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Electric vehicle ownership experiences shared

By Tom Waggener

At five years in with electric vehicles, I look back and am glad I made the journey. The new tax on EV owners in the state is perfectly reasonable since it is applied to road improvements just like those of gas vehicle users.

Looking back, I picked up my first electric vehicle, a used Tesla Model S P85, in early September of 2018. It was the biggest car purchase of my life at a pre-trade-in price of $46,000 and a big step, considering I had only owned gas engine cars previously and knew little about the charging network or maintenance of an electric car.

The first week of ownership was a trial by fire. That was the week that Dad had a heart attack and was admitted to TJ Samson Hospital in Glasgow.


I had to drive down from Shelbyville that evening and all I knew was that, worst case, I would have to take side trips to Bowling Green to use the Tesla Supercharger off Scottsville Road.

Fortunately, after some detective work we found out that TJ did in fact have three level-two electric chargers that had been set up for a few of the doctors who were also Tesla owners. I was able to leave the car plugged in overnight and charging was never a concern.

The first year of ownership I would discover a number of hidden and out-of-the way chargers. They popped up at gas stations near Santa Claus Indiana, McDonalds, high trafficked interstate exchanges and RV campgrounds.

I have only experienced the dreaded range anxiety one time in all the years of ownership and that was a recent trip to Columbia. The plug in at home was not working and the trip back was highlighted by a sudden temperature drop into the thirties. External temperature is huge for batteries, affecting range by as much as 30%. We made it home ok, with about 5 miles to spare, but those last few miles were a real white knuckle experience.

For most road trips, the Tesla supercharger network is abundant, and any major interstate is going to have enough opportunities to charge on long trips. I was one of the few Tesla owners with free supercharging for life, which made it easy to accept that my car charged pretty slow in comparison to any of the newer models. A full charge in Indianapolis took about an hour, but that was an easy hour to give up while shopping and picking up Shapiros Deli.

My out-of-warranty maintenance issues have been pretty minor considering I was coming off of a high mileage car. I had to fix an on-board charging issue and do some suspension work and also upgraded the main computer to the newer version for faster mapping and the ability watch netflix while parked.

Of course, there is the possibility of a bigger ticket maintenance charge like a full battery replacement which could run anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000. Outside of that, maintenance on electric cars is far less than a standard gas car. No oil changes, only one filter to deal with, no alternators, spark plugs, fuel lines, etc. Mechanically, the car is pretty much just battery and drive train.
Tom Waggener can be reached for more information at tmwaggener@gmail.com


This story was posted on 2024-01-29 23:43:18
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Electric vehicle batteries will be made here



2024-01-29 - Hardin County, KY .
Construction progress at the BlueOval SK Battery Park just south of Elizabethtown is reported to be on schedule, bringing Ford closer to its target of producing an annual run rate of 2 million electric vehicles globally by end of 2026. The plant is set to train 5,000 future employees with the knowledge and skills to build advanced batteries for future Ford and Lincoln vehicles in its new training center scheduled to open this year.

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