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A bold decision: Why we decided to sell our car and switch to an electric vehicle

It was a bold decision, but we sold our gas-powered car and bought an electric vehicle. It’s not a decision we came to lightly, and even now, I’m a little surprised by our decision.

Let me back up.

We knew we wanted a car with more cargo capacity. We also knew we wanted to be more environmentally conscious. Of course, being a fan of new technology, I had thought about electric vehicles but I never thought I would own one. After all, don’t they have limited range and cost a lot of money?

We were driving a Honda Civic and we loved it. When we bought it in 2015, it served our purposes perfectly. We were living in downtown Toronto, renting a small apartment, and had no need to cart around much cargo. I walked to work, and Stephen took the TTC to school. We used the car mostly for groceries and weekend road trips with almost exclusively highway driving.

Fast forward to today. We’re living in South Keys, a quiet suburban area of Ottawa, about 25 minutes from downtown. The only stores within walking distance are a convenience store and a pizza place. We’re also the sometimes-proud owners of our first house requiring quite a bit of TLC. We’re constantly picking up parts, tools, and supplies from stores all over Ottawa. We’re driving all around the city, picking up furniture and supplies we’ve found on Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace. Stephen is driving 20 minutes to work every day, and picking me up from work another 20 minutes away most days. To put it simply, our driving habits could not be more different today than they were in Toronto. To put it even more simply, we do a lot more city driving and a lot less highway driving. We found we were filling up the tank far more often than we used to, and we were constantly asking to borrow trucks off people because the items we needed to transport didn’t fit in our Civic.

We loved our Honda Civic, but she just didn’t meet our needs anymore.

So, we began the process of looking for a new car by examining our priorities:

  1. We needed more cargo space.
  2. We wanted to be more environmentally conscious by choosing, at the very least, a hybrid.
  3. We needed better fuel efficiencies in the city.
  4. We needed the ability to visit friends and family in the GTA, about 400km away.

We knew balancing these priorities wouldn’t be easy, but I have to admit, I was surprised at the lack of progress in the automotive industry. I thought surely we would have a handful of crossovers or SUVs with decent gas mileage to choose from by now.

We started with traditional hybrids, looking at the reigning king of the hybrid, the Toyota Prius, as well as a newer, and arguably more fun looking, Kia Niro. We also looked at the Toyota RAV4.

Then we looked at plug-in hybrids (PHEV), starting with the new Honda Clarity PHEV. We added the only full-sized all-wheel-drive SUV, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. And we capped it off with the classic Chevrolet Volt, which isn’t technically a PHEV but is similar in how it works (it has a gas range-extender instead, but more on that later).

Then, finally, we looked at battery-powered electric vehicles (EVs or BEVs). We looked at two crossovers, the Chevrolet Bolt and the Kia Soul, and one hatchback, the Volkswagen e-Golf.

In the end, we chose the all-electric Kia Soul EV, and so far, three-days in, we’re pretty happy with our choice.

I’ll explain how and why we made our choice in future posts. Next up: traditional hybrids and why they didn’t work for us.

Published inReviews

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