MINNEAPOLIS - This is the car I have been driving for the past week, a Chevy Bolt, like a Tesla, these cars are all electric, this one has a price tag of 37 thousand dollars before tax credits. My question for the week was, "What's it like to Drive an Electric Car?
So how long does it take to charge? There are three speeds; Level 1, 2 and 3. Level 1 is the slowest, it is plugging your car into a standard wall outlet. It gives you four miles of range per hour of charging.
"Most people install what's called a level 2 charger in their home, this requires220-volt circuit 40 amp. You plug the car in, you are going to get about 25 miles per hour of charge time." said Roger Ratajzak. Rosedale Chevrolet.
Finally, Level 3, for this car will get you 90 miles of range in 30 minutes. Right now, there are about 30 of these level charging stations across Minnesota and Wisconsin. Most are owned and operated by ZEF Energy, a Minnesota company who is planning to expand the network later this year.
"We are going to be building out a multi-state fast charging corridor across I-94. That's going from Fargo-Moorhead through Minnesota, Wisconsin, back up into Michigan, up to the Canadian Border, past Detroit." said Matthew Blackler. CEO ZEF Energy.
Driving to work, the store and back home to charge up was problem free and I never worried about running out of my 160 mile range since I would leave the house with a full charge everyday, so I decided to make it more challenging.
Well, it's time for my road trip up to Duluth and Duluth from where I am standing is 152 miles away. I have 160 miles in range, think I will stop and charge along the way.
Along the way I stopped at a fast charger then I continued my way to downtown Duluth to get my charge for my return trip.
Well I made it to Duluth and I did use this fast charger for a little while, but it stopped working all of a sudden, so I had to switch to a slower charger which is going to make it even longer before I can hit the road again.
After an extra three hours at this charger, I had enough range to make it back to Pine City to get a 30-minute charging boost to get back to the Twin Cities on the same day. While it may not be the best car for your summer road trip, electric cars are something to consider if you need a daily driver. It cost me less than $40 in electricity to drive more than 500 miles in the past week including the road trip.
For information on the Chevrolet Bolt: Chevrolet Bolt
For Information on Fast Charging Stations: ZEF Energy