A Look Back: the EV Difference

Each of the spots on this map represents a charging session on our trip.

UPDATE, 4/25/2022: CARTO, the company which hosted this map, insisted on us paying $299 per month to keep it online; as such, we have replaced it with a video and hope to shift to a less punitive provider to restore the live, clickable map in the future.

The color of the spot indicates how green each local/regional electrical utility provider is; the size of the spot indicates how much CO2 was saved during each charge session.

Hampton here!

It’s been over two and a half months since the epic North American road trip ended, and just under two months since a frighteningly swift and mysterious virus began to become a serious threat affecting the entire span of states (and province) Gary and I had just finished traversing without a care in the world. I must take a moment to thank Divine Timing for allowing us both to arrive back home well before entire economies began to shut down.

After realizing I could not return to massage therapy, I drove with Tegan up to Vancouver to ride out these strange and low-hearted times with my two travelin’ buddies. Shortly after arriving, I decided to make the most out of the free time and dive into a large project that had crossed my mind several times while Gary and I were on the road.

Gary’s dreamt of having an EV since he was young, so when our talks of the road trip got serious, he made the push for his dream to come true. I had my doubts about making it all the way across the country and back without the hefty infrastructure built around gasoline, yet I decided to trust in the process on this one. And you all know the rest, perhaps save a few white-knuckled stints through the Mid-West wondering if our battery would hold out til the next charger (which always worked out)!

My “secret project,” as I’ve been teasingly calling it to everyone, has been 6+ weeks of crunching the numbers on our entire adventure. Every charge station, every dollar spent, approximating miles driven — all to see what the benefits were of doing it all in an EV. As a result, I had the privilege of reflecting deeply on everything that happened, and often corralled Gary to help me piece together gaps I can’t believe I’d already forgotten. This project was meant to keep me busy, but it also kept me blessed by surprise.

At the top is a nifty interactive map of every place we charged during our six month trip, and below are a few charts that lay out the “EV difference.”

The brass tax of all the number-crunching and research is this: 4.4 Tons. That’s the amount of CO2 that we saved by driving electric — 81% less than a comparable gas vehicle. Astounding! And, as renewables take over the grid from fossil fuels, our EV will have a lower carbon footprint the longer we drive it.

On top of the climate benefits, charging cost $119 less than gas (that’s 7%!). Plus, EVs don’t need oil changes or much other maintenance. In over 20,000 miles of driving, all we needed was one (free) tire rotation and two new tires (after we drove over a nail). *brushes off shoulders*

For any of you who have been eyeing EVs and wondering if it’s worth the switch, may these tabulations be of some service toward your decision.

A HUGE Thank You to Gary for his impressively sharp memory, expert tech skills, and endless encouragement along the way. This ended up being yet another exciting endeavor done together.

If you have any questions about my methodology, or want to ask questions about our EV, feel free to reach out! You can also see the data behind the graphics on this Google Sheet.

Wishing all of you our most heartfelt wishes of wellness, safety, and ease during this time.

Days on Road: 179

Miles Traveled: 20,645

Total Time Spent Charging (including overnight charging): 34 days 7 hours

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