Do EV owners really love their cars?

J.A.
By J.A. Ackley
Sep 28, 2023 | BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, VW, Tesla, electric, Electric Cars, ev, electric car

Photography by J.A. Ackley unless otherwise credited

[Editor's Note: The pictured cars are privately owned, not the very ones we drove.]

Can EVs ignite passion? Yes.

At the Knoxville Drive Electric Festival, we met a healthy, enthusiastic group of EV owners.

Sure, they bragged about bypassing gas stations, receiving tax credits, saving the environment and using energy made here in the U.S. However, they also touted how much fun it is to drive an EV, emphasizing–over and over–the instant torque.

The festival lined up local dealers to provide 10-minute rides. We got to drive three: a Tesla Model 3, a Mercedes-Benz EQE sedan and a Ford Mustang Mach-E. (Oddly enough, as much as the owners of the EVs were excited about their cars, the salespeople seemed less so. In fact, they looked downright miserable at times.)

The Mercedes-Benz EQE sedan drove just like its SUV counterpart, with the body control of a malaise-era American car. On the bright side, we enjoyed the luxurious interior that you’d expect from a Mercedes.

[2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE 500 4MATIC SUV new car review]

We put the Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium in Unbridled mode and heard the fake engine roar. When we floored it to merge with highway traffic, the car immediately disappointed us with its lackluster acceleration that nearly got us clobbered. Perhaps the GT model was the one to test, but the Premium model certainly didn’t impress.

Surprisingly, the Tesla Model 3 stood out from the pack. We drove a 5-year-old base model that a Tesla owner graciously lent to the dealer for this event. The car’s uncluttered interior directed our attention to where it mattered most: the road. Despite its hefty weight, we had fun throwing it around, all with the encouragement of its owner. Although a baseline model, it felt plush yet sporty.

KUB, the local utilities company, shared its enthusiasm for EVs. Perhaps that’s because it directly benefits from an increase in electricity usage. Nevertheless, it displayed its growing fleet of electric vehicles, including a Ford Lightning, a Nissan Leaf and a Hyundai Kona.

We met an owner who loves his Hyundai Ioniq 5. He’s driven it from Tennessee to Wisconsin and back and said it makes for a great road trip vehicle. In fact, he welcomed the 28-minute stop to recharge the car and himself. The car’s rad-era looks drew a crowd, too.

Old-school Ford Broncos are hot right now, especially restomod ones. But does an EV swap make them more fun?

A Texas dealer had a tough time selling this BMW i4, but that doesn’t mean its owner loves it any less. He got it for more than $10,000 off the sticker price, and he said it’s as much fun as anything else he’s driven.


Inset photo courtesy Cadillac.

The Cadillac Lyriq possesses one of the cleanest digital dashes we’ve ever encountered. It doesn’t look like someone just slapped an iPad on the dashboard and called it good.

Owners of the Tesla X showed their love for their cars by leaving their Falcon Wings open. You certainly couldn’t miss them.

Rivians, Polestars and Lucids (pictured) visually stand out from the pack yet remain uncommon in Tennessee. According to Drive Electric Tennessee, organizer of the event, the state has only 26,000 EVs. The organization hopes to grow that number to 200,000 in five years.

Do EV owners share the same passion for their cars as those with ICE ones? Absolutely.

If you want to experience that love for EVs–or are just curious–there’s another Drive Electric Tennessee event on September 30 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Join Free Join our community to easily find more BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, VW, Tesla, electric, Electric Cars, ev and electric car news.
Comments
Karacticus
Karacticus GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/28/23 10:45 a.m.

We loved our i3, plated DI3TER.  

It was such a happy little driving around in town kind of of car. 

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
9/28/23 10:52 a.m.

My sister bought a Kia Soul EV and it's the first time in her life I have ever heard her be effusive about a vehicle. She loves the size, the H-point , and the acceleration. I have yet to drive any electric vehicle, but my wife wants one for her next car.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
9/28/23 11:01 a.m.

If the timing (and infrastructure) was better, I'd definitely be buying an EV for my next car–so the car after next.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
9/28/23 11:29 a.m.

My manager recently bought a Kia Ioniq 6 limited edition. And this past weekend took it on a 500+ mile roadtrip to see family. He loves it. The comfort, quiet, acceleration. He didn't the find the charging to be a PITA. He said they left their house with 100% battery, so to go there and back only stopped 3 times to charge, and all 3 stops combined were less than 45 minutes. 

He even sent me a picture last week when their power was out after a fire at substation, he used an adapter to plug in to the car to make his iced tea!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/28/23 11:37 a.m.
Karacticus said:

We loved our i3, plated DI3TER.  

It was such a happy little driving around in town kind of of car. 

ZIPPI3 lives in my neighborhood. Makes me happy (happi3?) every time I see it.

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
9/28/23 1:50 p.m.

I like the fact that people buy them because they are a good fit for them.................rather than the "it's magically saving the planet".

A friend bought one and it's a great fit for them.

When they make a lightweight one I'll be hard pressed to ignore it.

Nicole Suddard
Nicole Suddard GRM+ Memberand Marketing Coordinator
9/28/23 2:36 p.m.

I maintain that my Honda Clarity is the perfect car for me. I will drive that thing until there's no more drive left in it, and I'll love every minute of it.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/28/23 2:58 p.m.
Colin Wood said:

If the timing (and infrastructure) was better, I'd definitely be buying an EV for my next car–so the car after next.

Be creative, live a fun life and don't be a shiny happy person.

I thought long and hard about buying another ICE vehicle before I got my Toyobaru in 2021, a major point against getting an EV as a dual-duty street & track car was the fact that few tracks had chargers. And now a lot of race series and even tracks are banning EVs because they don't have the firefighting equipment to handle them. To me those are the biggest infrastructure issues in having an EV as anything more than a daily driver.

J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
9/28/23 4:47 p.m.

In reply to GameboyRMH :

Good points. Yes, infrastructure still has yet to catch up on several levels. This is the case with many emerging technologies. I'm curious to see where we will be even five years from now.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
9/28/23 6:08 p.m.
GameboyRMH said:
Colin Wood said:

If the timing (and infrastructure) was better, I'd definitely be buying an EV for my next car–so the car after next.

Be creative, live a fun life and don't be a shiny happy person.

I thought long and hard about buying another ICE vehicle before I got my Toyobaru in 2021, a major point against getting an EV as a dual-duty street & track car was the fact that few tracks had chargers. And now a lot of race series and even tracks are banning EVs because they don't have the firefighting equipment to handle them. To me those are the biggest infrastructure issues in having an EV as anything more than a daily driver.

My current goal, which I don't know if it's going to be feasible is to pay off the BRZ ASAP, then buy a new Mustang GT while they still are just V8s, heavy, but V8. Would it be excessive? Absolutely. 

You'll need to log in to post.

Our Preferred Partners
e3hCwLHCvBh2N5j9QGEA1cUFXZEwH7pwRi3RGIK7S7Y4ckzNFZPK37X7z2mVDsJ7