I know one thing you can’t do in the back of an electric car. But I still love our Think City Electric Vehicle.
Think electric cars are from Norway. Similar in appearance to the Smart car, it has two seats, two doors and a hatch back. Unlike the Smart, it has an additional 17 inches of luggage space – a critical difference if you are doing anything other than commuting.
I work at home, and my wife commutes 15 miles, one-way, at freeway speeds. Her on-call schedule as a medical professional sometimes requires her to commute multiple times in one day. When I use the electric, it’s for errands — groceries, hardware, post office or entertainment. We use it almost every day.
Discussing range is tricky because of four reasons. Those are regenerative braking, battery efficiency, speed and relative horsepower. Each will affect how far a car will travel between charges. Regenerative braking is a clever way to recharge with the brake pedal. Battery efficiency will change with temperature and technology; you’ll go further on warm days or with high-tech batteries. Relative horsepower is engine horsepower compared to car weight; Electric engines in cars have about 60 horsepower, gas cars have upwards of 150. In contrast, electric cars weigh less – and require far less horsepower – and get better mileage. Finally, at sixty miles-per-hour there is more wind resistance, which demands more from the engine, so your miles-per-charge will fall. Driving twenty miles-per-hour will more than double your mileage.
Most days, the charge is perfectly acceptable. On colder days, with multiple late-night trips, the Think runs low. Once or twice, my wife she has opted to use our secondary gas-powered vehicle instead of risking a road-side rescue. Our gas-powered car is also used for long distance trips as well as trips where we can’t be sure of a charging station at the other end.
We assumed we would see an increase in our electric bill, but it has only been about $15 per month. That’s not bad for a primary vehicle. We also have the option to use commercial charging stations – and our favorite grocery store provides free outlets for electric car charging – a great perk.
And, about things you can’t do in the back; I play an upright bass, and I’m unable to use the electric car to haul my instrument to musical gigs. A slight inconvenience, but a critical factor to consider when you purchase your next vehicle.