Editor’s note: Cindy Circo is sliding behind the wheel of an electric vehicle and documenting her experiences for the Clean Charge Network. See the full series here.
With my job, I get to do some pretty cool things – and this ranks up there. I’m going to jump right into the drive electric revolution and document my experience (positive and negative) along the way. Now, I’ve driven an electric car before, but only for a test drive. For this, I’m going all in.
So, here we go. Today I was handed my KCP&L Clean Charge Network Get Started pack along with keys to a Chevrolet Bolt. My review is not on the Bolt, specifically, but I’m very happy to learn about its 200-plus-mile-range. I figure that can get me anywhere I need to go. You know how it feels when you unbox your new smartphone? Sliding into the driver’s seat of an electric vehicle feels a little like that. It’s familiar and unfamiliar at the same time, and I feel both excited and a little nervous.
First things first: setting up my Clean Charge membership and ChargePoint account. The Clean Charge membership gets me invites to events, a newsletter, and some other fun stuff. And I’ll need the ChargePoint account to use the charging stations.
It was pretty easy to get online at kcpl.chargepoint.com and get everything set up. I needed to type in basic stuff like name, contact info and credit card info. (Back in the day, it would have been called the “gas card.”) I hesitated before clicking the box for text messages and emails. Who needs more things to track? But I figured, as I’m learning my routine, more information is a good thing.
See that tab on the key fob? Yep, just wave it in front of the charging port. That’s how you unlock the plug on public charging stations so you can charge up. I hear using the ChargePoint app on my smartphone is also a good option. My next step is figuring out just where I am going to charge. I was glad to learn that my apartment offers charging stations in the garage. And, for public charging, I just checked out the map online at kcpl.chargepoint.com. Looks like I have a lot of options.
The EV in my parking spot is already the buzz in my building. Every time I step into the elevator, that’s what people want to talk about.
The EV in my parking spot is already the buzz in my building. Every time I step into the elevator, that’s what people want to talk about. I hear questions about charging, range, speed and more. And the conversation keeps going, usually until we set off the alarm for holding the door open. It’s made me realize how curious people are about driving electric. And how an EV is a wonderful way to make friends with your neighbors.
Cindy Circo is the public affairs manager at KCP&L. Her long-term commitment to supporting Kansas City includes stints as Mayor Pro Tem, City Councilperson and Board member of Visit KC.