What are you driving? Driver Spotlights!

Discussion in 'General' started by ChargePoint, May 6, 2018.

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  1. Over at ChargePoint we recently introduced a series of EV Driver Spotlights that shine a light on why people choose to drive electric. If you'd like to be profiled, shoot us a private message anytime!

    One of the reasons we joined the InsideEVs community is to learn more about the experiences of EV drivers across all EV's, instead of focusing on drivers with specific models only. So, I'm excited to share a couple of the driver stories we've spotlighted recently with you here, and I'd love to hear some of your stories too - join in and drop them in the comments! - Rochelle H.

    Chris lives in North Carolina, where he charges four EVs with solar power and gives back to the community by driving (electric) for Meals on Wheels, a local cat rescue, and Road to Recovery for the American Cancer Society.

    How long have you been driving electric? What made you decide to drive electric?
    I turned in my grey convertible diesel Volkswagen Beetle on April 1, 2016, and on April 4 a grey convertible electric Smart replaced it. On April 6, I drove John to the motorcycle dealer in the electric car to pick up his new 2015 Zero electric motorcycle. Since then, we’ve gotten two more EVs. They really are contagious!

    What’s your favorite thing about driving electric?
    Knowing that I'm driving for free. There really is no way to describe how it feels to know that every time you plug in the car, your roof is covering the cost. I also really love the torque and regenerative braking—it reminds me of engine braking in a manual transmission vehicle (fun fact, the only automatic I've ever owned has been the electric cars).

    Another thing that’s really grown on me is the quietness. When I commute with the top down on the Smart early in the morning, I can hear the birdsong, the water in a creek I didn’t know was there before. I hear so much nature, it’s really serene. Also, one of my many hobbies is photography, and being on the electric motorcycle lets me pull right up next to birds and other wildlife to photograph them. I could never do that on a gas bike.

    Since I ride a motorcycle, the lack of heat is great (no burned ankles). You have no idea how hot that invisible exhaust is, until you've been on a two-wheeled vehicle stuck behind a car.


    How do you advocate for EVs?
    I’ve been involved with Plug-in NC, which puts on community and commercial events like Love Your LEAF, which showed fleet managers how much they can save with EVs. There are also a few Electric Auto Association chapters, and I’ve taken my EVs to events like the Greensboro Odyssey.

    When did you install solar at home? Is all your charging supported by solar energy?
    The original solar array (12 260W panels) was installed June 2016. We estimated that 12 panels would more than cover all our annual charging, putting ROI/payoff at around 4 years (factoring in savings from gasoline). In October 2017, we expanded the system with 4 new 300W panels. Now we’re at the maximum capacity for the size of the roof and the shade that hits it. All of our charging is supported by solar. I used to spend about $3500 on gas each year. Now I spent about $100 on charging yearly, thanks to the savings from solar. That’s a pretty big deal.

    We also talked more about his charging setup and roadtrip plans for all the EV's in the 2nd part his spotlight, if anyone is interested in those details!

    That's it for this driver spotlight - I think I'll add any future ones to this same thread if that's alright with the moderators! I hope this one isn't too long (I trimmed down a lot but Chris is so interesting!) Thanks everyone :)

    Rochelle H.
    ChargePoint Community
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