I Drove An Electric Car For Three Years, Here Is My Review

Driving an electric car is FUN AND good for the environment. I Drove An Electric Car For Three Years, Here Is My Review.

I’ve been driving an electric Smart ForTwo for almost 3 years now. I really do love it!

When I purchased it, in Ontario Canada, there were great rebates in place that allowed me to get a really good deal! Really good. My first Smart ForTwo was not electric and it cost me only $82 a month, yep you read that right.

When my lease expired I changed to an electric version (3 years ago) and paid $182 per month. Now, three years later, the price has skyrocketed to just over $600 per month, which is obviously way out of my budget. And I am sure out of reach for most people reading this. The price increases are thanks to the Ford Government and their canceling of the green rebates. I am so pissed off by this, WTF can be more important than saving our planet. 

As a result of this cancelation, Tesla is no suing the Ontario Provincial Government. I can’t wait to see what happens here!

I want to give you an honest review of MY experience driving an electric car and then talk a little more about some of the misconceptions attached to owning an electric vehicle in general.

CHARGING IT!

First off, let’s talk about the range. In this car, I get about 135km per charge (this will vary based on your driving habits)  that means I can’t go very far, but I don’t think that this type of car is made for long-distance travel. It’s small and there are a lot of idiots on the road, and particular on the highways. If you do need to take it on the highway, it performs just fine. It’s perfect for getting to and from work and tooling around for shopping, movies etc. 

I Drove An Electric Car For Three Years, Here Is My Review

In the winter, it’s a different story, if you don’t have the special charging station at your home, I don’t, I use the plug on the side of the wall in the driveway, you won’t get a full charge. The cold weather does really affect it. If I park it in the garage I get a bit more of a charge, but I’ve never been able to get a full charge in the winter. If I had the charging station installed that would give me a full charge in a much shorter period of time.

Looking back now, it’s an investment I should have made. But with the limited driving I do, I did not want to incur the cost. Another thing to keep in mind, is the heater really eats up the power, in fact in the winter I am always turning the heater on and off to save power, which is a bit of a pain in the ass! Canada is cold! Like really cold! If you live in a warmer climate this is not something you have to think about at all.

In the summer, if you use the A/C it will also drain the battery. My model is a convertible, so no A/C required. And super fun too!

Related Post: How To Go Green + Save Money

And with fast-charging stations around the city, you can get a full charge in a few hours.

PARKING IT

Well, I am not going to lie, it’s a freaking dream, you can fit anywhere and its one of the reasons why I love this car!

PERFORMANCE

This car is fast, very fast! The torque transfer is instant because there is no combustion to slow it down, it takes off like a little bullet, another reason why I love it.

It can be a bit bumpy on a bad road and you will feel even the smallest potholes. But overall I like the way it drives and performs. I am not a car expert and have driven over 10 cars in my life and find this to be just fine. There are some bad reviews online mentioning its a bit of a rough ride, but honestly, if you follow the speed limits and drive like a “normal” person, you won’t have any issues. 

 

THE MISCONCEPTIONS! 

I Drove An Electric Car For Three Years, Here Is My Review

1. I won’t get enough range

This is true if you want to drive a  Smart Car from Toronto to Niagara Falls. But since the average Canadian drives about 65km a day,  you’d have more than enough to get around. There are other electric cars that get way more mileage. You can learn more about them here. I think part of the issue here is that consumers are brainwashed into thinking that this kind of technology is not mainstream. I’m hopeful that this mindset is changing. And with cars like Tesla (which can go as far as 400 miles) it’s becoming more accepted.

2. An electric car uses the same amount of energy as burning fossil fuels 

I paid around $1 per charge on my electric bill, so I did not really see an impact on my bill at all and if you install the aftermarket plug-in you’ll save even more.

Now yes if the electricity being used is coming from a coal-fired power station you would technically have more of an impact, but, personally, I am not contributing to tailpipe emissions, which in my opinion is pretty awesome!

Related Post: Ontario’s Green Home Renovation Rebates Will Save You Money

3. The manufacturing process for an electric car is really bad 

Battery production and engine production both have an environmental impact, there is no escaping this! In fact, everything we buy has an impact on the planet in one way or another.  I still feel the electric car is the better option. 

It’s also important to remember the innovative technology that goes into these cars, it normally means a longer life than a gas engine, also I noticed I needed much less maintenance and probably saved between  $1,500 and $2,000 per year.

I Drove An Electric Car For Three Years, Here Is My Review

4. There is not enough infrastructure in place

This is kind of true, but it’s changing! I’d like to ultimately see more renewables in place support elecric vehciles. However, Canada’s electricity is clean with the majority of our power coming from hydro and nuclear.

We also have more than 5,000 public charging stations, 500 of which are Level 3 fast chargers.

5. The Lithium Battery is bad for the environment 

Almost all of the electronics we own like our smartphones, desktops, laptops etc. are made with lithium batteries and since most of them can be up to 90% recycled, they are better than a gas-powered engine, which is normally scrapped. When you compare the total life-cycle of an EV to a gas car, from manufacturing to operation to end of life, EVs produce about half the greenhouse gas emissions as a comparable gas car.

6. They are way to pricey

I agree, but this is changing, and they are cheaper to actually run than a gas-powered one. EVs are ¼ the cost to drive than a gas car and your typical EV driver saves $1,500-$2,000 per year on fuel.

7. Supply vs. Demand 

Not many people are buying them. True, but there are more than 42,000 electric cars on the road in Canada and that number is growing.

In conclusion, if I could afford to stay in an electric Smart ForTwo I would!

I was not a bit fan of the other on electric models on the market and am saving up for a Tesla #BucketList . I’ve bought a Toyota Prius C Hybrid, I’ll let you know if I love it!

Would you ever consider an electric drive?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

I Drove An Electric Car For Three Years, Here Is My Review

 

Candice Batista

Candice Batista is an award winning Environmental Journalist and one of Canada’s leading eco advocates. Her career spans national and international media outlets, where she has used her background in environmental studies and media & communications to produce and report on various environmental and climate issues for primarily television and digital audiences including Huffington Post, The Globe & Mail, The Weather Network, CityTV, Rogers Television, The Pet Network, iChannel, and CTV, where she is currently the National Eco Expert for the stations number 1 daytime talk show, The Marilyn Denis Show.

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