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http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1091528_note-to-a-few-electric-car-advocates-get-off-your-high-horses

Read this article (included below) and tell us your thoughts. It slams frequent contributor Brian Ro for "snarky" blog post criticizing the planning and execution of a long distance trip taken by a newish Bolt owner.

My initial reaction was that the blog post was indeed strongly worded, but it hit the mark and needed to be said. You've got to think about how you're going to make a long trip and drive accordingly taking into account both your EV's capabilities and limitations. To do otherwise is neither smart or rational. Maybe Dan's blog and others like it will help educate new and prospective EV owners so they don't get into difficult situations.

I have to agree that you "get more bees with honey than vinegar," but foolish behavior needs to be highlighted so folks can learn from other's mistakes. I think Dan's strongly worded message was a good step in that direction.

Agree or disagree???

Here's the article in its entirety (sans pics)-



Note to (a few) electric-car advocates: get off your high horses

Jul 25, 2017

Any movement produces passionate advocates and angry detractors, even as the vast mass of people pay it little or no attention.

When that movement involves most people's second most-expensive purchase, and plays a role in reducing manmade carbon emissions to alleviate the worst effects of climate change, things can get heated.

And so it is among electric-car owners, advocates, and fans.

But what looks and feels like a movement to many is simply an alternative choice of consumer product to most car buyers.

Slowly, unevenly, the public is starting to notice that plug-in electric cars are available, that they can be bought in regular car dealerships with well-known brands on the front, and that some of their friends, neighbors, and coworkers are starting to drive them.

So part of the movement for experienced owners involves educating these novice shoppers, explaining the realities of electric-car ownership—it's not that complicated—and answering a ton of questions, some of them thuddingly basic.

Sometimes, people buy electric cars after relatively little research.

(Occasionally they do so on the basis of blatant misinformation from salespeople at dealerships, but that's a different story.)

Which brings us to an article we published in March relating the challenges faced by Dawn Hall, the new owner of a 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, who she made an 800-mile road trip within California to take her daughter to visit colleges.

It proved, as she noted, that "challenges remain" for Bolt EV owners, including those who pre-plan their charging stops using apps like PlugShare, as she did.

That article generated an astounding 1,100 comments, which ran the gamut from supportive to condemnatory.

t also spawned a blog post from Bolt EV owner Brian Ro, who's contributed to this site about his own Bolt EV road trip and his attempts to compete in autocross events with his new electric car.

Ro's post was not understanding, not sympathetic, and not kind. The opening paragraph conveys its tenor.

What a disaster! The owner of that Bolt did about everything wrong you could possibly do wrong when long distance traveling in an all-electric car. I was actually amazed that she did NOT end up on the back of a flatbed. I felt the article should have been re-titled "Clueless Bolt owner drives 800 miles and somehow doesn't end up stranded in the middle of nowhere". It was a complete debacle. Poor route choice, poor energy conservation (Wow, I'm speeding at 80 mph and the range meter keeps going down way faster than I thought....guess I'll keep driving 80!), poor understanding of charging network pricing options.

That sparked a response in turn from respected electric-car advocate Chelsea Sexton, suggesting that Ro's attitude was more common than it should be among some otherwise enthusiastic electric-car owners and fans.

"Sadly," she noted, "it was merely one of many similarly snarky, sarcastic, and/or condescending comments occurring daily across EV communities."

Instead, Sexton wrote:

What’s needed most is open-minded advice and coaching, and perhaps even a little humility about the fact that some of this is daunting at the outset, every one was once a new to it, and EV and (especially) charging information is not always as consumer-friendly as it could be.

Sexton ends by noting, gently, the old saying that you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.

We couldn't agree more. We concur with Sexton that the tone was inappropriate.

Frankly, we were startled and appalled by Ro's attitudes toward an adventurous and sincere new electric-car owner who discovered that the charging infrastructure for a Chevy Bolt EV is nowhere near that for a Tesla Model S or Model X.

Early adopters and advocates of social change have a responsibility to act graciously and with compassion toward those who aren't yet convinced or are hesitant about taking that first step.

Sneering at them for being clueless doesn't help.

