Test Driving with Dan

The objective: Drive from Hyannis to Provincetown and back, without a drop of gas. What would I do with all that extra money? Buy myself a lobster roll, of course. And that’s exactly what I did. Sounds easy right? Well it was—almost.

Text and Photography By Dan Cutrona

But an all-electric car? Really? I have been “accused” by more than a few state troopers of being a sporty driver, so I’m skeptical when reading the statistics: 115 horsepower, 0-60 in 10 seconds. But the e-Golf’s fun little party trick is torque, 199 ft./lbs. of it, delivered via a constant single-speed electric motor, making acceleration between 10 to 40 mph silently thrilling! It’s a perfect power range to dice up Route 6 traffic. Without the audible feedback of a gas engine, I regularly find myself 20 mph over the speed limit, blaming not myself, but the smooth silence. The fact that it gets an EPA equivalent of 116 miles per gallon is just the cherry on top.
But I pay dearly for this brisk driving. I was already cutting it very close. When I pick up the car at Tracy Volkswagen in Hyannis, it had already been driven 11 miles on that charge, with an indicated 87 miles left to go. Provincetown is 43 miles away. Factor in a photo pit-stop in Chatham, where the car was ogled by a bus-load of tourists from Kansas, I arrive in Provincetown with 27 miles left in my “tank”—certainly not enough to make it back to Hyannis. Maybe that lobster roll will silence the panic.
It didn’t. My “free” lobster roll was consumed while checking the Chargepoint app, which maps all the EV charging stations. Apparently I did not have the right adapter to take advantage of the high-voltage plugs in Eastham. But I still have an ace up my sleeve. I caught wind of a privately installed high-speed charging station in Orleans, that was available to the public. It’s eight miles away, and I have 11 miles left. This is going to be close.
I arrive with three miles to spare, and a sense of relief washes over me. I plug in, walk to a conveniently open restaurant, and regale my fellow bar mates with tales of my travels. After one hour of charging, I gain 72 miles of range. I can now freely unleash the e-Golf all the way back to Hyannis.
Even while suffering a severe case of “range anxiety,” this car has still quietly seduced me into loving it. The handling is superb, and I am in awe of the surreal power delivery: immediate, never shifting, and silent. For the right person, this would make a perfect daily commuter. At around $3 a charge, and zero emissions, it is both economical and ecological. Just make sure you plan your road trips better than I did, and you’ll have plenty of extra change for all the lobster rolls you can eat.

Comments are closed.