My name is Pamela Thwaite. I’m a keen advocate for healthy low-impact living and for supporting local and organic producers. I’ve latterly become an electric car convert and signed up as vice-president of the New Jersey chapter of the Electric Auto Association. Am I mad?  I’ve decided it’s time to write from the perspective of an EV widow.

I’m also Mrs. MPT and the co-founder of myFoodDays

 

Content copyright Michael & Pamela Thwaite 2012 – All rights reserved, images may be re-produced with prior permission.

  • Michael Pasternak

    Pamela, first I want to say how well you write this blog; very natural and interesting stuff, thank you. Second what are the best ways to extend range in your experience? I got to about 140 miles ECOPRO range one temperate day when I was being a careful electronaut driving mostly on the GSP; no blower/heater/AC/lights/braking/ less than 60 speed. Another time I got around 130 going around Northern NJ and then to Manhattan and back; lots of slow driving but not much braking.

    • Michael,

      It sounds like you’re already in the top 1%!

      You’re probably already doing these things but, I always run my tires at the highest possible pressure, I never carry around stuff that I don’t need, I take the shortest route on the back roads to keep speeds low and of course, I keep my car cleaned and waxed.

      I like to pick another slow car or truck that I can follow if I’m on a highway, that means I get to go slow without being the one to hold everyone up!

      One trick I have learn’t from Michael’s Tesla – before you go out pre-condition the car inside after topping up the charge. The battery sags and looses a little range after charging so a last minute top up adds a little extra.

      These people have some great ideas on hypermiling http://ecomodder.com/forum/EM-hypermiling-driving-tips-ecodriving.php

      Have fun,
      Pamela.

      • Michael Pasternak

        like the precondition thought. i will experiment with that.

        • Electragirl7

          I am Electragirl7!! I built the first 500 wiring harness for the Tesla prototypes back in..2007 and 2008 I have been Electragirl7 since 2006.I am glad I put a 7 at the end of mine!!Good luck!!Hoping all is well with Tesla!!

  • Brett

    Pamela — thanks for sharing your experiences. I’m over in Short Hills (with my Active E) and had a very similiar experience with Sandy. We were able to keep our car charged up thanks to the good graces of BMW of Morristown who have an outdoor charger that they informed me was available for use. That was a huge help and I felt very lucky to not have to wait in gas lines. By the way, is Company C located in Summit? I happened to notice them on my chargepoint network and had considered going over there. Now I’m glad I didn’t bother!

    • I’m glad you were able to charge at Morristown BMW. Company C – Yes they have two locations around here, Summit is their main office but they do not share their charging stations even when people need them the most..

  • Jillian

    Hi! I just came about your blog from another blog. I am interested in getting an EV when I buy a car and just wanted to ask you a question. What do you do when you have to go on trips that are longer than 130 miles? Are there places you charge your car at or do you simply have to take a different car? Also, what kind of outlet do you plug your charger into. Thank you for answering, hope these don’t sound too basic, but I was just curious to communicate with someone who has an electric car for some advice, thoughts, and opinions, before I would buy one. Thanks for your future response, have a great day!!

    • With most EVs you should be thinking about any journey over 75 miles – it’s not that you can’t go further but you should always be ‘thinking’ about range – think about the speed you’ll be traveling at, the amount you’ll be using the heat or AC and where you can charge if you need to. This way you’ll never get into trouble and you’ll always love your EV.

      When we travel farther than the range of the car we fit it into the route so, if we’re staying at a hotel, we call ahead to check that they have an outlet nearby – an ordinary 120v outlet can work perfectly well overnight – http://electragirl.com/9999-9-anxious/

      You can also plan to stop for lunch near a shopping mall or restaurant that has a dedicated charger like Nauna’s Bella Casa in Montclair.

      For regular, very long journeys, hundreds of miles, you should choose an EV that has more range and free fast charging like the Tesla Model S or a gasoline hybrid like the Chevy Volt which uses an old-fashioned gasoline engine to drive the car along after the batteries are empty.

      Tesla are installing fast chargers along all the main highway routes so you would be able to charge to 80% in less than 30 minutes and will soon be able to travel cost-to-coast on free fuel!