Driving an Electric Car: What It’s Like – and Charging Adventures

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.

My electric car starts with the push of a button. One enormous difference I notice immediately is what I hear when turn on the car. Quiet. There is no “turning over” noise I associate with a car starting, and that’s something to get used to. Sometimes I forget I’ve started the car! The dashboard also looks a lot brighter and more vibrant than the ones I’m used to.

What it's like driving an electric car.

Something that’s very different for me: paddle-shifters on the steering wheel. There are still traditional foot pedal brakes breaks (whew!) but the paddle-shifters are growing on me. I’ve generally seen them on high-performance sports cars, so it’s cool to use them here. One thing is for sure – I LOVE the heated steering wheel.

My first charging session was a bit of an adventure. My apartment’s parking garage has a few spots with charging stations for vehicles like mine. I decided to plug in, so I backed my car into the spot. I guess I’m used to driving a gas car where the tank is usually in the back of the car, because backing in made sense to me. Well, it so happens that on the Bolt, the charging port is driver side front.

No problem, the cord on the charging station is long enough. Well, no problem until I reached for my phone and realized it was inside the car. I’d blocked the driver’s side with the cord since I’d backed in, so I walked around to the passenger’s side to retrieve my phone. Except I couldn’t find it. I knew I had it, because I had just taken a picture of the cool dashboard.

The paddle-shifters are growing on me. I’ve generally seen them on high-performance sports cars, so it’s cool to use them here.

I was glad no one was there to see me, because I was climbing all over that car. I unplugged to access the driver’s side and looked in the black hole. You know it – that deep space between the driver’s seat and the console. Yep, there it was. I have been impressed with all the technology in this EV, but they really need to find a way to eliminate that space.

The moral of my first parking experience:
1. Know where your portal is so you park facing the right direction into the charging spot.
2. Put your phone away first. Even with all the cool tech, this car still has that space between the seats that’s a magnet for phones and keys.

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.


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