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Driving an Electric Car: Fully Charged

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.


I’ve heard it takes about two weeks to get used to driving an electric car after being behind the wheel of a gas car my whole life. That feels about right. The first couple of days, I’m not sure of myself at all. A few days in, I’m realizing most things are pretty intuitive. I know I’ll be discovering new features for months and learning how I’ll have to adapt my behavior.

Day 3

The car is faring great. Me, not so well. I was down for the count with the bug that seems to be going around. The car was parked for almost three days straight in freezing temperatures, but when I got in the car Tuesday evening, it started right up.

Day 6

It’s the first big weather event of the year — schools closed, work let our early. I must admit, I was nervous to drive an electric car in bad weather for the first time. Why was I nervous? Seriously, WHY? It handled great, with no slipping and sliding on icy roads. The only real difference I’m finding is I plug it in at work or home versus going to the gas station. Not going to the gas station is a healthy thing for me. It’s hard to pass up QT long johns. Have you had them? Yum.

I must admit, I was nervous to drive an electric car in bad weather for the first time. It handled great, with no slipping and sliding on icy roads.

The weather does make an impact on the range I’m getting, though. I had a few errands today and it’s still freezing outside. I didn’t preheat the car, so I cranked the heat all way up when I got in. I did notice while driving around that the miles seemed to drop fairly quickly. That’s where a car with a healthy range comes in handy. When I came home there was about 175 miles left in the charge.

Driving an Electric Car: Fully Charged

Day 7

I’m ready to take this car further afield. With 205-mile range, I’m going to schedule a visit to see my Dad in Warrensburg, which is 122 miles round trip. I’ve noted several public charging stations along the way. And, just in case, I’ll have the portable charger that came with the car in the trunk.

I was surprised to learn that I could use just that portable charger to plug into a standard 110-volt outlet. When I was a bit light on range one day, I plugged into a regular outlet while at my son’s house for a birthday. I probably didn’t need it and it was just a trickle charge, but it worked like a charm to add more range. Home charging is my main source of electricity and the many public charging stations are my back-up plan. So, let’s just call the portable charger my back-up, back-up plan. I think I’m covered!   


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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