What’s to like and dislike about owning a car? Some folks like the power, others the safety features, some hate (pick yours) buying gasoline, oil changes or the pollution.
Growing up, my dad worked in the auto industry, so I developed an interest in cars and an understanding of the industry. Some of my first memories are of the Home & Auto store he managed, the toys were my favorites especially trucks. Later he’d bring home different vehicles from the dealership he managed, so we could check them out.
I’ve owned a variety of domestic and foreign cars, some good ones, some cool ones and some supposedly good deals. Eventually, I began to prioritize reliability and saving money on gas. The efficiency of electric vehicles (EVs) appealed to me since EVs are three times more efficient than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.
After meeting a very persuasive Chevy Bolt owner at a Drive Electric event at Keene Ice in 2018, I researched the Bolt and found that GM had made several improvements over previous versions and owner feedback was positive. It met my need for a hatchback with a level floor with the rear seats folded down, so I test drove a Bolt over a winding road, the highway and around town. It had great handling, was quick, very smooth and quiet. It was fun to drive!
I enjoy driving a responsive car, especially gliding along a winding hilly road, this car is very sure-footed and smooth. One pedal driving is like downshifting without the clutch and shifter distraction with the bonus of charging the battery. The instant torque makes passing a safer experience, the centered weight distribution provides great handling, and traction is very good in snow for a front wheel drive car.
EVs are easy and very economical to own. EVs have fewer parts; the only maintenance expense has been changing the cabin air filter in 2 ½ years. I do over 90% of my ‘fueling’ in my garage often for free from my PV system, even so utility electricity is much cheaper than gas or diesel. There is an EVgo fast charger in Brattleboro, VT if I need a faster charge. There are even free chargers in some places. Currently Chargepoint and EVgo chargers are available across New England while Blink and Electrify America are expanding into the region.
I’ve been surprised at how much I enjoy driving my EV. Now when I drive an ICE vehicle, I notice how noisy and clunky it is. I’ve always kept my cars for many years, but there are so many exciting EV choices coming, I’m already thinking about my next EV, especially when folks ask when my car will be available as a used car.
Electric vehicles are better tech that significantly reduces greenhouse gasses (GHGs). Transportation is our largest source of GHGs, which are clogging the atmosphere. The resulting warming and severe weather disruptions pose increasing risks and costs for all who inhabit this planet. That is why the Monadnock Sustainability Hub is working to encourage the adoption of EVs in the area. Locally MSH has hosted at least one Drive Electric event a year since 2018 and is working to get the region’s 1st EV fast charger installed at the Monadnock Food Co-op. For Earth Day, 2021, we’ve produced Virtual Drive Electric Expo, featuring a short feature film and a wider collection of local EV owner’s stories & vehicle profiles. Check out the expo at MonadnockSustainabilityHub.org/ev-expo.
EVs are much easier & cheaper to own, offer better performance, are much cleaner and as early models age, the reliability is being demonstrated. If you’re considering buying a car — test drive an EV, see for yourself, what better technology is like. I haven’t met an EV owner that would go back to an ICE vehicle. May the Torque be with you.
John Kondos is a founding member of the Monadnock Sustainability Hub (www.GreenMonadnock.org), Home-Efficiency Resources and the Monadnock chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby.