There is so much right about the 2023 Genesis GV60 Performance. Driving it over the course of a week should have been a continual joy.
But the electric vehicle infrastructure (or lack thereof) continues to be a huge pain point. It’s only minimally better in Michigan since the last time I drove a Nissan Leaf in 2019.
It’s unlikely Kevin Bacon and Will Ferrell have spent much time in the flyover states. I actually had some choice words for the two celebrities, who are recent hawkers of EVs, while I was driving around Howell, Michigan desperately seeking a charger. (Fun fact: not all Meijer grocery stores have electric vehicle chargers.)
Never mind Howell (which is midway between Detroit and Lansing, the state’s capital), can you believe that the Breslin Center, home of Michigan State University basketball, doesn’t offer a single charger in its massive parking lot? I ended up at a fast charger at a nearby Meijer after the game for 30 minutes, when I really would have preferred to be driving home.
Even more troubling, there is only one public charger in all of the Grosse Pointe community, one of Detroit’s most affluent suburbs, and it’s hidden in a hospital parking lot, behind a gate out of access to anyone not paying to park in that garage.
Talking to my non-EV driving friends this week reminded me of how much the public doesn’t know about non-motorized vehicles.
They aren’t aware that different EVs have different ranges and that some are only battery-operated, while others offer a dual system. They also are under the impression that all public chargers are fast chargers (Level 3) and that all vehicles can charge to full in 15 minutes.
In reality, finding Level 3 chargers is still a struggle. Most are the slower Level 2 chargers, which are intended for someone willing to leave the vehicle for several hours.
Even on a ChargePoint Level 3 charger, it took 37 minutes to go from 25% to 80%, adding 172 miles of range at a cost of about $15. The emergency Level 2 charger I was forced to use in Howell, also ChargePoint, took 30 minutes to add 78 miles at a cost of $14.18.
A separate charge at an EVgo station in Detroit, where I went from 28% to 81%, took 36 minutes and cost me $28. That charger was named “Betty.” There’s a delightful backstory on why EVgo chargers have cute names, but when all is said and done, I just want a fast charge for the least amount of money.
It’s pretty sad that I’m 400 words into the story and haven’t even begun to talk about the vehicle. So let’s shift gears.
With an MSRP of $69,560, the Genesis is a gorgeous and powerful beast of a vehicle. The styling cues are thoughtful, the Crystal Sphere gear selector is a tiny piece of art and made me smile every time I drove.
Speaking of smiling, the torque this baby offers is beyond the comprehension of a non-EV driver. And that’s even without the delightful “boost” button, which increases the horsepower to a giggle-inducing 483 hp. I won't talk about how fast it's able to go and how quickly. But no speeding tickets were incurred!
The heated and massaging driver seat was luxurious. The option to recline the seat to near flat was nice, but I was too nervous to use it during charging for fear I'd fall asleep and wake up to an angry driver knocking on my window to move the car off the charger.
I have become a big fan of flat-folding door handles. (They pop out when a driver with a key fob approaches the vehicle.) I love that a driver can enter their biometrics (facial recognition and fingerprint info) and therefore lock and unlock without keys and start the engine.
All of this is great, but if I’m limited in how far I can drive and have to start my trip an hour early to allow time for charging, it kind of takes away from the enjoyment.
We had a huge power outage last week in the Detroit area. I’m wondering how all the only-EV households did with no charging in their home for 3+ days? These are things we have to consider when deciding what vehicle to purchase.
I currently have a $100 deposit on an upcoming EV from a U.S. Big Three automaker. But I’m reconsidering. A plug-in hybrid (a car powered by both a battery and a conventional gasoline engine which kicks in when the battery is depleted) seems like a much better option for the foreseeable future.
Hi Tanya: Tesla driver here (in NC). I think the problem you are describing is uniquely "non-Tesla". Within the Tesla network, there are many (and ever more) charging stations which are all super fast. We have driven 7 hour trips (NC - DC for instance, or road trips to the Apalachians)) and never had "range anxiety" or fear of not finding a charger.
One helpful tool I found outside of the Tesla app/nav-system on board, is an app called ABRP. Despite it's distinctly unsexy name, this app lists all, and I mean all chargers anywhere. It is the Waze of chargers and you can plan trips using it and know exactly where you can charge at what speed.
I would take the plunge. If you are like 99% of all car owners, you will use your car for "typical" daily use (between 30 and 40 miles/day) and will not experience range anxiety. A simple overnight charge at home should do the trick. And ABRP will ensure that on longer roadtrips you will know when and where to charge.
Hope this helps.