Have you ever tried swapping?

You know how it is, a love affair, the two of you monogamously driving through life together for years. Once or twice a year you yearn for a slightly different ride, a longer ride.

Try swapping.

*Editor's note: This post originally appeared on Peder's BMW ActiveE blog.  We encourage you to check it out by clicking here.

Julie and I are six year veterans of the swapping electric car world, beginning in 2007 with a Gem-E4. We’ve traveled 85,000 miles powered by sunshine, and for the last two years have been a two electric car family with no gas cars. Julie drives 18,000 miles a year and I drive 10,000 miles a year.

One common question posed to us is: Don’t you ever need a gas car?

The answer surprisingly enough is very seldom, about once or twice a year. Our home is the “gas station” that provides the energy for 97% of our trips. About 10 times a year we will use public charging either on an overnight trip to a hotel, or a day when we need to drive 100-200 miles. Public charging is getting easier every day, we are now seeing many fast dc chargers which make it even faster and more convenient to publicly charge, assuming your EV is equipped for it.

In two years with two EVs and no gas cars, we’ve needed a gas vehicle exactly four times. Twice was to haul 3,000 lbs of grapes, we rented a truck from U-haul, you’d probably rent a truck for the grapes regardless if you drove gas or electric.

The other times were trips to Napa and Paso Robles. We swapped cars with my daughter. This gave her a chance to drive an electric car for a week. She loved it and now wants an electric car for her next car. I’ve often felt the best way to try an electric car is for several days to see if it works for your driving needs. Swapping is a good way for a person to experience an EV as an extended test drive.

We have yet to rent a car in our two years with two EV’s.

With family and friends close by, swapping makes the most sense for us when we need a longer range car once or twice a year.

Finally, the carmakers are going to tremendous lengths to ease your fear of range anxiety. Depending on your lifestyle and driving habits, swapping may be one of the best ways to ease the malady. The occasional swapping of cars with friends or relatives is very easy to do and trust me they love the chance to try out the EV for a week.

Yes, we love EV’s, but the once or twice a year, if you yearn for a different ride, a longer ride, try swapping with a naughty gas car.


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