 15, 2022
As explained on the main blog page, Nolin has added an EV to our fleet to help our members gain a better understanding of electric vehicle ownership. So, we are starting from the beginning with this blog.
By way of introductions, I am Nolin’s Communications Manager Sarah Fellows. I will be writing most of the blog posts as I am using the EV for my company vehicle. Besides a few hours of drive time in an EV as part of the Great Electric Vehicle Road Trip, this is my first significant experience with an electric vehicle. I will chronicle the reality of having and using an electric vehicle as I experience it to give you an unvarnished look at what EV ownership entails. This is not an endorsement of EVs, simply a tool to gather and share information for the benefit of our members.
First impressions of EV usage:
- Planning is key. Whether short in-town trips or long distances are involved, you have to plan. Of course, using a gas-powered car requires some planning too, but the accessibility of gas stations vs electric chargers at this point in history makes it less crucial to getting where you’re going. There are tools that make this planning easier (more on those later) – and I feel like maybe my strong need to plan now may relax some as I get used to driving the EV for my everyday work needs.
- Know your resources. Even if your need to plan isn’t as strong as mine, knowing where and when you can charge is important. Since Nolin’s EV charges at the office and not my home, it takes a bit more thought than just plugging it in when I get home. There are EV chargers around Elizabethtown, though not plentiful right now, so if I needed to charge elsewhere I feel I could do that with little difficulty. Looking at road trips, I see more challenges. Resources such as plugshare.com, Charge Hub and Energy.gov help when you’re planning to travel a distance. Most have trip planning tools to show EV chargers along a selected route.
- The drive. Driving an EV for the first time was a little intimidating for me. I thought it would be completely different from driving a gas-powered car. And there are differences for sure, but they are pretty minor. The first is the pick-up. If you like a quick start off the line, an EV delivers. Both EVs I have driven (Chevy Bolt and Ford Mustang Mach-E) have a quick response to the accelerator and get up to speed quickly. The second is deceleration. Once removing your foot from the accelerator, the car slows significantly. This is less noticeable in the Mach-E, but still something to adjust to. The Mach-E (and other electric vehicles) offers the option of one pedal driving, but I haven’t tried that yet. The third major difference is noise. The EV is so silent when it starts, you have to watch the display to know it’s ready to drive. Some electric vehicles like the Mach-E make beeps and other noises to help maintain safety around the vehicle.
These are just a few first thoughts as I adjust to driving an electric vehicle. I am admittedly a car novice, so I have a lot to learn. My hope is that as I do, it will benefit you. Looking ahead, a few things I plan to report on are range vs charge time, planning for driving longer distances, impacts of weather on charge and performance and any challenges I encounter. I also welcome feedback on specific questions you might have that I can try to answer through my experience!