Getting a charge out of driving an electric vehicle

EV Ownership: In a Customer’s Words

At Florida Power & Light (FPL), we believe in the benefits of electric vehicles (EVs), and we love hearing from customers who feel the same way.  So, when FPL customer Brett Circe described to us his favorite EV features, we couldn’t resist sharing his insights with all of our customers in this special blog post:*

“What do I love most about my Chevy Volt?

I don’t get asked this a lot, but when I do, it’s a difficult question to answer. 

The Volt is arguably the most innovative car to come out of Detroit in a generation. And it’s a high-tech gadget.  It connects to my iPhone, I can send Google Maps from my laptop to the GPS in my car with a click, it texts me if I forget to plug it in.  I do love all those features.

 And I love how much fun the car is to drive – especially when I know I have plenty of battery to spare.  I like to drop the car into L and put it in Sport Mode, that’s a blast. 

FPL Customer Brett Circe with his Chevy Volt,  Fort Lauderdale Beach

Find him on Twitter

The car is super quiet and smooth too.  You hear the road noise on the tires, but barely.  No engine noise, or vibration. And because there are no “gears” the car doesn’t shift making the ride even smoother.  But none of that is what I love best about the Volt.

With gas hovering around $4/gallon, I do save money too.  The TV commercials say the Volt costs “about $1.50/night to charge”, so if you do the quick math you may think you will spend about $45/month on electricity.  That’s actually worst case scenario, I only spend about $15/month.  I usually get home with charge left on the battery (sometimes more than 1/2).  And our electricity is the lowest in the state.  But, as an early adopter, I really can’t say that saving money is what I love most about the Volt. 

When I get home, I plug in my laptop, my smart phone, and my car.  It’s quick, clean, and it’s always full and ready when I get up.  I rarely have to go through the hassle of using a gas station anymore.  When fully depleted, it takes about 8 hours to charge with a regular outlet.  Luckily, that corresponds to how much I sleep each night, so it works out pretty well.  I recently got a Level 2 charger (which is a lot faster).  I didn’t feel it was “necessary” but it is nice to have. 

 I love to drop one-liners, like “I’ve only bought 13 gallons of gas this year” or “the last time I filled up was February 20” or “I am currently averaging 67MPG”.  (FYI, 67MPG is low for a Volt, the best MPG for a Volt inFloridais 1,258MPG!) Yes, I do love to see people’s reactions when I say stuff like that.  But it’s still not what I love most. 

 So far I have used electricity instead of 487 gallons of gas that I would have needed to buy if I were still in my Infiniti (which I had before my Volt).  Not buying gas means not sending money to OPEC and the Middle East – that’s what I love most about my Volt.”

Do you own an EV or are considering buying one?  We’d love to hear from you! Contact us at electricvehicles@fpl.com.

*Please note that not all opinions of our customers reflect those of FPL.

 

 

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Comments [19]

Dave // July 24, 2012

The Volt sounds amazing! I always hear their commercials on the radio, and it makes me want to try one. Even if this car turns out to be a bust, It is still a step in the right direction. I truly hope in the next 30 years we can eliminate gas powered cars.

Cheryl Krause // August 1, 2012

so your total electric bill has only gone up $15 a month since you started charging your car? That is great.

Patricia // August 3, 2012

I wonder where you would go not having access to electricity where you live, like condo’s etc. and would that be a hastle, when you are vacationing, etc. Thank you
I enjoyed your blog!

CD // August 3, 2012

How much is a new battery if you have to replace it in the Volt?

Rick // August 5, 2012

You are not sending your money to OPEC. The Oil we buy in the US is mainly from Canada and Mexico. Oil is a world traded commodity and the price is set by the world market place.

If you really want to save by going electric try a electric bike, 1,250 MPG. The problem with a car is you move 2,000 lbs of metal to move 200 lbs of person. On a bike you move 50 lbs of metal to move 200 of person. Makes much more sense if you are trying to conserve fuel. It only costs about a nickel ($0.05) to charge battery good for 35 to 40 miles. If you run out of charge you can always peddle.

Kevin Melendez // August 5, 2012

I will difinately consider one now…

judy mahaffey // August 5, 2012

How far can you drive on a charge?

Brett Circe // December 2, 2012

@Charlie, FPL only uses about 5% Coal. And, 64% Natural Gas. So, you are right on track when you suggest it. Plus, both Coal and Natural Gas are domestically produced, keeping the money within the US economy, which is the most important point of my article. Thanks for reading.

http://www.fpl.com/environment/plant/power_plant_projects.shtml

Maurice McABIAN // August 5, 2012

We appreciate to have more details about this car.
Thank You

Conrad // August 6, 2012

I love my Volt. It Gives me OPTION to run my transportation not depending on gasoline alone! It runs on electric all the time. Hey if the gas price ever goes back down to a buck a gallon I will certainly run it on gasoline with no problem!

Brett Circe // August 6, 2012

@Dave, the technology inside will continue to live and expand into many other vehicles. I hope in 30 years all cars are at least a Hybrid, using some power produced domestically. All EV would be a dream!

Brett Circe // August 6, 2012

@Cheryl, I used the FPL year-over-year report that’s available in your account on their site. In the first year, that was probably the most it went up over the previous year. I actually had 3 months where my YOY was less with the Volt than without, which really tells me that the outside temperature and HVAC impact far outweighs what my car needs to charge on a monthly basis.

Brett Circe // August 7, 2012

@Patricia, if you live in a condo, you would need to park near a wall outlet or near a light pole that has an outlet. When we vacation, we stay at hotels that allow us to plug in. We drove it fo New York and back and every hotel let us charge, no problem!

Brett Circe // August 7, 2012

@Rick, I love riding my bike, but it’s not practical for everything. We do import a lot from Canada and Mexico, but not “most”.

No matter how you divide up the imports by country, we are still buying $500Billion in oil per year from other countries. That money leaves the US economy. I am fueling my car with domestically produced fuel (electricity) :)

Brett Circe // August 7, 2012

@Judy, that is a tough question. For my average driving, I keep about 2.5 gallons of gas in the tank (which is between 1/4 and 1/3 tank). I don’t want to keep a full tank, lugging around all that weight for no reason lowers my range overall. So, when I know I am going on a road trip, I fill up the tank (about once a month or so).

So, with a battery fully charged and my 2.5 gallons I usually have 110 to 125 miles of range. When I fill up, I have about 315-330 total range till I need gas again.

Brett Circe // August 7, 2012

@Maurice, check out this site for more info http://www.chevrolet.com/volt-electric-car.html

martin // August 17, 2012

we r the new owner of a chevy volt

Charlie // November 10, 2012

The concept of electric vehicles is a great one. But one must realize the carbon footprint of an electric vehicle owner is still present since the major sources of electricity is derived through the use of coal. I personally believe the near term use of natural gas or LPG is a better solution. We have an abundant supply, it burns cleanly and produces water out of the exhaust. So what’s not tolike???

alke.com // March 22, 2013

thank you for sharing your experience in the use of this electric car