Not too long ago, I saw a terrible copypasta floating around about EVs. It looked at the prices of DC fast charging (which only takes about an hour at maximum for most vehicles), then multiplied that per-minute cost over 8 hours (because people charge while they sleep). They then took that 8-hour cost and divided it by 300 miles of range to arrive at a per mile cost. Ultimately, they concluded that EVs are more expensive to drive than a loaded F350 pulling a trailer.
Any EV owner will tell you pretty quickly what went wrong. Home charging rates are far cheaper than DCFC rates, so the actual cost of driving an EV is far, far lower than the truck pulling a trailer or even most economy cars.
But, most people looking at EVs don’t know what EV owners know. They also don’t know what manufacturers know, nor do they know whether their dealer’s salespeople know crap from apple butter (they typically do not). So, GM decided to take matters into its own hands and educate people about EVs at its new EV Live website.
“Addressing common misconceptions about EVs will accelerate widespread EV adoption. We saw a need for accessible, credible and engaging sources of information to empower consumers to adopt EVs and appreciate their many benefits,” said Hoss Hassani, GM vice president of EV Ecosystem. “With EV Live, we’re making it easier to learn about the EV experience. Whether you’re curious or skeptical, an experienced owner or brand new to EVs, the experts at EV Live are here to help.”
The company says that the website will also be useful for dealers, utilities, and public officials who want to learn more about EVs.
What The Website Is Like
I’m not going to lie. I was immediately intrigued. The hand of a beautiful woman was caressing electrons or Saturn’s rings or something, and she was somehow magically creating a vehicle. I know GM can’t do that, no matter how beautiful the woman or her magic, but as a lesbian, they definitely got my interest right away (even though I know this was probably meant to appeal to men, who make up the bulk of vehicle registrants).
But seriously, though, the website basically gives you two choices to continue your journey with GM’s magic woman’s hand. You can either scroll down or click a button to join a live tour. I decided to scroll first because I’m shy.
Scrolling down basically puts you into a slideshow with options to learn more, and the first topic is range. I was once again invited on a tour, but I chose to click “more on range.” It showed me the innards of a battery pack while telling me three different ways that I should be confident in having enough range, and then told me about Range Assist, an in-vehicle and app feature that tells you how far you have to go (EV drivers often call this the “guess-o-meter”). They also show that there’s a route planner in GM’s apps (something I didn’t know). They then go on to tell you about how to drive to maximize range.
I backed out back to the homepage, and the next topic was charging. They wanted to explain that there are many chargers out there, and that GM and its apps will help you with finding and using them.
They then get into important things, like the different levels of EV charging, with relevant details. So, EV buyers can learn that there are several options for home charging.
The next topic on the homepage was the Ultium battery system. They explain that it has a low center of gravity and near 50:50 weight distribution. They explain that it’s modular, and can give vehicles different configurations. They then explain that GM is building a lot of batteries soon to help lower environmental impacts.
The next section showed me a lot of happy faces, because owning an EV makes people happy (usually). The first thing they got into was potential savings, including calculators. Then, they get into performance benefits, including acceleration, smooth and quiet ride, and zero direct emissions. They also get into handling and HOV lane access. Finally, they want us to know that they back up EVs with access to people to ask questions and a warranty.
The Live Tour
With all of the site exhausted, I had nothing left but the Live Tour to check out.
Fortunately, they had options for how you can participate. You can watch the tour presenter, and they can either hear you or you can chat with them. I chose to chat because I have a household member who was taking a nap, but this would be good for people who can’t speak. In other words, disabilities are all covered.
I was very impressed with the experience overall. My presenter was able to walk around a nice GM studio with charging stations, a Hummer EV, a Bolt EV, a Bolt EUV, and a Brightdrop van. It also had a nice cutaway model of the Ultium platform. It was interactive, meaning you can lead the tour and ask questions, which the presenter was actually knowledgeable about. The GM presenters walk around with a device on a gimbal, giving you a real tour of real vehicles and equipment.
I tested to see what she knew about EV charge planning, and she not only pointed me to GM resources, but recommended other third party apps most EV drivers use, including Plugshare (one I use all the time). So, I’d give the presentation high marks as they give people what they need to know and not necessarily just regurgitate GM training videos to people.
When it comes to learning about EVs, I’d actually recommend this website and the one-on-one tours they provide for friends learning about EVs. I’m glad to see that they’re not just engaging in good salesmanship and showmanship, but educating the general population about EVs in an easy to access and easy to understand manner.
The only thing I wish the homepage did better was tone down the visuals just a bit and focus more on education. But, the quality of the tours they provide more than makes up for that shortcoming.
Featured image: Screenshot from GM’s new EV Live website showing one of the presenters with a device on a gimbal.
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