I'm in the market for a new car and have been looking at all the options that are available in Canada. There are 3 types of vehicles I could pick from: Hybrid, Plug-In Hybrid or 100% Electric. I have kind of ruled out Hybrids because based on the type of driving I do I don't believe I will fully benefit from having this type of car. I would spend the majority of type in gas mode not battery mode. Plug-In Hybrids are at the top of my 'want' list but as I have researched more I have learned that not all models are created equal. There are the traditional Plug-In Hybrids and then there are those that have extended battery range. In some cases double or triple the range that the traditional plug-in hybrid gets. With this scenario I would be driving in battery mode for all but 5km of my drive each day.
And then there is the coveted 100% electric vehicle. I want one, I really do. But I am scared to buy one. There are a million 'what if's' going through my head and I don't have answers for most of them.
What if there is an accident on the highway and I have to take a detour that makes me go over what my battery will allow?
What if we are going on a road trip? Do we stop every 150km to charge for 2 hours or do we have to rent a car or do we take the truck and pay more in gas.
What if I can't find somewhere to charge?
What if I find a place to charge on a trip and then what do I do? Chill at a public parking lot for 2 hours? Get someone to pick me up take me where I was going and drive me back when the car is charged?
What if I get stuck in traffic? How does that affect the battery range?
For short trips, where we go most there are a few charging stations on the route. Most however have hours of operation and are at car dealerships. A high percentage of them are specifically only for the Chevy Volt.
The furthest point on the shaded area of the map is just under 80km away which means with a 100% electric vehicle we can not make a round trip on 1 charge. We would have to charge somewhere along the way or at our destination. For those instances where it is impossible to charge at our destination it means a 1 hour trip becomes 3 hours as we wait to charge the car enough to get us back home.
For my day to day driving...driving to work, running errands etc I would not have any problems with waiting until I am home to charge. It is those "other" instances (that occur on the regular) that make me pause and question if a 100% electric vehicle is feasible for us.
I didn't realize becoming not dependent on gas would be so nerve-racking. Having additional local infrastructure would ease this burden but I realize that this is years away. Especially when you look at stats like this...the number of cars purchased in Canada in 2012.
Mitsubishi i-MIEV - 22
Nissan Leaf - 94
Chevy Volt - 210
I realize that I am part of the problem right now. I'm not jumping in with 2 feet and helping to push the industry to ramp up the product and services offered. But seriously guys, I'm scared that even though I am ready for a 100% electric vehicle, the country isn't ready to support those who are buying them.
Do you have a sustainable vehicle? What drove you to make the decision on what to buy?
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