Just so you don't feel clickbaited, let me set the record straight right now -- the "baby" referred to in the headline is me. I'm "baby." As in the phrase "baby's first (experience here)."

What is an EV?

Also for the record, I'm not insulting your intelligence by posing that question of "what is an EV?" above, but for what it's worth, I was telling a friend that I was driving an EV, and their response was three words and one acronym.

Huh? WTF is that?

Electric Vehicle. "EV" is cool kid slang for electric vehicle. And now that that's taken care of, let's get right into it.

Photo by Jannis Lucas on Unsplash / Townsquare Media
Photo by Jannis Lucas on Unsplash / Townsquare Media

Long story short, my truck needs work done that doesn't involve hanging at the dealership for an hour or two (more on that soon, kinda), but instead it's an overnight job, so I needed a rental.

Lee Toyota of Topsham

Thankfully, from what has to hands down be the best dealership in Maine, maybe even in New England (also more on that soon), I got hooked up with a rental from Lee Toyota of Topsham on Main Street in Topsham, Maine.

And, as soon as they said "electric vehicle" when talking about a rental, my first thought?

"This should go over well, that can't be further from my truck, but mmkay if you say so."

Toyota Electric Vehicle

The inside of the Toyota EV I have (the BZ4X) as a rental is...spaceship-like? Not in a negative way, just in a "couldn't be more opposite of what I'm used to" way. Unlike my truck, which has the speedometer and gas tank information set behind my steering wheel, the BZ4X has it raised above the steering wheel and set back, almost like it's its own dash display.

And the center console? Completely different than what you may be used to.

Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

While I have an LED display screen on the center of my truck dash as well, it looks like a smartphone screen compared to the size of what feels like a laptop screen in the EV. And maybe the biggest difference? No actual shifter in the center console area.

You literally shift gears by pushing down a knob and turning it to the left to put the vehicle in reverse, and turn to the right to put it in drive. And if you want to put it in park? You press a button above the knob that says, "P."

One of the coolest features? The backup camera. And don't get it twisted, it's not my first experience with one since I also have a backup camera in my truck, but this EV not only comes with a rear camera view, but also this wild bird's eye split screen view, too.

Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

Toyota EV Engine

The one tricky thing can be realizing the car is actually running. Because, sure, you press the brake down and hit the push start, but you don't feel or hear the car turn on or anything -- in fact, the only way you know it's on is because the screen on the dash in front of you will highlight "READY" in green.

Toyota EV Battery

The one thing I haven't really figured out yet, and probably won't since my total time with this EV is going to be about 24 hours, is the battery life and how good it is or how economical it is. I mean, it seems good? Maybe?

All I know is that when driving from Brunswick to Portland, obviously mostly highway driving on 295, the battery life when from 80% to 66%. Whether that's good or not beats me, but I suppose it's no different than an average-sized gas tank for a 4-door vehicle that isn't a truck?

Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

Are EVs Worth It?

Honestly, I don't know. I guess it depends on who you are, what your budget is like, what your "green" beliefs are, etc. But what I do know is this.

After having owned coupes and sedans my entire life, now that I have one, I'm definitely a truck guy. But, that said, spending a day inside an EV? It's a decent, smooth, and seemingly economical ride that's a pretty viable option for your next vehicle.

At least, in my humble, very unsolicited opinion.

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