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My Journey to Driving Electric

Interview With Jeni Craswell, a New Electric Vehicle Owner

Jeni Craswell and her husband Ron live in Bothell, Wash., and she just purchased a new 2021 Audi eTron electric vehicle. Let’s follow Jeni’s journey to electrification.

What was the process leading up to your decision to go electric and what was the tipping point?

It was both fun and hard – hard because I’m impatient and most of my friends told me to go with a Tesla, but I knew it wasn’t quite what I wanted. I had driven a Prius before and knew that I wanted to move to a full electric model, and really wanted to find the car that fit me the best. I also knew that the longer I waited, the more EVs would be available and the prices would start to go down. I was looking for a very comfortable SUV and something that felt a bit unique, and gave me plenty of range with the comfort features and smooth drive that I was looking for. Finally, after a year of research, I knew exactly what I wanted and once the newest model became available I went in to order my car.

How long did you research EVs before you chose the Audi eTron and what made you decide on that model?

I spent a full year researching and then waited a bit longer. I’d look for “best new EV SUV” articles every couple of months. I wanted to make sure that the car I chose wasn’t the first model built and that Audi had worked out the kinks. I chose the eTron because Audi has such a great reputation for cars that are really enjoyable to drive, but honestly I had my eye on a car that was a really comfortable SUV and I wanted one that came in a unique color. Once I made the decision, I just had to order my car and wait. I could have gotten one off the lot if I wasn’t so particular about the exact color and build, but the process of having a car built just for me was fun!

What did you have to do to prepare to have home charging?

We had just moved into our home in August of 2020 so we ended up doing quite a lot. That said, we decided to do many of the upgrades for some future work we knew we wanted to do in the house. The charging station was the easiest part of the job! We had a bathroom in the garage that wasn’t to code because the sink was right below the electric panel, so we had to rip that out first, then upgrade the panel and add the charging station. I learned a lot in the process, including that electricians who are putting in new panels, at least in our area, are now required to put in a port for charging electric vehicles.

Do you have range anxiety and what do you do to reduce that anxiety?

I honestly was pretty sure that I would and I was a bit nervous the first trip I took, but I quickly realized that there are so many charging stations, it wasn’t a big deal. I now just make sure I have a book with me. Occasionally stopping for 15-20 minutes really isn’t a big deal and often the stations are near stores or restaurants so I just stop for a snack, or go for a walk.

What has been most surprising thing about driving your new EV?

How fun it is to drive, how comfortable it is and how smooth acceleration is. It’s also quiet. I can now better hear conversations happening in the back seat of the car. I knew I’d like the car, but I didn’t expect to get such a joy every time I jumped in it to drive somewhere! (Also – there is a small bit of pride every time I pass a gas station and don’t need to look at gas prices!)

What would you tell someone who is thinking about going electric?

Do it! Think through what you really want in a car, take time to research and then go. There are so many options and every day more charging stations are set up, making longer trips even easier. Also – much like computers, as soon as you get your car something new will come out – that won’t change, so you might as well start now and as the industry expands and new options come out you can make different choices down the road. The added bonus is that every time you get into your car, you know you are doing your part for the environment and that is a win-win!

–Top image courtesy of Jeni Craswell showing her in the new 2021 Audi eTron.

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