We wrote recently about the Wellesley Whole Foods Market electric car charging station (See “Anyone ever used Whole Foods electric car charging station?”), and wondered whether anyone in town is actually using it. Whole Foods said that they’ve seen people using it, but weren’t tracking usage or where people were from.
We heard from Wellesley’s Roger Preston, though, that he had a Chevy Volt on order and that car has now arrived. Shown here is his wife Sara fueling up at the Whole Foods Market charging station.
Roger told us that he wasn’t finding many EV (electric vehicle) dealers in the area and has been on a Nissan Leaf waiting list for about 18 months. “You don’t seem to be able to get one off the showroom floor — you have to go into a dealership and order it, then wait about 6 – 8 weeks before the factory builds and ships it. Dealerships seem to be allocated only a few build orders per month. So still relatively hard to get. 2012/2013 should change that when EV models from additional automobile manufacturers enter the fray.”
Roger gives his new Volt a positive early review: “There are some things I like and some things I don’t, but as far as the electric drive goes, it’s great — smooth, quiet, powerful, and I’m getting about 35 miles on electric only before I run out of battery (I have yet to use any gas since I have a short commute).” (Once the battery depletes while driving, the gasoline generator gets you another 300 miles or so.)
He’s getting a 240 volt electric charging docking station installed in his garage that supposedly will fully charge the battery from complete depletion in about 4 hours. “For now, I’m just plugging it into the wall using a regular 110 volt outlet (10-hour charge when battery is fully depleted, but I’ve yet to deplete the battery completely, so I’m just topping off).” He says he’ll have to compare a few months’ worth of electric bills to figure out his best charging strategy. He’s not counting on the Whole Foods charging station to always be available when he or his wife shops at the store, but will use it when it is.
(Speaking of car-related expenses in town: Wellesley’s parking meter rates will be doubling in the months ahead to 50 cents an hour. Please send it here
If you were looking for a LEAF you went about it completely wrong. You start by going online and ordering your vehicle there. Then choose a dealership. Dealerships are only getting orphan cars.
Roger Preston says
I did not go about ordering a LEAF completely wrong. I ordered one online and paid the $99 deposit using Nissan’s website, just like you’re supposed to do. I created an online LEAF account and waited. That was in June of 2010. By late October of 2011, still no LEAF, and no estimate as to delivery date. The Volt finally became available recently, so even though the Volt still uses gas after the battery runs out, I figured something was better than nothing, bought the Volt, and cancelled the LEAF.
Clarification for the article: the VOLT is not 100% electric. After going 35 – 40 miles on battery, it switches to gas (about another 300 miles).