When Macy Claprood was making the commute to Miami for her summer job, she glanced at the instrument panel in her Nissan Leaf and realized she had to fill up — on electricity.
Claprood, 21, of Fort Lauderdale, had to stop halfway at a mall parking lot to top off the batteries in her electric car.
She didn't have a choice "because I wasn't going to make it," she said.
Every driver who decides to go electric faces the same anxieties about charging. It's the more complicated part of owning an electric car, especially since outside the home garage, charging stations can be few and far between.
The good news is that powering up is only going to get easier and more convenient. Plus, there's the payoff: the money saved by not having to buy gasoline.
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Claprood paid $10 each time she used a station to recharge her Nissan Leaf in Miami — and she appreciates the savings. On the Fort Lauderdale-to-Miami commute she was making last summer to her job teaching lifeguard lessons, she estimates she would have spent about $20 round-trip on gas in a conventional car.
That's one reason she loves her Leaf, which tops out at an electric range of about 107 miles.
"The gas just costs so much money," she said. "It definitely pays off."
Most electric-car drivers are like her, using public charging stations only when they occasionally need them. They love the quiet power that their cars provide.
"I don't know that I could ever go back to gas," Claprood said. "I like the car."
With the current shortfall of charging stations, though, electric-car drivers admit to a hassle factor.
More stations are coming, potentially making things easier for Claprood. Tesla is tripling its fleet of fast-chargers by the end of 2018, Volkswagen is spending heavily on new stations, and the U.S. government is backing new infrastructure plans, among many other investments. But it's not clear if they will be enough.
Hoping to go electric? Here's what to expect: