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.
What made you decide to go electric? When did you make the switch?
My first electric drive was in 2009, when Tesla brought their original Roadster through Minneapolis on a demonstration tour and I was able to try it. That experience made very clear that electric cars would eventually replace internal combustion engines, certainly for daily drivers and commuters. The feeling of immediate torque and control plus the smoothness of the power delivery was really eye-opening and made clear that electrified transportation is a key part of our path to a clean energy future.
Not only are electric cars more efficient and "cleaner" but they're also a lot more fun and practical. A decade after that first experience, I finally made the switch myself. It’s fun to look back on that first drive now and see how incredibly far EV development has come.
It's kinda fun driving the Taycan because the vast majority of people I run into have no idea it's electric, they just think it's an ordinary car.
- Griffin, Porsche Taycan driver
Do you see many other EVs around where you live?
Yes, there are a lot of Teslas in Minneapolis, as well as a variety of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs). I had the first Taycan in town for about two weeks, but deliveries have started to ramp up now and I've seen a couple others on the roads. It's kinda fun driving the Taycan because the vast majority of people I run into have no idea it's electric, they just think it's an ordinary car—which in a lot of ways is the point of how Porsche designed it.
What do you do for work (and fun)?
For work, I own Blue Horizon Energy, a clean energy development company. We build, finance, and operate clean energy projects across the Upper Midwest. Our specialty is developing solar and storage solutions for commercial and industrial properties, helping businesses and property owners save money and become more sustainable by increasing their energy efficiency. We also work on larger utility-backed projects in the region, where power goes directly onto the electricity grid.
Running and growing my company is truly a lot of fun, as the clean energy sector tends to offer something challenging and new around every corner. In my spare time away from the office, I enjoy reading — especially business books and biographies. Most recently I read Bob Iger's "The Ride of a Lifetime," which was a fun book to read and gave me a lot of ideas to think about in the context of my own business. It’s also been interesting to see how the lessons and philosophies Bob wrote about in the book, which was published in fall 2019, have informed Disney’s coronavirus response over the past few months
How has driving electric affected your work, if at all?
The transition has been seamless for my ordinary commute and personal driving. However, I still have to use a gas-powered truck to go to our more remote project sites since they're 300+ miles round trip. Hopefully we'll be able to transition our business into electric pickups and transport vans in the coming years. We're watching Rivian's R1T and Ford's E-F150 closely, though a fleet of Tesla Cybertrucks would be a pretty fun aesthetic—not to mention a bold branding move.
How did you decide which EV to buy?
Since the first time Porsche showed the Mission-E concept, I loved it. It's a beautiful car and I like that it's both completely practical day-to-day and has deep performance capabilities. Plus, it has an exceptional build quality and technical execution, which was important to me and has been a weak spot for some other EVs. Ultimately, Porsche built a really great car that just happens to be electric powered and I really appreciate the focus which that required.
Where do you usually charge? Do you have a favorite charging spot?
I almost always charge at home on my ChargePoint Home Flex. I usually only need to plug in once or twice a week, depending on how much driving I'm doing. I'll plug in when I get home at night and typically by the time I leave around 6 the next morning it's fully charged.
How much do you estimate you’re saving on gas and maintenance?
Current estimates show about a 50% cost reduction with charging versus gasoline. That should go up to 90% once I get an off-peak electric meter installed for the EV charger. It's too early to tell for savings on maintenance, but the first scheduled maintenance is at 25,000 miles so there's certainly going to be a lot fewer trips to the shop versus a gas-powered car that at a minimum needs oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.
Current estimates show about a 50% cost reduction with charging versus gasoline. That should go up to 90% once I get an off-peak electric meter installed for the EV charger.
- Griffin, Porsche Taycan driver
Where’s the best place you’ve taken an electric road trip, or where would you like to take one?
We're looking forward to taking a trip down to Chicago later this summer, which will be the first long-distance road trip. There are a few 800V fast chargers along the route that I'm looking forward to trying. It’s great to see how growing consumer demand has spurred a lot of development in the charging infrastructure here in the Midwest. We’re fortunate to have built a number of the charging stations as well!
What’s your favorite thing about driving electric?
I love how smooth driving electric is. When you're driving in "normal" mode, the car is silent and there's no resistance or hesitation in the acceleration so you just float along. It's very relaxing. Then, when you want to drive more aggressively, sport mode has a totally different character and the instant torque makes the driving experience incredibly fun.
I especially enjoy the "Porsche Electric Sport Sound" which uses the real-time sound of the drivetrain to make the car more aural in the absence of any exhaust noise. This is a really clever engineering solution to give the driver more feedback and make the experience more engaging.
Prior to making the transition, I had a lot of concern over range and recharging. That turns out to have been completely unnecessary.
- Griffin, Porsche Taycan driver
What’s one thing you think people should know about driving electric?
Prior to making the transition, I had a lot of concern over range and recharging. That turns out to have been completely unnecessary. Not being able to pull up to a gas station at any point to refuel in five minutes seems like a major change or inconvenience, but the day-to-day reality is that charging at home at night a few nights a week is actually much more convenient.
Thanks, Griffin! Any other Taycan owners out there? Tell us what you think on social media!