Ups and Downs of the first month of owning an electric car

My electric car is over a month old. Happy belated one month birthday Ellie Blue! I love my car but the first 5 weeks have not been perfect.  I want to tell you the Ups and Downs of the first month of owning an electric car.

Screenshot_2014-07-03-21-55-46One huge up is being able to monitor my Ellie on my phone.

I will check in on her and so does my husband. All was just great. And fun to have a baby monitor on your car. Screenshot_2014-06-05-10-52-23

Until the end of the first week. Suddenly, the blue went red.

What? Negative battery?

I was hysterical. My car was dead as a door nail in my own garage. I cried, I admit it.

We had to have the car towed which was covered by Ford but still, it took time.

I had to get a rental car which again was covered but it all took time.

Ellie was at the dealership for about 4 hours. They discovered that the regular battery was faulty and made it appear that the electric car battery was dead.

They replaced it, of course and apologized.

I was nervous for a couple of days after that. Now, I am confident again about Ellie's battery life which is often way over the 76 guaranteed miles, up to 92.

The next challenge was installing a car charger in the garage. Our garage had several outlets but they were all 110. Have I mentioned that I live in a condo?

A second floor condo at that. We had to install a 220 line and hook it up to our fuse box. Oh and the garage is detached and separated by a driveway and sidewalk. Fun!

20140609_110501The first electrician told us it couldn't be done.  But we had purchased the charging station from Home Depot and they connected us with Mr. Electric of Naperville. These guys were great. They were prepared to dig a trench if they had to.

They got my charger in and functioning properly by using the existing conduit which kept the Condo Association off our back. Win/win! Oh and some bucks, major bucks but eventually it will pay for itself. Key word: eventually!

In the meantime, the convenience of pulling in the garage and plugging in the car just can't be beat. I adore it.

20140626_195343

For the past month I have been running around in my cute car and have only needed to charge it while out and about once.  Luckily I was in Naperville which is a fabulous town for electric cars.

I used this station in a parking garage, cost me $1.50 to fully charge. And there were two more charging stations in the parking lot. There was also a car parked in an electric spot which wasn't an electric car. Grrrrr.

Oak Park is another wonderful suburb for having electric charging stations. So is my town of Frankfort and Arlington Heights.

But there are other towns on the naughty list. Yes, I am looking at you Hinsdale, Oakbrook, Western Springs and LaGrange. Why are you not cool and green?

I have written emails and even had a phone conversation with the assistant Village Manager of LaGrange.

That whole area needs to eco it up! The Hinsdale oasis doesn't even have a charging station.

I normally write a quilting blog but I love my new electric car so every once and again I write about her. Why?

Because she makes me sew happy.

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I wrote about my car a month or so ago, you can read it here.

Update: Since I published this post, a reader provided a very valuable link about comparing electric cars and gas cars for their carbon footprints. It's a question I get a lot so I thought I would add a link to this nifty post.  Compare cars link.

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    Kathy Mathews

    My passions are quilting and sewing. Add to that French, Spanish, books, swimming, travels, new restaurants, biking and chocolate and you have me. All of these are best shared with family and friends. Except for chocolate, I prefer not to share that. You can email me at QuiltingSewingCreating@gmail.com

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