Chevy Bolt

Chevy Bolt – Reflections on Five Months of Driving

As I’ve previously said, I bought an electric car – a Chevy Bolt. For the record – I absolutely and unreservedly love it and I love driving it.

When people find out that I drive an EV, people typically ask two questions and make one comment.

The first question is, “what’s the range of your car? How far can you go before having to charge it?”

The other question thrown at me is “Well what are you going to do with your Chevy Bolt in the winter when it gets cold? Your range is going to drop!”

Easy to answer the first question; according to testing done by the Canadian government, the range of a Chevy Bolt is 416 kilometres.

Of course that number changes depending on the weather and the driving conditions.

In the summer and early fall I was actually getting 500 km on a single charge.

However, if I drive like a speed demon, that number will drop considerably. And then the weather changed…

Which brings me to the second question. “What are you going to do in the winter?”

Now that I’m driving in winter-like conditions (technically winter doesn’t begin until December 21st) I can say that, well, I’m not doing very much different at all.

My range has dropped from 500 km to approximately 350 km on a charge.

So why hasn’t a drop of 150 km in range changed my life? Because I typically drive a maximum of 30 km a day. So instead of charging my car at home once a week, I will sometimes charge twice a week.

And the comment I hear often? “Well I can drive 1400 km on one tank of gas! You can never do that!”

Yep. That’s true. But then my question in return is “Have you EVER driven 1400 kilometres without stopping? Ever?”

Most people reply that in fact they haven’t ever done this, but add in, they could if they wanted to.

And this is where I’ve been rethinking things. Even though I can drive 500 km (in the summer) I have realized that the journey is actually as much fun as the destination.

Sure I want to get to the cabin. But I also enjoy the journey. For example, on my way up the Fraser Canyon I typically stop in Hope where I can charge the car. I don’t really need to charge, but I like to stop and have a coffee or a sweet treat at the Blue Moose Cafe.

I also take the time while my car is charging to pop into the grocery store and get a few things. I will also walk down to Baker’s Books to see what they have on their shelves (nearly every book in the store is $2).

What I’m saying is, I’ve purposely slowed down and it feels great. Instead of driving full speed and not stopping anywhere, under any circumstances, I have slowed down. I stop. I take time to enjoy the journey.

So, do we really need a vehicle that can travel 1400 km? Why not slowdown? Stop and look around. Have a coffee or a sweet treat, or even stop and have a lunch break. Visit a bookstore.

Driving an EV has given me pause to rethink how I travel. Maybe more people can rethink their travel habits.