My husband and I took a much needed trip this month to visit family and friends for a 1-week vacation. It’s always nice to get away and it feels like I was able to ‘unplug’ a bit faster this time than in the past (usually it feels like it takes at least 2 days to get used to not thinking about work). Two years ago, we went all in on a full BEV (battery electric vehicle). We are a one-car household, so it gets a good deal of use, but mostly for ‘around-town’ types of driving – pretty much in-county short trips and weekly to/from the office or work, grocery shopping, etc. Our home set up is nothing fancy – a 110 outlet on our porch, enough to keep us charged up enough for our driving needs.
One of the biggest issues with EV hesitation on adopting electric cars is what EV users call range anxiety. The amount of electricity needed to power the vehicle can fluctuate a lot depending on the types of roads and the conditions in which you are driving on (is it flat or hilly terrain?, are you using highway or country roads?, do you need air conditioning or heat?, etc.). Long trips can be more stressful as a result as there is the added task of planning your route around when you might need to charge and where those charging stations are.
We began our trip with an unexpected complementary charge from an Electrify America station to start off with as much battery as possible and made a short stop about another 2 hours into our drive – just in time for a lunch break. We likely could have made it mostly to our destination, but wanted to avoid the stress of running too low. We charged up again after we arrived to have plenty of energy for our expected driving for our first few days – part 1 of our trip. Each charging stop lasted about 20-30 minutes.
We continued on to part 2 of our trip and spent a wonderful few days with family and spent an extra day driving around and doing some sightseeing. We charged during our journey while having lunch and then again after a few hours on the road the next day on our route back home. We topped off at a good midway point and then again at the end of our trip (with another complimentary charge from EA).
The total cost for charging was a little under $50 for about 800 miles of driving for the trip. We estimate that using our old gas car would have needed 3 full tanks for the same trip (maybe more as our day-trip involved a lot of stop and go traffic) – likely close to $150 total. As a point of comparison – the fast chargers currently cost between .40 and .50 per kWh whereas home charging costs us about .10 (we power mostly with solar). Even with the higher ‘on-the-road’ rates, we still walked away with a $100 savings in gas for the week. That makes me pretty happy.
To bring this around to a marketing themed message — in many ways, marketing is about education. People have a lot of misunderstandings about EV’s and part of the challenge to adoption revolves around a lack of education. Ride share events and EV Car Shows where actual owners can share their real world experiences are an important part of a marketing plan that can help accelerate adoption. Being informed about current incentives (state and federal) also help those who are considering a purchase. When we educate about our products and services through our marketing, it is important to continue to show why something is important or how it can improve your quality of life, or how it can save you money. When we educate, we are working in the marketing space. Our real world, honest experiences provide part of the narrative and can be quite powerful. Share your stories, work on getting your information out and keep at it! Over time, in combination with your other marketing work, these things can make a difference.