6 Things to Love About Driving EV in Texas

by Margaret Richards + Kim Hudson on November 15, 2017 in General, Lifestyle, Living Texas, Austin, Travels,
Chevy Bolt EV Austin Event 21 e1510734608152

As thoughts turn to heading over the river and through the wood for the holiday, many Texans will be hitting the road. For most, that means the inevitable trip to the gas station. But, what if you didn’t have to make those pricy fill-ups?

What if you could avoid the gas pump and also do your part for sustainability and the environment with an all-electric (EV) vehicle?

TLM Designer Kim Hudson during July’s Chevy Bolt Austin Sustainable Road Trip.
Courtesy photo

Here’s what we found when we got to explore the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

#1 Go Further
Given the distances we’re often taking on our road trips home—whether it be from Austin to Abilene, or Dallas to Del Rio—the Chevy Bolt has a reassuring, EPA-estimated, 238 miles of range. (Your actual range may vary based on several factors including temperature, terrain and driving technique.)

The US Department of Energy lists 54 DCFC stations in Texas and 1753 Level 2 chargers, which accounts for public chargers only and does not reflect the many home installed Level 2 chargers in the region, explains Fred Ligouri of the Chevrolet Bolt EV Communications team. (Ligouri hosted a hands-on sustainable road trip in Austin this summer, where we got a first-hand look at the Bolt while visiting the NLand Surf Park.)

We got a first-hand look at the Chevy Bolt EV while visiting NLand Surf Park near Austin
Photo courtesy ACVB

“More important than the current number of chargers is the growth rate of the Fast Charge network—nearly 500% in the past 18 months, thanks to the advent of an affordable, long-range electric car,” says Ligouri. “That network will continue to grow quickly because of the open and universal standard.”

The top map (above) shows DCFC only (chargers that return up to 90 miles of range in 30mins) in Texas. The lower map shows both DCFC and Level 2 stations (those that return a full recharge overnight) in southern Texas. Maps from plugshare.com, a third party aggregator of the various charging network locations.

#2 Go Faster
On a route that took in multiple features (hills, curves, city streets, highways, etc.) during our summer day trip, we found the Bolt went very quickly from a complete stop to high speeds, while hardly making a noise.

In fact, it drove extremely smoothly and most of the time didn’t even sound like it was running. Officially, the Bolt does 0-60 in less than 6.5 seconds. Bolt by name, Bolt by nature.

Recharge your Chevy Bolt EV rather than filling up the gas tank.
Courtesy photo

#3 Drive Smarter
Ready to experience the future of driving—where we’re plugging our vehicles in, watching the battery display rather than the gas gauge, and driving with one pedal? While you do have the option of driving with two pedals if you prefer in the Bolt, One-Pedal driving is a way to bring the car to a stop by taking your foot of the “gas,” or, rather, accelerator. The car automatically brakes for you. Technically, you’re transferring energy to the battery, using your brakes less, and could be increasing your range.

The Chevy Bolt EV is surprisingly roomy.
Courtesy photo

#4 Carry More
We found the Bolt to be very roomy—it would be great for family road trips. Don’t be fooled—from the outside it looks kind of small, but once you’re inside you have a ton of room.

In-car technology includes 4G LTE Wi-Fi, OnStar navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android auto phone integration.
Courtesy photo

#5 Do More
The technology in the Bolt isn’t limited to technical features like One-Pedal. Inside, we found a ton of bells and whistles to make the most of the road trip, including 4G LTE Wi-Fi, OnStar navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android auto phone integration.

The Bolt’s Wi-Fi means you can Skype or video chat, stay on top of work if needed, and stream movies, etc. from the road without using any data. You can connect seven devices at once—perfect if you’re traveling with family or friends.

Apple CarPlay takes the iPhone features you’d want to access while driving and puts them on the vehicle’s display—so you can make calls, send/ receive messages and listen to your favorite playlists right from the touchscreen, or by voice via Siri. Android Auto is built around Google Maps giving you the ability to talk to Google and use several different apps straight from your car’s display screen.

#6 Save Better
Driving an electric vehicle means less overall maintenance. So go ahead and take those oil changes off your to-do list. (There’s also less wear and tear on the brakes with that nifty One-Pedal feature.) If you’re wondering how much money you might save by switching from your gas vehicle, there’s a handy savings calculator for the Bolt here. It’s based on your current mileage, daily miles and days driven per week. Oh, and apart from the savings in your wallet, there’s also what you’ll be doing to help save the planet.

With thanks to Jack Allen’s Kitchen and NLand Surf Park for hosting us during the Chevrolet Austin Sustainable Road Trip.