A mini cruise of electric cars attracted attention at the town’s Earth Day event on April 23. Organized by Woodbridge resident and Tesla owner Kent Golden, several owners of electric vehicles displayed their cars, and discussed their experiences with anyone interested. Golden displayed his Tesla Model 3, and the other vehicles included a Chevy Bolt, a Hyundai IONIQ, and a Tesla Model Y hatchback.
Speed, safety and comfort were all questions that came up regularly, Golden said. But what worried people most was long-distance driving and the availability of charging stations.
Golden was quick to point out that he charges his car overnight at home, when rates are lower. He can then drive 300 miles until the next charge. Recently, he and his wife took a trip to the Finger Lakes area in upstate New York, and stopped once mid-way for some food and rest – and a recharge. It takes about 20 minutes to recharge, he said.
Golden demonstrated how the onboard computer will automatically point out the next charging station, and how many stalls are available. He has access to the Tesla network of superchargers throughout the nation, and for other charging stations he bought an adapter. “We never worry about running out,” he said.
In fact, the owner of the Hyundai had a fan hooked up to his SUV, running off the battery. “When there is a power outage, you can use your car to power up,” he said. Problem is, of course, if the power doesn’t come back before the batteries are dead.
As far as acceleration is concerned, Golden said his car speeds up from 0 to 60 in 3.2 seconds. “Getting on the Merritt is no problem,” he said.
With the batteries installed at the bottom, the vehicle is remarkably roll-over safe. Insurance tests have found electric cars to be “at least as safe as conventional cars, based on crash-test performance and an analysis of injury claims,” according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. “It’s the safest car ever made,” Golden said simply.
Asked about his winter driving experience, he did not experience any problems. The batteries power two motors, which basically makes it an all-wheel drive.
What’s best in his eyes, the car requires zero maintenance other than wipers and the washer fluids. Even the brakes are good for 100,000 miles.
By Bettina Thiel – Woodbridge Town News Correspondent