“When someone goes to purchase their next vehicle, I want to them to think back to that ride and say, ‘I think that could work for me.’ Especially in Kansas City, driving electric is such a good option,” he says. Karl and his family returned from an ex-pat assignment in Germany in 2014. They needed cars — and chose to use the chance to start over with fuel-efficient vehicles. Karl bought a used 2012 Nissan LEAF for his commute, then added a 2015 Tesla Model S for the family’s second car based on his positive experience. The family has since upgraded to a longer-range 2016 LEAF. “The LEAF is charged at home, at our favorite Hy-Vee or Price Chopper and the Tesla is charged mostly while I work,” Karl says. “When heading into town, we know we can find charging stations at City Market, the Union Station area and the Plaza.” Karl has also driven electric on road trips, both to regional destinations like Branson and St. Louis and on longer trips to Pennsylvania and Michigan. “Once you experience driving electric, range anxiety turns in to range awareness,” he says. “We have collectively driven about 70,000 electric miles and we have never run out of juice.” Karl also loves waking up to a fully-fueled car every morning and enjoys how cheaply he can power his vehicle. It costs him about $30 to drive 1,000 miles a month. Minimal maintenance is another major benefit. “We go for more than a year without visiting a service shop, because you can do most things yourself,” he says. “Gone are the days of oil changes, tune-ups, frequent brake jobs and keeping all the bottles of fluid in the garage.” Karl also values the environmental benefits of EVs and — with solar panels on his house — he drives emissions free. Karl is a frequent contributor to the EV community, from volunteering at events to maintaining a KC EV and Plug-In Enthusiasts Facebook group. (All are welcome there, he says!) He loves the camaraderie he’s experienced among EV drivers — and is gratified to see the community grow. “Three years ago, it was a big deal to see another EV in Kansas City, and we would wave frantically to get their attention,” he says. “While we still wave to other EV drivers, it's now common to see several EVs on every local trip.”
Strike up a conversation with Karl Bloss and, more than likely, the talk will eventually turn to electric vehicles. It’s equally likely he’ll offer a ride or drive in one of his family’s two EVs. That’s because he firmly believes the electrification of the transportation grid is inevitable — and he relishes the chance to help people experience the benefits of driving electric.