Allison Faris is a student at UCLAAnderson School of Management and switched to an electric vehicle last May. Allison gives weekly updates about her new found EV life on her blog MyNetZeroEV , and has shared her reasons as well as the benefits and challenges with us:
Why did I choose to switch from a gasoline powered car to an electric car? The reasons narrow down to three: environmental, innovative and economic. Starting with the first reason, I was already living a pretty environmentally-conscious lifestyle. I’ve ripped out my lawn and planted California native plants. It felt completely natural to match my primary mode of transportation with my lifestyle choices, especially after I installed solar panels to power my car. The innovative features of my car are also numerous. It has a keyless ignition with two very cool computer control screens and even gently honks a reminder if I leave my keys in my car. But, those are all just the icing on the cake. The main selling point is economics. I lease my electric vehicle (most people lease EVs because of the rapid changes in battery technology) and my monthly lease payment is less than what I was paying for gas. A California state rebate for driving an electric vehicle nearly covered my down payment and I charge on campus for free as part of the SMERC program. The choice was easy - I am almost making money on the deal! Plus, there is the added bonus of carpool tags for that Los Angeles freeway driving. Could you put a price on that access?
I will admit that driving an electric vehicle takes some adjustments. While driving a gas-powered car, I was not the best at filling up the tank when it was close to empty. But, that wasn’t usually an issue because a gas station was always easy to find. I still find that I am draining the battery pretty close to empty but a charging station is not as easy to find. Looking at the bright side of things, apps do make the world an easier place to live in, or at least more convenient. There are already quite a few apps that help an EV driver find the closest charging station. I look forward to the day when those charging stations are almost as numerous as gas stations. But, until that day comes, I’m learning how to keep my car’s battery full.