With the opening of the new Tesla Supercharger station in Gardendale recently, we wanted to spend some time with a local that actually owns a Tesla. Our first thought was our own “Faith” columnist and pastor at Gardendale First Baptist Church, Draper Rogers. Draper is always on the cutting edge of technology.
You drove a gas powered car your entire life. When did you decide seriously considering driving a EV?
I seriously considered driving an EV after riding and driving in one of my friend’s EVs. Technology intrigued me, and I always enjoyed cars, so an EV married my two interests together.
Was Tesla always your first choice?
Tesla was my first choice because of the charging infrastructure that they have built. The superchargers and the cars work together. Think of Apple. Most people like Apple products because they all work together seamlessly. That is how the Tesla vehicle, the Tesla Supercharger, and home chargers work together.
What concerns did you have as to charging it and using it to take trips?
Range anxiety is a real thing! Range anxiety is the fear that you will run out of charge before you get to the charger. This was the same thing that early adopters of the gas-powered car experienced when gas-powered cars first became a thing.
Charging is one of the things that Tesla has figured out so well. As I mentioned earlier, the chargers and the cars work well together. Most superchargers are located on heavily traveled routes. When you plan your trip, the car’s computer analyzes the way along with the car’s batteries and tells you where to charge and how long to charge.
Once you are at a charger and have plugged in, the computer starts a countdown timer for you as to how long you have left to charge. Most chargers are located at places where you will stop anyway. Most of the locations have nice clean bathrooms and restaurants within walking distance. The cost depends on how much power you are adding. I have had my EV since February and have only been to a supercharger six times for $39.58. The most I have paid at a Supercharger is $7.94.
The home charger is a must-have for an EV. I plug my car in every night to charge to 100%. I start each day with a full battery.
Is it easy to charge?
Yes. You pull up, plug in and either get back in the car or go somewhere nearby. At home, I plug in before bed and set the vehicle to turn the charger on at midnight.
Does it drive up your power bill?
No. Alabama Power offers a Rate Rider PEV (Plug-in Electric Vehicle) Rate that gives special rates to owners of EVs to charge between 9:00 p.m. – 5:00 a.m. Also, they offer a rebate for EV owners when they install a home charger.
Have you missed anything about having a gas powered car since changing to a Tesla?
No. An EV will make sense to most people because of the technology they use daily. The best way I can explain an EV is that it is a cell phone or iPad that you can drive places.