Emily Norton, Guest Blogger Apr 29, 2015 12:20:31 PM
North Quincy Auto Academy has a Chevy Bolt EUV!
We are excited to announce that North Quincy Auto Academy (NQAA) is the proud new owner of an all-electric Chevy Bolt EUV, thanks to our work with QARI Drives Green! Now students at NQAA will start their driving lives off the right way with an electric vehicle! This blog features a Q&A with NQAA owner, Jason Cai, about their decision to go electric.
How did this come about?
This development has been a long time coming. Green Energy Consumers and our partner Quincy Asian Resources Inc. (QARI) have been working with Jason Cai of NQAA for almost a year to get them this vehicle from Quirk Chevrolet. You might have read about our work with QARI before, since we launched our joint project back in July 2022 and have since held many joint events and translated our Drive Green website, all thanks to funding from MassCEC’s ACT4All program. From the get-go, it was one of our goals to work with this local driving school to start to electrify its fleet, since so many members of QARI’s community go through NQAA to learn to drive.
Green Energy Consumers worked with NQAA to identify which car would be best suited for their needs based on price, state and federal incentives, and the ability to install a passenger-side brake. Based on these factors, it quickly became apparent that the Chevy Bolt EUV was the way to go. Plus, it didn’t hurt that the QARI Drives Green program was able to grant NQAA $5,000 towards the price of the Bolt EUV from the ACT4All Grant. If you’re wondering why it took NQAA almost a year to purchase a Chevy Bolt EUV, it’s complicated. To learn a little more about long Bolt lead times, check out this blog we wrote.
Learn more from North Quincy Auto Academy
Why did NQAA decide to go electric? What’s so special about the Chevy Bolt EUV? We have the answers to those questions and more below from Jason Cai himself.
What made you interested in getting an EV for NQAA?
Answer: There are a few reasons why we decided to get an EV for our driving school. First being the incline of prices for vehicles but with EVs there are many incentives to receive from the government (every little bit helps with payments for the vehicle.) With the rising costs of gas, we figured it would be cheaper in the long run to use EV. EVs also have better mileage on local roads and our driving is usually 90% local routes. Finally, it would be nice to help the environment with one less car on the road not using gas.
|For context, NQAA was able to take advantage of the $7,500 Commercial Clean Vehicle Tax Credit, the $3,500 Massachusetts MOR-EV rebate, AND the $5,000 grant money mentioned above. That’s a whopping $16,000 in incentives!
What made you choose the Chevy Bolt EUV?
Answer: The Chevy Bolt's size is very similar to the current vehicles we use on the road ( Jeep Renegade). The Chevy Bolt is ranked 2nd best right behind the Tesla Model 3 and it is the most affordable EV on the market.
|For reference, while the Bolt may be tricky to get (see the above-linked blog), the base MSRP starts at $26,500.
What are some of your first impressions after driving it for the first time?
Answer: The Chevy Bolt EUV is very quick just like most electric cars. It gets a good amount of miles (259 miles) and has a very smooth ride. For a smaller car, it is also very spacious, and I like the wireless Apple car play because it does make it convenient.
Are your students excited about the Bolt? What have they said about it?
Answer: My students were told about the new vehicle. We have talked about a few EV features. I do hope they are very excited to get into a vehicle and drive with the regenerative braking. My instructors are quite interested in new vehicles as well.
|NQAA only received the Bolt EUV in late August and hasn’t had a chance for students to get behind the wheel. It took some time for the Bolt to be fitted for the passenger side brake required for driving school cars.
Will you be changing any of your curriculum to address the differences between gas and electric cars?
Answer: I have personally owned an EV for the last year or so and I will be mentioning the good and bad of the vehicle. We will go over the regenerative braking and the battery life with cold temperatures. We are also talking about how owning an EV vehicle will require more planning because of charging the vehicle.
|If you’re asking yourself, “What’s regenerative braking?” here’s a really great detailed explainer. And if you want to know how cold temperatures impact driving range, check out our website and the recording from our yearly Winter Driving webinar.
Will you show the students how to charge the Bolt EUV? If yes, what will you mention?
Answer: Right now, we do not have a charging station at the school, we will not be teaching them how to charge the vehicle, but we will show them where to plug the EV in to charge.
|Green Energy Consumers did work with NQAA’s landlord to try to install a new charging station on the premises, but unfortunately was not able to make this happen due to uncertainty with state and utility funding. NQAA uses the ChargePoint station in the nearby Target parking lot.
Will you have the regenerative braking mode on when students are driving the car? Why or why not?
Answer: We may have it for students who are ready for the road test to show them the regenerative braking, but I do not want them to get confused during the road test and potentially hit another vehicle.
Will you slowly replace the rest of your fleet with electric cars?
Answer: There will be many things to consider before changing the entire fleet to EVs. One being the price points of the vehicles and two is if we will have a charging station at the driving school location. It would cause more of a headache to figure out how to charge the vehicles if our entire fleet is all electric.
|Always consider incentives when purchasing/leasing an electric vehicle and when installing charging stations. There are federal and state incentives (in Massachusetts, at least) for both. If you’re a business interested in incentives, click here. If you’re an individual, click here.
We are very excited about the edition of the Chevy Bolt EUV to NQAA’s fleet, and we hope you are too. If the future of transportation is electric, we must start teaching young drivers about EVs from the start.
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