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Commissioner Pct 1 Hot Topics

Posted on: April 13, 2023

The EV Diaries

Dash showing instruments in Commissioner Cook's Ioneq 5 car.

 I made sure this salesperson was saved in my contacts. The next call came two weeks later, and the car had arrived early on Feb. 23, but I didn’t have time until that Saturday afternoon, Feb. 25, to close the deal.

That car was a technology shock for me. The salesperson was so patient as he led me through the options. Think about it: a leap from 2000 to 2023 technology. But I’ll add, just because they could add a feature doesn’t mean they should.

And let me be clear, your smart phone is a big part of this transition. My phone now has a car app specific to Hyundai, the car charger app; the phone becomes an electronic key if the fob is not available; and the car communicates with my phone as it shares data and reads messages and lets me know when charging is complete. I have set my charging to stop at 80% full charge for battery longevity on my phone app. I plug in the car about every other night after I’ve let the batteries cool from driving and unplug it in the morning. I learned early on that the car will not go into gear if the charger is still connected (no drive-in movie speaker episodes – smart programing).

Now for the driving experience. It’s exhilarating to say the least. The car can go from zero to above the speed limit in seconds, it's hard to hold a steady speed without the aid of cruise control and it was day four of driving before I figured out how to set and release that feature. It is so quiet and responsive the driver must be alert at all times. I even have to wear a pair of “driving” glasses to read the many screens, buttons and options (I am of that age) on the dash.

I have had two things occur for which I don’t have an explanation:

1) I was driving with cruise control set at 65 mph in the middle lane of south MoPac one Sunday morning. Three cars in succession came flying by in the left lane exceeding 70 mph, and I felt my car speed up. I looked at the screen’s cruise control designation, and it was now set for 70 mph. I thought, “You are not a dog, no need to chase those cars.” It was probably in the code to not hold up traffic but to go with the flow. I had to reset the cruise speed. 

2) It knows (or thinks it does) the local speed limit and warns you should you choose to exceed it by a considerable amount. There is a school zone between my house and Old Settlers Boulevard. The school zone sign has the times during which drivers are to observe the school zone. Well, one morning the car decided the speed limit was 21 mph and was beeping up a storm as I tried to go 30, the actual speed limit. I had to nearly press the accelerator to the floor to get to 30 and got worried about turning onto Old Settlers where the speed limit is 50 mph. Fortunately, after a short while on Old Settlers, the car did pick up on the real speed limit and let me go. It hasn’t happened a second time; maybe the car was just having a moment.

I love not being concerned with the price of gasoline. I pay a steady rate for electricity so “when” I charge isn’t limited, and I don’t fret about the number of miles left to drive as I did in the first week.

But on day 35, while waiting at a stoplight on Old Settlers just west of the Mays Street intersection, I was smacked by a Ford Mustang as the young driver attempted to pull right to get into the right-turn-only lane for Mays Street. It rearranged my right rear panels, and the software is alerting me that there are problems with the cross-traffic safety monitoring and a few other things. One sensor is now realigned in an unplanned direction and the software system seem to be beside itself. Oh, technology. 

Good news: the van is still running!

https://www.statesman.com/story/news/local/round-rock/2023/04/13/williamson-commissioner-terry-cook-the-electronic-vehicle-diaries/70108009007/

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