Emo woman happy to drive area’s first fully-electric vehicle

Nicholas Donaldson

Yoyen Szeder’s reason for buying a KIA Soul EV, the first fully-electric car in this area according to her insurance agent, was fairly straightforward.
“So I can save gas,” she said.
Szeder bought the vehicle at the beginning of August from a dealership in Thunder Bay and has been very happy with it ever since.
“I like it because it’s quiet inside, my kids love it, and I don’t need to change oil or anything,” she told the Times last week.
“Sometimes with the van, I would forget to put oil in or this or that,” Szeder noted.
“This is just less maintenance.”
Szeder said the car has a range of 160 km, which is fine for her because she mostly uses it to get from her home in Emo to work at Young Star House in Chapple.
“I haven’t tried it in the winter yet so that is going to be interesting because they said when it’s cold, [the range] can drop down like 40 percent,” she conceded.
Szeder charges her car with a 120-volt cord, which she could do at home but prefers to do at work.
“My employer supports the electric vehicles, too, so I can charge anytime I want at work and it is free,” she remarked.
Szeder said she can go into work, plug in, and get free power without having to worry about it.
It’s almost like getting free gas.
“I think it’s a good thing when the employer supports it because my employer announced it to all the workers and now quite a few people are interested,” she added.
Szeder said with the driving she does, she only needs to charge the vehicle once every couple of days. But sometimes she will do it more frequently just because of the convenience of doing it while she’s at work.
Inside the car, instead of a conventional gas gauge, the car gives the number of remaining kilometres, which Szeder said she has to watch carefully but hasn’t had any problems yet.
“I don’t know about winter,” she admitted. “That’s why we didn’t get rid of the van yet so that we have it if there is ever trouble.
“I told my friend, ‘If you get an electric, get the higher range because then you just charge once a week,'” she recalled.
Szeder noted she did look at other models before choosing the KIA Soul, with the Chevrolet Volt being one of the main options.
She said although it did have a larger range, it wasn’t as spacious inside and wouldn’t fit her three children comfortably.
“I also looked at the hybrid one from KIA but for me, I am mostly driving over 50 [km/h] so it doesn’t benefit me,” Szeder said, explaining that once the hybrid reaches 50 km/h, it switches over to gas.
“I think the hybrid is good for the city because you are usually driving slower, but I go speeding on the highway to work,” she laughed.
Although the car was purchased from a dealership in Thunder Bay, Szeder said she can take it to Dave Goodman Automotive (the KIA dealership in Emo) for maintenance.
Szeder said she believes fully-electric cars will become popular in the future despite some hesitations.
“I think people are still kind of scared but for me, I just wanted to save money,” she reasoned.
“A new vehicle is not a luxury, I needed one,” she stressed. “So I looked at how much it cost and the government grant and thought, ‘I should take advantage of it.'”
Szeder added she’s been telling her friends that if they need a new vehicle to try electric as the vehicle has worked well for her.
“I’m starting to have two jobs now and going to Fort, then to Emo and to Young Star costs too much money for gas,” she noted.
“Now I don’t feel it and money I would use for gas goes into other payments,” she said.