Over 115 drivers got behind the wheel of an electric vehicle (EV) or a hybrid at a test drive event sponsored by the Town of Wellesley, Sustainable Wellesley, and the Wellesley Municipal Light Department last Saturday at the MassBay Community College parking lot.
Dealers brought several makes and models from Audi, BMW, Hyundai, Kia, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo for drivers to take on a spin around the Wellesley Country Club area. All the vehicles were beautiful and had that new-car smell, but in a sign of the times, there’s a waitlist if you want to purchase new. A dealer told me that although the chip shortage has eased up a bit, supplies and parts in general are in short supply. With a state tax credit of $2,500 as long as the vehicle’s price comes in at under 50K, and a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 for buying EV or hybrid, those waitlists have no shortage of folks in the queue. The tax credits applies only to new car sales and do not apply to leases.
As test drivers waited for their turn to come up, they toured the part of the parking lot given over to about 20 proud owners of EVs and hybrid. Hoods up on their spotless vehicles they were there to preach the gospel of owning and driving an EV. Here’s what they told us:
“I haven’t put gas into my Prius Prime in about a month and a half.”
“We’re fine to New York City in a single tank of gas. It gets 15 miles on a charge. We can go months without putting in gas. It’s really fun to drive.”—Mini-Cooper driver.
“I’ve had mine for four years and I love it. I hardly ever go to the gas station.”
Drive, she said
I wasn’t planning to join in, but organizers steered me over to an all-electric Mustang Mach-E Premium and before I knew it, I was pulling out onto Oakland Street. The dealer said the all-wheel drive beauty with an extended battery would get me as far as 240 miles before I’d have to refuel. A premium vehicle gets priced like one, $55k in this case, but I was assured a very nice Mach-E could be arranged for $49K, which would allow me to take advantage of the state tax credit.
I’m no car connoisseur—Can it get me to the RDF and up and down Central Street? Can I run it through any old car wash?—so I won’t try to wax eloquent over the way the vehicle hugged the curves or the quality of its torque. But I can tell you that after the test drive was over, I didn’t want to give it back.
Please don’t tell my trusty Subaru about my cheating heart.