Some of you may have noticed — although probably not many — that I wasn’t around much yesterday. That’s because my wife and I spent about four hours at a car dealership to test drive an electric vehicle. And by the time that four hours had passed, we were driving home in our new EV.
Then, once we got home, I spent another four or so hours reading the owner’s manual for our new EV. Because, if you’ve spent your entire life driving a gas- or diesel-powered car with an internal combustion engine, as I have, driving an EV is very different.
I’m not talking about the mechanics of driving. That’s pretty much the same. I’m talking about the driving experience. There’s literally no engine noise. When I turned the car on for the first time, there was no sound of the motor starting up. And when all of the electronics on the instrument cluster and the infotainment center lit up, I wasn’t sure what to do next. it was weird.
I think I have a pretty good handle now on how everything is supposed to work and what all of the icons displayed in front of me mean. But we’ll see tomorrow when my wife and I drive into San Francisco to have lunch with our daughter.
I’m composing this post at 11 pm and the car has been plugged into a regular 120 Volt, 20 Amp circuit wall outlet since we got home at 3:00 this afternoon. the car is now 50% charged, which should get me about 140 miles. It also means tomorrow I need to find an electrician to install a 240 Volt, 40 Amp circuit in my garage so that I can install a Level 2 charging station there.
Why do I need to install a Level 2 charging station in my garage? Well, quite simply, a Level 1 charger will typically get four miles of driving range per hour of charging. A Level 2 charger will get an average of 32 miles of driving range per hour of charging. My new EV has a fully charged range of about 260 miles.
So do the math. If the battery is fully discharged, at four miles per hour of charging, it would take about 65 hours to fully charge the car. But at 32 miles per hour, the car can be fully charged in about eight hours, or essentially overnight. Bingo!
Anyway, it’s time, after all this excitement, to go to sleep. I’m scheduling this post to publish at 3 am my time and I figure that by the time I wake up at about 7 am, my car should be up to a range of about 180 miles. That should get me to San Francisco and back with plenty of juice to spare.