What's it like to own an electric vehicle? Amherstburg man shares his EV journey on social media

When Eric Wortley became the new owner of an electric vehicle, the Amherstburg, Ont. resident never planned on documenting what it's like on social media.

But as Windsor's auto sector started moving toward electrification, he noticed more of his friends debating the pros and cons of EVs over social media.

"When I got my Tesla, [I decided] to just document everything," he said. "Show everyone the good, the bad, the ugly — and let people make their own opinions on it."

Like many others in recent months, Wortley considered going electric for his next vehicle due to rising gas prices. He bought a Jeep Gladiator last year but noticed fuel was starting to cost more than the payments for the truck itself.

In February, Wortley made the switch and bought a fully-electric, pre-owned Tesla vehicle.

He's also started providing occasional updates on his social media, sharing details such as charging time, distance travelled and money saved compared to driving a gas-powered vehicle.

So far, Wortley's experience with his electric vehicle has been positive. The biggest benefit, he said, is being able to charge his vehicle overnight at home, eliminating the need for him to stop at gas stations. On the rare occasion, Wortley added, he may plug his EV in at the charging stations at Devonshire Mall.

In one of his social media updates, Wortley recalls a recent drive to Point Pelee which cost him virtually nothing in terms of fuel because the area has free EV charging stations.

From his home to Point Pelee, the distance is about 120 kilometres. Wortley estimates the same drive in his former pickup truck would have cost him about $35 just in gas.

Wortley said he mainly charges his EV at home and rarely plugs into a supercharger, which allows for faster charging at a premium rate. But despite the extra cost, Wortley said it still works out cheaper than filling up a gas-powered vehicle at current prices.

"To plug in and charge at home, it's $10 a week. If I go to a supercharger, which I did a couple days ago, it still only cost me $18 to charge it from 15 per cent.

While charging his electric vehicle at the mall, Wortley said he paid just a few dollars to increase the charge on his EV battery by about 30 per cent. It took him about two hours, but Wortley said the cost savings is worth it.

"I went shopping. I worked out at the gym," said Wortley on what he did while his EV was charging at the mall. "I don't have to worry about having to fill up now. It's pennies, whereas if I wanted to fill up to drive to Amherstburg, 20 bucks is down the drain."

But according to Peter Hatges, national automotive sector leader for KPMG Canada, the extra time it takes for electric vehicles to charge can be an issue for drivers who are very busy or often travel long distances.

"In our surveys and the polls that we've done across Canada, most Canadians expect to go and refuel a car in about five to seven minutes. That's how long it takes for you to go to the gas station. It can take 10 minutes if you're waiting in line for coffee, but that's about it," said Hatges.

In comparison, Hatges said it can take 45 minutes for an electric vehicle to increase the charge in an electric vehicle battery by 80 per cent, even when plugged into a supercharger.

"I think the range anxiety really impacts people that use the vehicles like we do in North America,” he said.

“People aren’t thinking about when and where to charge the battery. They're thinking about what they got to do next and if they have to travel a long distance," Hatges added. "That is going to be an impediment to the widespread adoption of electric cars, at least for now."

But for early adopters like Wortley, the extra wait isn't too much of an issue for him. On long drives, he said 45 minutes gives him enough to stop for a bathroom break, sit down for a meal and stretch his legs out

Searching for an EV charger isn't a problem for Wortley either. That's because his in-car GPS will show him where to find superchargers along his route, after he enters his destination on the centre console.

Take a look at the tweet below to see that feature in action:

What's it like to own an electric vehicle?

Eric Wortley purchased one just a few months ago and has been documenting his EV journey on social media.

Here’s how Wortley’s EV tackles range anxiety — which experts say remains a big concern for drivers hesitant to go electric. pic.twitter.com/CQ913cWe3Z

— Sanjay Maru (@sanJmaru) May 26, 2022

Wortley also addressed concerns he's received from others on his social media updates regarding the battery's total lifespan and the financial ramifications that could arise if it fails altogether. Wortley said his warranty fully covers any fixes needed to the battery and allows for a full replacement if its total capacity falls below 70 per cent.

But the warranty does not apply if the vehicle has been driven for eight years or has amassed 160,000 kilometres.