When the first few EVs came out (Leaf, Focus Electric, etc.) which couldn’t even reach 100 miles some negative nancy pundits coined the phrase “range anxiety” for them (something which has been mentioned on this blog a few times). Having driven one (the Focus Electric, or FFE for short) I can happily say that there really is no such thing. Once you’ve driven it for as little as a week you get to know what the car can and cannot do and plan accordingly–the FFE never left me stranded.
In fact, I always considered driving the FFE more of a challenge than something to be fearful. The challenge was always “where can I go today?” and “how can I figure out to get the FFE to there?”–never “Oh no I’m running out of charge!” LOL. That is the thing here: With the Bolt having a range of 238 (or more, the GOM so far has read 250 miles and more for the first two charges) I have none of those thoughts. In fact, I’m finding I can drive it on my commute for an entire week before needing a recharge (it may turn out to be 4 days–since I’ve only had it just over a week and charged it to full twice I don’t quite have enough data for that).
Thus the immediate challenge is gone: I’ve found myself browsing plugshare.com to see where I would be able to charge but frequently stop when I realize that I don’t need any of the local chargers (even the 3 DC fast chargers (DCFC) within a few miles from my house).
In reality, however, the challenge has just been moved further out. Since my day to day or even weekly needs are met by the range of the Bolt I’ve been browsing plugshare to see: “ok, how far can I get with a Bolt via DCFC’s, Level 2’s, or even campgrounds?” Well take a look at this:
This is the plugshare map of all CCS DCFC chargers in the US. Hmm looks to me like I could make it all the way across the country–almost (at the least I could make it out East from my base here in the Detroit area, or down to Florida without a problem). There are a few gaps longer than 200 miles or so. Who says there is no DCFC infrastructure to support EVs other than Tesla? Look its there–and growing rather quickly. Instead of just one company trying to build out an infrastructure all on its own here are many companies building out a redundant infrastructure. Companies like Dunkin Donuts, AAA, and Walmart–all of which are starting to add (or have added) chargers at their stores (the 3 DCFC’s near me are two Dunkin Donuts and a AAA).
Ironically I’ll probably never take the Bolt on such a journey–if I’m taking a trip that long I’ll drive the RV and tow the Bolt on a dolly (yeah I realize the irony here using the gas powered RV to take the Bolt for a long distance trip LOL). You never know, however, I may do it at least once….just for the challenge of it 😉 .