Living with an electric car in Wisconsin: The Range

Back in May, I drove my new 2016 e-golf out to Madison and it left me thinking that it’s not a great option for that drive.  With the 24.2-kWh battery pack, my car has an EPA estimated range of 83 miles (which should be plenty of range to get there).  In practice, the range is insufficient for the task, though.  On that drive, I charged at a series of level 2 stations to keep the battery topped up.  This ate up a lot of my day.

In July, I drove it out to Madison again and it worked out a lot better.  The big difference was that I stopped at the level 3 EVgo charger in Oconomowoc (roughly halfway between the two points).  This meant that three 30 minute stops to charge (one in Madison and two in Oconomowoc) were enough to get the job done.

I’m not going to pretend that this car is good for road trips but I can make it comfortably to Madison and Port Washington.  I can also drive it around the greater Milwaukee area without really thinking about the range.  It might be nice to have the 200+ mile range of a Kia Niro or a Hyundai Kona but if I need to drive somewhere distant (a rare occurrence), $50/day will get you a nice gas rental car.  That’s cheaper than upgrading or keeping a spare ICE car.

I randomly came across an interesting video on the topic on EV range, recently.  It might be worth a watch, if you want to are unsure about how big of a battery you need for your EV.


[ Cover photo by Luke Stackpoole on Unsplash ]

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