Editor's note: There's a lot of news about electric vehicles these days, and we're featuring it on the CoServ Blog every week. If you are a CoServ Member or Customer with questions about EVs, please contact us at EV@coserv.com.
By NICHOLAS SAKELARIS | CoServ
When CoServ partnered with Texas Motor Speedway earlier this year, they asked what type of vehicle we’d like to use for promotional events. It would feature our logo and would be displayed every Race Day.
The choice was simple: A 2020 Chevrolet Bolt that runs on 100 percent CoServ electricity. It's the first promotional vehicle that TMS has had that runs on electricity.
We’ve named the vehicle “Ellie” – short for “electricity” and a nickname for Eleanor (as in Roosevelt). Earlier this week, members of the Communications Team visited the TMS racetrack to meet “her.”
The Bolt symbolizes the future of transportation, but a connection to CoServ’s past was also present at the track: Rosie, our 1937 Chevrolet truck that we restored in 2017 to celebrate our 80th anniversary. The vintage forest-green truck is named after President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who helped establish the Rural Electrification Administration, which led to the creation of hundreds of rural electric cooperatives across America.
The two vehicles couldn’t be more different. Rosie has been souped up with a fuel-injected Corvette engine from the 1990s, so it announces its presence with a loud rumble. On the other hand, Ellie is almost totally silent thanks to its 100 percent electric engine.
Rosie is powered by gasoline. When Ellie needs more juice, TMS plugs it in at the nearby ChargePoint charger at the CoServ-powered Tanger Outlet Mall at Interstate 35W and Highway 114.
Next time you’re at a TMS race, look for Ellie in the Fan Zone near Gate 4.
Can you do a road trip with an EV?
The Bolt is a fun car that’s quick off the line, especially in sport mode. Like most EVs, the Bolt recycles electricity using regenerative braking, even more so if you shift into L mode.
But what’s it like driving an all-electric car on a real road trip?
WFAA reporter David Schechter did a Verify report on what it’s like taking a Bolt on a 20-hour road trip from Dallas to Austin to Houston and then back to Dallas.
Throughout the journey they’re on the hunt for charging stations, which can be a challenge at times in Texas. There’s only one fast charger between Austin and the Houston suburbs. When they arrived, it wasn’t working properly.
Unless you’ve got a Tesla, which has a proprietary charging network plus the ability to use other chargers, careful planning is needed to make sure you don’t get stranded.
Along the way, David talks with Tom “Smitty” Smith, Executive Director of the Texas Electric Transportation Alliance, who is pushing for a better statewide network of charging stations to eliminate range anxiety on road trips.
Tom is pushing for 95 charging mega centers spaced out every 50 miles along interstates and highways. He’s concerned that Texas will be left behind other states if we don’t act soon.
Stay tuned for more news on this front.