On June 3rd, The Wall Street Journal posted an article by Rachel Wolfe about a drive from New Orleans to Chicago and back in an electric car.
The article reports:
I thought it would be fun.
That’s what I told my friend Mack when I asked her to drive with me from New Orleans to Chicago and back in an electric car.
I’d made long road trips before, surviving popped tires, blown headlights and shredded wheel-well liners in my 2008 Volkswagen Jetta. I figured driving the brand-new Kia EV6 I’d rented would be a piece of cake.
If, that is, the public-charging infrastructure cooperated. We wouldn’t be the first to test it. Sales of pure and hybrid plug-ins doubled in the U.S. last year to 656,866—over 4% of the total market, according to database EV-volumes. More than half of car buyers say they want their next car to be an EV, according to recent Ernst & Young Global Ltd. data.
Oh—and we aimed to make the 2,000-mile trip in just under four days so Mack could make her Thursday-afternoon shift as a restaurant server.
The article continues with an account of the planning that went into this trip:
Given our battery range of up to 310 miles, I plotted a meticulous route, splitting our days into four chunks of roughly 7½-hours each. We’d need to charge once or twice each day and plug in near our hotel overnight.
The PlugShare app—a user-generated map of public chargers—showed thousands of charging options between New Orleans and Chicago. But most were classified as Level 2, requiring around 8 hours for a full charge.
Please follow the link to read the entire article. We are being sold a bill of goods on electric cars. Has anyone considered the load on the electric grid if everyone actually bought an electric car? There is already talk of rolling brownouts this summer because the electric grid is overloaded in some places. What impact will thousands of electric cars have on an already overloaded power grid?
The article concludes:
At our hotel, we decide 4 hours of sleep is better than none, and set our alarms for 4 a.m.
We figure 11 hours should be plenty for a trip that would normally take half as long. That is, if absolutely everything goes right.
Miraculously, it does. At the McDonald’s where we stop for our first charge at 6 a.m., the charger zaps to life. The body shop and parts department director at Rogers-Dabbs Chevrolet in Brandon, Miss., comes out to unlock the charger for us with a keycard at 10 a.m. We’re thrilled we waited for business hours, realizing we can only charge while he’s there.
We pull into New Orleans 30 minutes before Mack’s shift starts—exhausted and grumpy.
The following week, I fill up my Jetta at a local Shell station. Gas is up to $4.08 a gallon.
I inhale deeply. Fumes never smelled so sweet.
Be careful what you wish for.