Archive for May, 2021

| posted by Joe Hice |

Driving the new electric VW ID.4

We’ve been driving the Tesla Model Y for about two months now and I’ve grown quite fond of the car. Fast, nimble, able to haul more mulch than a weekend can handle and highway range of 300 miles at 75 mph. Plus an incredible network of Supercharger Stations everywhere we’ve been. When I was given the chance to test drive another electric car I couldn’t resist.

The VW ID.4

The VW ID.4 is all new and should compete with the Tesla. It is a mid-sized SUV just like our car and has a big price advantage; around $40,000 before the $7,500 federal rebate available to new buyers. Range estimates are 260 miles, but EPA mileage estimates rarely live up to the claims.

The VW is nicely appointed and is much more similar to a “regular” car than the Tesla. It lacks the wiz bang technology and I found the cockpit busy and hard to understand. Yes, you would get used to all the stems and stalks in the VW but after driving the Tesla it all seems so unnecessary.

It’s not fair to compare the drive between the VW and the Tesla because the VW we drove had a single electric motor vs our two. Acceleration was good, but certainly a far cry from the Tesla. Because of it’s more typical chassis and frame design it did feel more car-like and honestly, over bumpy roads, the ride was very good. The Tesla drives like an old Porsche, taught with good road feel, but hard as a rock. The 20-inch wheels and low profile tires certainly exacerbate the bumps.

We bought an electric car because we wanted a change and the Tesla has certainly delivered. We charge overnight in our garage and stop at Superchargers when we’re on the road. But for those who aren’t ready for such a change, the VW ID.4 may be a good choice. It looks and drives like a regular car … yeah, it’s kind of bland. I’d hold out for the dual motor option which should be available early next year, though it will be about $14,000 more expensive. The acceleration and range should be more in line with the Tesla Model Y.

The VW uses the Electrify America charging network and you can find charging stations everywhere. Most do not charge as fast as the Supercharger Stations Tesla has placed along every major highway and for me, that’s a big negative. It’s one thing to make two stops for 20 minutes each on the way to Atlanta in the Model Y vs two stops for 45 minutes each in the VW.

The Model Y can charge at a rate of up to 250kW when connected to the Supercharger, while the Volkswagen is limited to half that, at 125kW. VW says the battery can fill from five to 80 percent in about 38 minutes. However, charging at any of the Electrify America stations is free for the first three years if you buy a new VW ID.4. If all of your driving is around town, and if you have an Electrify America station nearby, that’s hard to beat. Can you say Drive Free!

So, If you are thinking electric, you need to check out the new VW. It’s certainly going to have an impact on the market and worth a look.

One of Many

Passion Rules!


| posted by Joe Hice |

The Big Haul … or how many bags of mulch can you fit into a Tesla Model Y

The yard has been looking a little ratty around the edges lately and the wife decided we needed to put new mulch down. Now the yard is pretty big, almost 180 feet across in the back and close to the same on the side. Then there is the garden and plantings in the front. Pretty big job.

Now that we are down to just one car, a Tesla Model Y, I was curious to find out just how much our little SUV would carry. The kid at Lowe’s who helped me load the car pretty much summed it up, “This thing carries a lot more than some of the other SUV’s we see in here. I’m impressed.”

25 Bags of mulch with room to spare

Yep, 25 bags in the back and a new wheelbarrow in the front seat. And we didn’t even use the front or rear storage areas. Honestly, the car is still so new I forgot all about them until I got home. Could have easily fit another five bags in there. Two trips and there were 50 bags in the garage waiting to beautify the yard.

Not sure how much mulch weighs, but the car was still fast as hell with a full load. Granted, we’re only about two miles away from the store and really, how fast can you go when the speed limit is 40 🙂

25 Bags of mulch

So the new Tesla continues to impress. I’ve been a gas and oil guy my whole life and battery power takes some getting used to, but in a good way. Fill up at home when you’re around town, fast with instant acceleration, and glued to the road like a sports car. The future of automobiles?

More to come.

Passion Rules!


| posted by Joe Hice | Tags:

1,200 Miles in the Tesla

We finished our first long-distance ride in the new car last week and I’ve got to admit, it was more enjoyable than I expected. I’m not the type who likes to stop when I’m driving, even if it means 10 hours straight on the highway. You can’t do that in the new car with a maximum range of about 300 miles.

My dad always said you should stop every two or three hours to stretch and walk around the car a little. You’ll arrive more rested and alert, he said. Well, he was right. We stopped three times on the way from Tampa to Woodstock, GA. The longest stop was about 20 minutes, but the breaks were nice. The Tesla Superchargers were easy to find (Macon is a little out of the way) and we never had to wait. On the way up, we followed a family driving a Tesla Model X all the way and we learned something from them; pack your own meals and bring a chair.

Dog is my co-pilot

Since we were traveling with two little dogs that would have been good advice before we left, but alas, we had to stay with Grits and Redford at each stop which meant we couldn’t go into any restaurants or points of interest. There is a DOG setting on the car that keeps the AC running when you’re away from the car so we may try that on the next trip.

Electricity on the way up cost about $20 and we covered 500 miles. Same with the trip back. Initially I watched my speed and stayed around 70 mph most of the way. After our first stop old habits eventually won out and I pushed the car about 10% above the posted speed limit. No range problems whatsoever and the ride was great. I used the “push to pass” power a couple of times to overtake slower drivers and was blown away by the instant acceleration.

We drove around quite a bit in Atlanta and found the destination charger at the Botanical Garden unoccupied so we added 100 miles to our range…for free. We’re planning a drive to Virginia in December and will be sure to stop at places with charger stations to speed things along and save some money.

Atlanta Botanical Gardens

The dogs probably enjoyed the trip more than we did because they were able to explore three stops each way.

Now that we’re back we will charge the car at the house and I plan a trip to Lowes for mulch soon. Fifty bags or so, plus a new lawn cart. We’ll see how the car does hauling that load.

Destination Woodstock

So for now life is getting back to normal, but stay tuned.

All for now.

Passion Rules!