EV Life | March 6, 2019

EV Driver Spotlight: Daniel's Volt Adventures in Canada


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Meet Chevy Volt Driver Daniel

This post is part of a series of EV Driver Spotlights that shine a light on why people choose to drive electric. Drivers, want to be profiled? Tell us your EV story.

Daniel drives a Chevrolet Volt, mostly on electricity, and works on set design for Carnival Cruises. How does he balance getting great electric mileage with lighting the high seas? Check out his story.

What EV(s) do you have?

I currently own a 2018 Chevrolet Volt Premier.

Where do you live?

I live in a rural town in Scotland, Ontario, Canada, but sometimes spend the weekend in Toronto with my parents, about 125 kilometers (77 miles) away.

What do you do for work (and fun)?

I’m a theatrical rigger and lighting technician. I’ve worked alongside bands such as The Reklaws, James Barker Band, Green Day, Maroon 5, Dixie Chicks and many more. I’m hoping to be able to travel around Southern Ontario or into New York for work soon. I will take my Volt if the opportunity rises. For fun I enjoy playing hockey and baseball.

How long have you been driving electric? What made you decide to drive electric?  

I’ve been driving electric for nearly a year and a half. I decided to drive electric when I realized my daily commute was costing more than the paycheck that I was receiving. I traded in my 2013 Subaru Crosstrek for my Volt.

How did you decide which EV to buy?

My first hope was to get a Tesla Model 3 as I love the looks and performance of Tesla vehicles. When I learned more about the rumored price of the Model 3 in Canada, I found myself at the crossroads of cost vs need. I then looked into the Chevrolet Bolt EV, which had the range that I needed plus fantastic features, but I couldn’t quite foot the Premier bill.

Having looked at the Volt in prior years, I went looking at Volts again. I got to my dealership and they had the perfect car for me: all the features that I wanted were already there, the drive was perfect and the price was what I wanted. Sold!

I decided to drive electric when I realized my daily commute cost more than the paycheck that I was receiving. 

– Daniel, Chevrolet Volt driver

Do you charge at home? What charger do you use?

I currently use a Level 2 charger at home. I chose my charger based on portability as I know I’ll be moving in the next few years. I also made the choice based on connectivity features and cost.

Do you charge at work? Did that influence your decision to get an EV?

I do my best to charge at work when the opportunity is there. I never noticed EV charging spots around where I work prior to my purchase, but now that I know about them, charging is definitely a perk that I will use all the time.

What’s your favorite thing about driving electric?

I love the country driving: going down back roads with the windows down and just listening to the sounds of nature. The smooth and quiet running of the car is really nice as I drive home every day.

Does the weather in Canada affect your driving?

I actually don’t miss having AWD (except sometimes on corners), as I find that the Volt's handling in the snow is superb. I’ve noticed only a small impact on my range in cold temps. I’m currently averaging around 75 km (46 miles) of electric range in the winter, but I have reached around 95-100 km (59-62 miles) twice in winter driving on the highway. I’m hoping that when I get off my ship, my electric range increases to around 130-140 km (80-86 miles) so that I can have my longest all-electric drive!

Daniel's Chevy Volt Shows Canadian Pride

How much do you estimate you’re saving on gas?

I estimate that I'm saving around $500/month right now.

What are some of the challenges about driving electric, or what’s surprised you?

One (positive) challenge that I find is a desire to drive solely on electric. When the car is charging I always have to leave when it’s close to or fully charged. Otherwise I feel like I'm not using my car efficiently enough to save the planet and my wallet.

What’s your favorite place to charge?

My favorite place to charge is at malls when I'm with my girlfriend. We’re able to spend enough time in the mall that my car can get a full charge. We usually go to a mall once or twice a week. We now try to push the car to the furthest mall with a public charging station!

I want to give a shout out to Cambridge Centre for offering free charging. It’s a great mall and the free charging is awesome. Yorkdale Mall in Toronto has a lot of charging options as well, and it’s a much larger mall, so my girlfriend and I can easily spend the time I need to get a full charge.

Where would you most want a charging spot?

I would love to see cities pair EV chargers with street parking. I think in Toronto it would work well because of the amount of street parking near our shopping areas and stores.

Where’s the best place you’ve taken an electric road trip, or where would you like to take one?

I would love to take a road trip across Canada and down to California. It would probably be more comfortable if I could either own or rent a Tesla Model X to do that in. (Someday…)

EVs are just as fun to drive as a sports car, and they’re just as good as any other car that you can buy. The really amazing part is all of the technology that is put into these cars.

– Daniel, Chevrolet Volt driver

What do you wish you’d known before you chose to drive electric?

I wish that I’d known how to get the most out of charging the car and using the preconditioning settings, so I could charge my car and get it to be warm or cool enough when I get in. Still learning!

What’s one thing you think people should know about driving electric?

EVs are just as fun to drive as a sports car, and they’re just as good as any other car that you can buy. The really amazing part is all of the technology that is put into these cars.

Thanks for sharing your story, Daniel!

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