Last weekend my wife, son and I set off for Longwood Gardens in our Chevrolet Volt. We have owned the car for 2 years; one of the early models; #1271. The car has been maintenance-free other than an oil change at the 22 month mark. We left New York City with a full charge, with the understanding that we would run out of electrical charge one-third of the way into the trip. But that charge would allow us to arrive at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square Pennsylvania with the generator burning no more than two gallons of gas. The one way journey is approximately 125 miles, door to door.
As expected, the charge ran out while heading south on the New Jersey Turnpike. We did make it as far as exit 9. We would be exiting at 6 which is the exit for the Pennsylvania Turnpike. One and one half hours later we were on US 1 searching for the entrance to Longwood Gardens.
When we arrived, the parking lot was jammed with cars. Longwood Gardens is a popular destination for Americans and visitors from aboard due to its lush gardens, 3 1/2 acres of greenhouses and the many activities including a concert series. The natural beauty of the surroundings and the landscaped gardens are professionally maintained by people who can only be referred to as artists.
As is the case with any male of the species, I hate poor parking spaces and I never valet park my car. So around and around we went looking for the dream spot that would never come. We were obviously doomed to parking in a spot more than 100 meters from the door. And then, out of the corner of my eye, the heavens opened and welcomed me in. Right in front of the entrance, right next to the handicapped parking spaces, two, level 2 charges with parking spots. The beautiful words, “for electric vehicles and charging only” inscribed on the sign above.
Not only would I have what could only be referred to as the “Mayor’s Spot” but I would be able to replenish my charge in under four hours. It’s the reason I purchased this electric vehicle in the first place. I was at last reaping the benefits of owning the latest in EV technology. If these charging stations were more readily available, I could drive to and from many more destinations without using any fuel. Yes the generator in the car burns fuel once the battery charge is depleted, but as the GM tech tells me each time I bring the car in for inspection, “even when the generator is running, the car emits almost no carbon dioxide.” It’s a clean running vehicle and only one of the increasing numbers of EVs more people should own if they wish to take ownership in saving our planet and the US economy from the CO2 emissions and fluctuating prices of fossil fuels. As I’ve stated many times, the Chevrolet Volt is not just a great EV, it’s a great automobile.