Because of today’s soaring gasoline prices and the growing concern about the environment, the electric car is garnering more and more attention. This month we wanted to find out what electric car owners really think about their vehicles – so who better to ask than the owner of the first Electric Focus sold in Canada?
Sylvain Juteau caught on to the ecological trend very early on. He has his own electric vehicle blog, and owned a plug-in hybrid before buying his Electric Focus two years ago. Sylvain recycles rainwater, composts and plans to install solar panels on his roof next year. Every green gesture is important to him so that he can leave a better world to his kids.
Sylvain is also very optimistic. Two months after buying his electric car, he drove 8,500 km with it. He estimated the cost of this mileage at $95 in electricity (based on the most expensive cost of Hydro-Quebec), against $890 in gas for a traditional car. “It covers my car payment. With all I’m saving, like 30 per cent on my car insurance, they will pay me soon to drive my Electric Focus,” explained this proud resident of Trois-Rivières, where there are more than 10 charging stations.
Not afraid to accumulate mileage on his car, he frequently travels on long-distance trips. “I can easily go to Quebec or Montreal with one charge – plug my car there and come back to Trois-Rivières,” he says. However, he didn’t stop there. After going to Gatineau, he decided to go on a trip to Old Orchard with his Electric Focus, which worked out to 1,300 km in three days!
With his trusted Focus, there seems to be no limits to Sylvain’s trips. During a visit to Maine, he drove to Mount Washington, making the Electric Focus the first industrial electric car to make it to the top of the mountain. What was the cost of his ascension? Thirty-two cents! “Try to put 32 cents of gas in your car and see where you’re going to go,” he laughs, while showing us his survival kit: a bag full of adaptors to connect his portable charging station to many different plugs.
While Sylvain is enthusiastic, he is also realistic. “It’s obvious for the moment you have to plan your longer trip, but the more charging stations there are, the easier it will be.”
Has Sylvain’s story inspired you, or would you like to know more? Take a look at our fuel-efficient line-up!