Bill – Kia Soul EV

Kia Soul EV

I drive one-hour round trip carpool with my kids, and criss-cross LA shopping and going out on weekends, about 7,000 miles per year. I never bought the 240v rapid-charger which costs several hundred dollars. I just use the 110v trickle charger that comes with the car and leave it plugged in whenever I’m home. By morning, I’m always fully charged.

My car’s range is 95 miles, the newer models are higher. I worried about range anxiety, but it’s never been a problem. I admit that I plan ahead if I have a lot of errands, because of the slow home recharging I limit myself to 3-4 round trips per day.

I know there are hundreds of electrical charging stations all around me if I ever get low (there’s a screen in my car that tells me where the nearest charging stations are located), but I’ve never gone to one. It is supposed to take a 1/2 hour to get the car rapid-charged and back on the road. For longer trips, we just use my wife’s gas-powered car, but with some planning we could go all-electric for a longer journey.

The required maintenance on an electric car engine is minimal – there are no spark plugs, oil/air filters, radiator, fuel injection or turbo. The mechanic told me they just rotate the tires and swap out my A/C filter. We’ve all grown accustomed to the high expense and inconvenience driving cars that explode noxious, flammable gasoline for power and spew out poisonous smoke. Sounds crazy saying it out loud..

I like doing my small part to combat global warming with zero emissions. There’s no tailpipe. There’s no idle when you stop. Just total silence. No automatic or manual transmission – I have the usual P, R & D plus “B”, which uses “engine braking,” to recharge the battery with coasting inertia. Remember your childhood bike generator that slowed down the bike in exchange for powering the headlight? With “B” gear I barely need the brake pedal at all (except for stopping the car, of course!) Plus re-charging puts miles back in my “fuel tank” so I can drive a couple miles further each trip.

Although it is hard to precisely measure electricity expense without a dedicated meter, there seems to be about $50 more per month on my power bill, a slight savings from my previous monthly gasoline expense. I used to worry about the up-and-down price of gas. I have no idea if it’s high or low these days, I’m blissfully ignorant.