I’ve been fascinated with the idea of owning an electric car since 2015, when I first met Josh Tickell and Rebecca Harrell, the amazing husband-and-wife team behind the “Fuel” documentary, which totally opened my eyes to the real possibilities of game-changing natural resources. (They’re also the powerhouse behind “Kiss the Ground,” which details how regenerative agriculture could solve global warming — but I digress.) Over the years, a few of my friends had tried plug-ins, but the ones I could afford wouldn’t get me to San Diego and back without charging, so I counted them out. Then Chevrolet offered to let me try out the new Bolt EV and let me tell you, it’s a game changer.
First of all, I didn’t feel the difference in performance between the Bolt EV and a gas-powered car — it’s super peppy and handles great. There are fun bells and whistles, like a built in wifi hotspot and amazing speakers. But the best part is that the car drives as many as 259 miles on a single charge, and charges up to 100 miles in 30 minutes. If I’m calculating correctly, this means I could drive a Bolt EV to visit my kids in Northern California — as long as I stop to charge up at lunch.
The Bolt EV base model is less than $30,000, and saves drivers nearly $5,000 in fuel costs over five years. The car gets five stars — the highest rating possible — from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and it can be loaded with extras like automatic collision alerts and emergency braking to avoid accidents. And yes, I know this sounds silly, but in Los Angeles, where I live, the priority EV parking access is no joke!
On a recent adventure, my daughter and I piled in with our COVID pod — two adults and three kids — for a visit to the Haunted Hayride. Even though the car is compact to look at, it’s SUPER roomy inside — and the back seats fold down to nearly 60 cubic feet of cargo room plus a false cargo floor in the rear, which is important now that I’m regularly moving people in and out of college. My one criticism is that there are no A/C vents for the back seats, so getting the air to circulate properly was challenging.
Plugging in is as easy as charging up a cell phone, and you can set location-based charging to save money by ramping up at night, when electricity rates are low. During the day, you can use Chevy’s app to calculate your most efficient driving routes and to give you head’s up when you need a charge, plus locations on more than 40,000 places to plug in, nationwide.
Now I’m fantasizing about a gas-free road trip.
Have you driven an electric car — what did you think? Please share in comments, below. Thanks!