Everyone seems to always claim “it feels like time is flying by.” I have a theory that maybe time slows down when your dreams come true and you live in the moment.
Well my dream of owning an electric vehicle came true and the first month of ownership was lengthy. After much research, I finally broke down and bought a plug-in electric vehicle (PEV.) The funny thing was, the final push to buy one was more to prove a point that owning an EV could be done without actually owning a home or personal charging station. A sort of social science experiment if will.
Balancing my checkbook, researching refunds from the state of California and federal income taxes were the first thing in order. After confirming that the Ford Focus Electric (FFE) was eligible for both refunds I moved forward with finding a dealership that could answer all the questions I had.
How did the refunds work? Did I get the money back right away for my electric vehicle purchase? Did I have to do anything special for my tax return to receive the federal credit? I had so many questions that led to even more questions with the answers received.
Working with a local dealer that knows or has a dedicated person for EV sales is highly important. Buying an EV isn’t the same as buying any standard ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicle. There are questions to consider and others that you might not even think about until you’re five signatures into signing your soul away for that shiny piece of metal.
After determining and answering these questions, if your outcome is still, yes, than you are ready for an EV, than congratulations and welcome to the family. I can tell you that in the first few weeks your going to feel like the new kid on the playground with an even shinier new toy that everyone has questions about. The question is , will you share? In my case, I look forward to sharing everything that I am learning along the ride.
One of my first feelings developed was the all familiar “range anxiety” you hear so many EV owners talking about. The first week had me questioning if an EV was really the car for me. Luckily the FFE has an onboard battery range feature that let’s you know how many miles you have before hitting “empty.” This feature eventually calmed my nerves and I got used to the fact that I wasn’t going to be stranded on the side of the road hoping for a wall plug to magically appear.
Although it was nice to know that I had a full tank of gas with a range of about 250 miles when I drove my old 2005 ICE Focus, I actually never drove that far in one day unless I was going on a business trip or vacation. The fact is, an average driver doesn’t exceed 50 miles in a day, so I was fine charging once a day or maybe not even at all. Your range anxiety will subside, it’s just a new behavioral pattern to get yourself into. A gas station might be more easily accessible, but Wholefoods or a public park might soon become your future “gas station.”
And speaking of gas stations. It was nice to pass them up day after day knowing I would never have to fill up my personal car again. After a month of driving electric, I hit 1000 miles and spent just $20 charging up at Blink Network stations (I had a few free charging stations along the way.) Basically 2¢/mile for my daily commutes. It all adds up, and in fact on the low end of savings, I saved over $180 on gas my first month by going electric. Multiply that by 12 months and that’s over $2,100, not to mention saving carbon emissions from entering our atmosphere.
All in all the first month of owning a PEV has been exciting, challenging at times and a learning experience. But if you’re like me, I will always and forever be a student of life, longing to learn and share knowledge for the greater good.