As part of the Montgomery County EV Purchasing Cooperative Pilot Program, we’ll be featuring Montgomery County residents who have electrified their personal transportation in this series.
Jennifer lives in Silver Spring and now drives a 2019 Chevy Bolt. Thanks to Jennifer for chatting with our program!
EVPC: Where did you get your EV and what was your vehicle beforehand?
Jennifer: Ourisman Automotive of Baltimore is where we ultimately decided to replace our 2005 Toyota Corolla. We found that it would be the same price at most dealer locations we checked out, even though we were hoping it would be cheaper. The Corolla was at the end of its service life, and we needed to make the purchase for a new vehicle. We are also hoping to make the switch of our 2006 Honda Civic that is nearing the end of its service life to an EV too because we have had so much success with our current EV.
EVPC: Why did you choose to switch to an EV?
Jennifer: We wanted what was better for the environment and future. We live between my husband’s work and mine, I can metro into DC where I work, but he works way up 95 and does not have a good public transit option. He drives about 45 miles a day round trip, so we really wanted to get something that was going to be less of an impact on the environment. We want to decrease our dependence on fossil fuels right now with gas being so expensive. Ultimately, we want to minimize our carbon footprint!
EVPC: What made you decide to choose this specific EV?
Jennifer: We got a 2019 Chevy Bolt EV, the year we bought it its range was better than a lot of other EVs that were in a similar price range. The range was comparable to the Tesla Model III and was a much lower price. The Bolt also had good reviews the year we purchased it so a combination of all those things together went into our decision.
EVPC: What has been your driving experience so far with your EV?
Jennifer: I love driving an EV because it is quieter. And it does this regenerative breaking thing where when you take your foot off the gas it automatically breaks and it actually repowers your battery. And, at first, I was like that’s going to be too weird. I’m not even going to use it, but it’s really cool. It’s easy to drive and we love driving it. We use the EV more than our other vehicle.
EVPC: Has maintenance been difficult for your EV?
Jennifer: We just took it in for regular maintenance last week and it was the only time the Bolt has had to go to the shop. Especially considering how much maintenance was necessary for our old 2005 Corolla. We haven’t had to change the oil which is required every three months for standard vehicles. It is nice to not have to take our EV in every three months.
EVPC: What does your typical driving routine look like? (Like how long your commute is and how has an EV fit into your daily commute?
Jennifer: I commute no more than 8 miles into DC, but the EV travels about 35 miles up 95 which takes 45 minutes roundtrip for my husband’s daily commute to the office. We also use the EV to drive our daughters around to practices, and it is our primary vehicle outside of the daily work commutes, so we use it to go get groceries and any errands in the evenings. It’s like actually kind of good to drive it because it helps the battery when we use regenerative breaking.
EVPC: What is your typical charging routine, how expensive is charging your EV and who is your electric utility?
Jennifer: We have PEPCO as our utility and our electric bills have decreased with solar panels installed so it is hard to know how much we spend monthly on charging. We do level 1 charging at home, and we actually got our solar panels through the Montgomery County Solar Panel Coop which was amazing and like one of the reasons why I love that you guys are doing with this EV Coop. Charging has never been a significant expense because we have actually seen such a decrease in our electric bill after we added the solar panels. We also utilize the workplace charging available at my husband’s office for a small fee.
EVPC: What do your friends, family and neighbors think of your EV?
Jennifer: People are definitely curious, like especially when we first got the car, you know, it was out in the front yard and people would ask about it when they were walking by. As for family, my kids love the EV and have learned to be good environmental stewards. They love the idea of being good to the environment and know that everybody has a role. My kids can identify other EVs on the road now, especially when it’s another Bolt they get really excited. So, my kids love of EVs and the good they do for the environment make us all feel a little bit like a superhero.
EVPC: Are there any public charging stations that you frequent?
Jennifer: Well, the workplace charging at my husband’s office we use during the work week occasionally and the Wheaton library.
EVPC: What would you say to anyone interested in purchasing an EV?
Jennifer: Owning an EV has been easier than owning the regular gas car we used to own. So, we have absolutely no regrets and would encourage the switch, and well when the other car dies we will probably be looking for ideas for EV replacements for that as well.
Learn about the Montgomery County EV Purchasing Cooperative Pilot Program. If you need to drive, make it electric!