Today begins the seventh season of my rendition of the Twelve Days of Christmas…mine being the Twelve Days of A Green Christmas. We all know the tune so you can sing along with the versions I post each day.
If you don’t understand the reason I am doing this or want to know more about the history of the Twelve Days of Christmas read yesterday’s post here. Now clear your throats and get ready for the first verse…
…On the first day of Christmas, my green friend gave to me….a new electric car.
Whoa…an electric car? I had been talking about possibly getting another car and had been considering a hybrid to reduce my fuel consumption. The only issue was I already owned an older hybrid car (not a plug-in) so why would I want to replace a hybrid with another hybrid? Was it time to step up my “walk the talk“? I was hesitant and had many conversations with my green friend about it.
What were my concerns? I really only had one concern. I had read about “range anxiety” when you get stressed about running out of electric miles but then again I had experienced “range anxiety” when I drove my hybrid, worried I would run out of gas on a long trip. Would this be worse with an electric car? I had to adopt different driving habits when I first bought my hybrid so I decided I would have to adapt to the nuances of an electric car.
I had researched the new “affordable” Tesla Model 3 and even put a deposit on one when they were taking reservations. More than a year later I received an email saying my “turn” to purchase one would be coming up the following year. Of course the price increased and the tax incentive was decreasing. The Tesla started becoming less “affordable” as I got closer to the day so I began exploring other options with “range” being one of the top priorities. I narrowed my choices down to the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt and the 2019 Hyundai Kona EV. Both cars had ranges of over 250 miles per charge, only surpassed by the range of the new Tesla model with about 5 more miles.
I had test driven the Kona gas version and found it to be a very comfortable car that was slightly smaller than my Ford C-Max hybrid but with more safety and comfort features. The Kona EV was only being sold in 5 states, those with zero-emission requirements and my local Hyundai dealer was not able to order one. The closest states were Maryland or New Jersey so that pretty much eliminated the Kona from my list.
Happening by a Chevrolet dealer one day, I stopped to test drive a new Bolt. The styling was acceptable since I was looking for an electric car and not a show car! The interior was comfy but seemed smaller than the Kona. I was excited to drive my first electric car! As I drove out of the dealer lot with the Salesman there was a loud clunk and the car stopped! I looked at the Salesman and he suggested I try starting the car again. Nothing happened…it was dead so we walked back to the dealership. I never did find out what went wrong with the car but I sure had an uneasy feeling! Should I take this experience as an omen?
Now my choices were narrowed down to two cars, the more expensive Tesla or the more affordable Hyundai Kona EV. I drove to the Tesla dealer in Jacksonville (a negative for service reasons) to drive the Model 3. The first thing I did was hit my head on roof part when I got in…another omen? I didn’t seem to be able to attract a Salesman while I was there…maybe I didn’t look like I could afford a Tesla because of my dress or being female? Anyway I never could get any help to test drive one.
I decided to give up my quest for an electric car until 2020 but later wondered if the tax incentives would be available in 2020 and if the cost of the car would increase. I decided this year was the year to make the move and now my remaining choice was the Kona EV which had really been my first choice all along. My green friend said “go for it”!
Getting the car was going to be a challenge in itself! I knew I wanted a white car with a light leather interior so now I had to find one! After searching all the Dealers’ inventories I found one in Hagerstown, MD. I called a Salesman and asked several questions before I told him I wanted to purchase their white one with a light grey leather interior. I asked him about the deposit after explaining I could pick it up in 3 weeks. He informed me the company policy was no deposits, it was “first come, first serve”! I was heartsick as I had a closing the next week and was leaving on a short vacation after the closing.. I slept on it over the weekend and decided on Sunday to book a flight for Monday. I knew I would have to drive back that night to be back in time for a “walk-through” at the Buyer’s house on Tuesday before closing on Thursday. My trip back would require four stops to charge the car. This would be my first lesson in long trip planning in an electric car!
I booked a one-way flight from Sanford, FL to Hagerstown for less than $100 and asked the Salesman to arrange transportation from the airport. Arriving at 3:30 PM I was at the Dealer by 4 PM. I test drove the car and loved it! After 4 hours of paperwork and waiting I left the Dealer at 8 PM in my new Kona EV.
When figuring my route I learned from my EV charging app most of the charging stations were at Walmart stores which meant I could take a bathroom and coffee break while the car was charging. All the stores were right off I-95 so no detours were necessary. Each charge took about 75 minutes so I was able to nap at each stop. I made it home by 11 AM which gave me a couple hours to sleep before my 4 PM walk-through.
Although this was a Christmas present I did get the car early and am absolutely thrilled with it! In my day to day life I have found the range to be more than adequate and charging with the 110V charger once a week works well. Charging adds about $5/month to my electric bill while not inhaling gas fumes and getting dirt/grime from the gas pump is a major bonus! I no longer check gas prices or waste time with oil changes!
Many thanks to my green friend for the fabulous gift and thank YOU for reading my post, the First Day of a Green Christmas! Please join me tomorrow for the Second Day. If you have any green gift suggestions you would like to share please do so in the comments below.