_______________________________________
 

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Green attitude - Green car :)

I read both Dawn and Brian's posts last week as I was just about to pull the trigger on a new Bolt. Dawn's post scared me a bit on what long distance driving with a Bolt would feel like, while Brian's post was helpful in understanding some basic facts and the importance of pre-planning. Personally, I didn't mind the tone but I did feel that Brian was a bit more condescending to the other post than necessarily needed. He was also making his point (and an important one) forcefully. I would use a softer tone myself, but he does not need to be publicly rebuked either. Brian's posts are detailed and important to help the community grow and in one of the posts he also admits to making a similar mistake with planning on a long distance trip.

Importantly, I also agree that toning down and being empathetic tends to bring more people to the table - whether the topic is green cars or whatever. Maybe we can consider that to be a "green attitude" befitting a green car?? >:)
 

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Tone is important. I think it's great Brian took the time to respond to her article and point out things that she should do differently in the future. BUT, condescension and belittling are never good. At a minimum they make the target feel ashamed and/or angry. Constructive criticism is very helpful, but when emotions come into play that can obscure the otherwise valuable message at its heart.

I'm also impressed he did apologize, that's an even rarer event on the internet these days. On the one hand we can't treat our fellow forum/site denizens like they're made of fragile crystal, and on the other we shouldn't lose sight there's another human being on the other end reading our words, and those words will affect them, sometimes very powerfully.
 

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Face it - the whole notion of long-distance driving in a Bolt is silly anyway - that's just not what the car is for.
Would you go on a road trip in a gasoline-powered car that had a 175-mile range? Probably not - you would use a vehicle more suited to the task...
 

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Face it - the whole notion of long-distance driving in a Bolt is silly anyway - that's just not what the car is for.
Would you go on a road trip in a gasoline-powered car that had a 175-mile range? Probably not - you would use a vehicle more suited to the task...
I wouldn't have any problem at all taking a 175 mile range gas vehicle on a road trip. A 5-10 minute stop every two hours to fill up, empty my bladder and grab some snacks works for me. We used to take family vacations as a kid in my parent's International Travelall pulling a trailer all the way across the country. Probably got 6 mpg (at 25 cents/ gal who cared?) and had less than a 200 mile range. Filling up was the very least of our concerns on those trips, gas stations are plentiful and take little time.

On the other hand, a 60-90 minute charge, assuming there actually are any fast chargers on the route, every two hours is pretty much impractical.

The Bolt would be a perfectly fine long distance vehicle if it could be charged at 100kW and there were 100kW chargers along all the main travel routes. Sort of like what Tesla has had for years.

But that might be why there are 400,000+ reservations for a Model 3 and Chevy has only sold 10k or so Bolts. I have a Bolt, I have a Model 3 reservation. I just got back from an 800+ mile trip in the Bolt, I can't wait for the Model 3 so our Bolt will just go back to being a Spark EV replacement that would be just as good a vehicle if it only had a much cheaper 30kW battery good for commuting and not much else.
 

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EldRick said:
Would you go on a road trip in a gasoline-powered car that had a 175-mile range? Probably not - you would use a vehicle more suited to the task...
I do it on my motorcycle all the time. You just have to put 10 minutes of thinking into the trip before you go. You have to understand what your up against, which the nice lady did not seem to comprehend.
 

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If properly planned and with ample time, a long distance trip in the Bolt can be fun. Plan for those charging stops to be at diners where you take a break and relax. Can never have too many pancake breaks when you're on a trip IMO. But if getting from point A to point B as fast as possible is what you're after then yea, the Bolt isn't really the vehicle to do it. May as well go hybrid at that point, but those long drives are no fun.
 

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I look at it this way. I did not buy the Bolt to be a long trip car. I bought it to be my main daily driver, to save me money in the long run, to not worry about an ICE car and the plethora of problems and maintenance items it has.

If I really need to make a long trip in car, which is something I don't do often, I will just rent a car for the trip if I don't have the time, desire or available supply points to deal with recharging the Bolt.
 

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EV road trips have an analog in ICE-land, sort of. Many of us who have gone on road trips towing a boat (or any other toy on a trailer for that matter) have had to do more careful planning than with ordinary road trips. Unless you're driving a diesel, you pretty much have to stop every 2 to 3 hours for gas, and you actually have to plan your stops around what gas stations can accommodate a large tow vehicle with a large trailer behind it. Personally, if I don't know the route, I jump on google street view and plan my stops accordingly. I might even call ahead to make sure they're still in business. I learned that the hard way after getting stuck in the center of the desert one time (literally "Desert Center", CA), only to find that the only gas station around had gone out of business. We barely made it to the next gas station, where the price was outrageous!
 
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