In Their Shoes: Electric vehicle early-adopter tells what it’s really like owning an EV

KILN, Miss. (WLOX) - This week, which happens to be National Drive Electric Week, we cruise into the future to learn more about the reality of owning an EV.

In today’s “In Their Shoes,” we ride along with Mark Henderson, an early-adopter of electric vehicles who’s had his EV for four years. He says he has lots of reasons for his chosen ride.

“I’m an electric engineer by training, so it’s kind of already my thing. And then, you know, it’s the environment, sustainability... It touches a lot of things that have always been important to us,” Henderson said. “And let’s be honest... They’re a lot of fun to drive.”

One thing Henderson says he loves about his car is its driving computer. You can tell the car to navigate to any place, enable the controls, and let it do the driving. Henderson said it can pass people, move over for people who are stopped on the side of the road and stop for pedestrians.

“The computer does not get distracted,” Henderson said.

Another thing Henderson loves about driving his EV is that it’s saved him time and money in the long-run.

“So real numbers... Straight up real numbers: We drive a lot. We drive about 30,000 miles a year in our vehicle, so a good bit of driving. On the first year, it saved me $5,000. And that is just taking the data from my two gas drivers,” Henderson said. “The electricity cost is just so much less. And there’s no maintenance cost. There’s no oil changes, there’s no air filters. There’s no time out of your day to go to an oil change or an air filter. It starts every day charged.”

Henderson said some people have the misconception that EVs can take a long time to charge. He equates charging his EV to charging a phone; you just plug it in at night before you go to sleep, and it’s fully charged by the morning. He said charging is easy, and he loves that there’s no fumes or spills like when you pump gas.

When asked his least favorite thing about driving an EV, Henderson said it’s that he gets speeding tickets even when he’s not speeding.

“The number one annoyance is the speeding tickets. It’s not even really speeding,” Henderson said. “I’ve been pulled over multiple times, and someone was like, ‘Well, you weren’t speeding, but you looked like you were going fast.’ I was like I’ll settle it down a little bit.”

For each EV owner, the actual savings-per-mile depends on the rate you get with your electricity provider. Mark says he charges his car under the Coast Electric “off-peak” time-of-use plan. This brings his cost-per-mile down to around one cent.

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Jaimee Dorris

Jaimee Dorris

Jaimee Dorris has more than 15 years experience writing, shooting, hosting, producing, and marketing media. She began her career as a news reporter at WLOX where she covered Hurricane Katrina's landfall and South Mississippi's recovery.