When Will Soccer Moms Go Electric?

The EV revolution will have to wait until soccer season is over.

August 10, 2021
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When Will Soc­cer Moms Go Electric?

Dan Albert

It was the sec­ond game of the day, the fourth of the tour­na­ment week­end. We would put in 220 miles of dri­ving by the time Sun­day evening rolled around. Gas was easy to come by on the way to the games. Charg­ing sta­tions, not so much. Cer­tain­ly most EVs could have han­dled the sched­ule, but in between there would be grand­par­ents to vis­it, shop­ping to do, and that crit­i­cal detour to Kane’s for donuts. Every­where in a soc­cer dad’s life is on the way to some­where else.

The girls were mov­ing the ball well and the sun felt warm for the first time in for­ev­er. We soc­cer chauf­feurs stood along the fence line chat­ting about the usu­al things: col­lege admis­sions, Zoom school strug­gles, and whether a 10 o’clock cur­few was rea­son­able for a sopho­more. Out of the blue, Lil­ly’s dad leaned over to ask me about EV charg­ing. They were think­ing of buy­ing one and a friend had said they could charge for free. What did I think?

I sense a water­shed moment. I’ve known these fam­i­lies since our kids were in preschool. Now the girls were, sniff, all grown up. Their par­ents don’t think about cars. They just buy some­thing with four-wheel dri­ve for ski sea­son, room for kids and gear, and reli­able. Mid-sized, mid-mar­ket crossovers dom­i­nate the park­ing lot. Some­times a Tes­la Mod­el S shows up at a game, bear­ing a strik­ing resem­blance to a year’s col­lege tuition. But that’s only when the fam­i­ly’s crossover has to attend some oth­er fam­i­ly obligation.

Charg­ing can indeed be free, I tell Lil­ly’s dad. Some places offer it as an ameni­ty or to project an eco-friend­ly image. Most­ly though you pay. How much? It’s com­pli­cat­ed. They may charge (no pun intend­ed) by the amount of elec­tric­i­ty you draw or by the length of time you spend on the charg­er. Charge­Point lets prop­er­ty own­ers set the price while Blink and EVgo set their own. They all offer loy­al­ty club dis­counts. Some­times it will cost more than fill­ing up with gas. I con­tin­ued drop­ping knowl­edge in this vein until I saw his eyes glaz­ing over. I asked what EV they had in mind.

We like the RAV4 Prime,” he said.

An excel­lent choice!” The PHEV RAV4 does 42 miles on a charge before the gas-elec­tric hybrid sys­tem kicks in. After about 500 miles, you’ll refu­el with gaso­line. Plus it’s a Toy­ota. Then it dawned on me that he was con­fus­ing a PHEV, which Toy­ota points out you nev­er have to charge if you don’t want to, and a BEV that requires recharg­ing the bat­ter­ies. Don’t wor­ry about it,” I said, You’re nev­er ever going to use a pub­lic charger.”

If the main­stream automak­ers hope to real­ize their elec­tric dreams, they will need to spark a lot more side­line con­ver­sa­tions like ours about the RAV4 Prime. But for now, spring is in the air, school’s about to go ful­ly in per­son, and the game is com­ing down to the wire. The EV rev­o­lu­tion can wait.