By Allen Hibner: I reported my first impressions of our brand new 2020 Chevy Bolt to you in a blog article here on June 11th, 2020. Now, some 3 months later, its time again to let all of you know how we are doing driving this mega-cool little electric car. In this article, I’ll describe the experience of taking our very first long(er) trip outside of the Rochester regional area. The experience of conquering EV Milestone #2 is described in detail below.
I am quickly learning that there are three major milestones anyone owning and driving an EV for the first-time, experiences:
Milestone #1: How does the car stack up in day-to-day driving for errands, shopping and commuting to/from work? Let me tell you, with the Bolt’s 259 miles of EV range, the answer to this one is a slam-dunk: “awesome is how it stacks up!” We’ve never had, nor do we anticipate ever having a single day of day-to-day driving around town that would exceed this car’s range. NO RANGE ANXIETY HERE! EVER! In fact, we probably are only charging the vehicle once per week or so. Easy…peasy! Milestone #1 “in the bag.”
Milestone #2: How does the car comport itself (and how do you feel about it) when you travel outside of your home territory, but still within (or close to) the full rated EV range of the vehicle. In this milestone, you are taking a long(er) trip but you do not anticipate needing to stop and charge your vehicle along the way. You will charge when you return home or reach your one-way destination. Milestone #2 is what I am writing about in this current blog article. When thinking about and carrying out this milestone, “range anxiety,” that fear of running out of electric charge before reaching a charging station is fairly moderate. You’ve planned your trip; you know the approximate total mileage you want to travel and you are pretty confident that your EV will pull it off with nary a care in the world! However, until you actually do it for the first time, there is always just a “wee-bit” of range anxiety lurking in the deep recesses of your mind. You “trust” the car and its EV range, but you know you must “verify” it to build your Milestone #2 confidence. Spoiler alert: our experience at this milestone was just perfect!
Milestone #3: Taking a trip away from home that far exceeds your car’s EV range; like setting out to visit family in the Chicago area over 680 miles from home in Penfield, NY knowing you will need to charge at unfamiliar charging stations at least twice along the way in order to make it. This milestone is the, “Big Kahuna,” “Holy Grail” or “800-pound gorilla in the room” of EV driving and ownership. This is the milestone where range anxiety and charging station uncertainty can be at its highest. This is the milestone, that once you have broken through it, you can anoint yourself as a full-fledged, certified EV car owner and driver. You have mastered the EV driving experience fully! I’m not there yet. I’m not quite ready for this “Mount Everest Moment” yet. Milestone #3 will be the subject, probably, of one of the last blog articles I publish in my 2020 Chevy Bolt EV blog series. I will know I’ve arrived literally and figuratively when I’ve accomplished this milestone.
So how did we do with our “Milestone #2 Moment…” Our daughter, son-in-law and three of our five grandchildren live in Dalton, PA about 10 miles north of Scranton. This is a nice interstate trip down the Thruway and Route 81. The Thruway to Syracuse is pretty flat going, but the trip down Route 81 has quite a bit of up and down while traversing the hills and valleys south of Syracuse down to exit 199 off Route 81 just north of Scranton. The total trip is just under 205 miles by my Google Maps reckoning, so it should be very well within the 259-mile range of our 2020 Bolt EV. However, the mantra for a first trip like this is, “trust but verify…”
As always, thanks so much for reading this blog article and we hope that you enjoyed it. Keep checking back for new articles in this series or in my “Our-Big-Beautiful-Green-ALL-ELECTRIC-Life” series as well.