My First Experience with an Electric Car: Lexus UX300e

Recently, due to a minor issue with my own car, I needed to get it serviced at the dealership. The dealership provided me with an electric car as a temporary replacement, giving me the opportunity to drive an electric car for the first time. The car in question was the base model of the Lexus UX300e, which was relatively new with a mileage of less than 4000 kilometers. It didn’t have many fancy features; it was a pure electric vehicle. I’ve always been curious about electric cars and have considered getting one because my workplace is quite far, requiring long daily commutes that also result in significant fuel costs. This was a perfect chance to experience the pros and cons of electric cars and see if they would be suitable for me.

The interior and exterior design of the Lexus UX300e closely resemble the gasoline version of the Lexus UX, with a clean and elegant overall style that combines luxury and sportiness. The interior materials are of high quality, and the craftsmanship is fine. The seats are comfortable, and the infotainment screen, while not large, is feature-rich and supports mainstream features like CarPlay. In terms of its appearance, the Lexus UX300e features a spindle grille and distinctive hooked LED headlights in the front, giving it a high level of recognition. The rear of the car also has a unique through-style taillight. The car comes with 17-inch five-spoke wheels and Dunlop ENASAVE EC300+ series tires, which provide both visual appeal and energy efficiency.

After driving it for a few days, I found that the most significant advantage of electric cars is their acceleration. Even though this UX300e is a base model, it accelerates rapidly without the gear-shifting delays and jolts you experience in traditional gasoline cars. The entire process is smooth and quick. Having driven a 3.5-liter LS, I found the electric car to be more enjoyable. Especially in city traffic, at traffic lights or in congestion, pressing the accelerator takes you off the line quickly, providing a sense of accomplishment. However, the acceleration noticeably slows down when you go above 120 kilometers per hour, but this isn’t a big issue since opportunities to drive at such speeds are rare.

Another advantage is the cost of ownership. Charging an electric car is much cheaper than refueling a gasoline car. I charged my car at home over the weekend, spending only 40 RMB to add over 20 kWh of electricity. With this price, it would cost me around 100 RMB per week at most. In contrast, refueling my gasoline car would cost about 600 RMB per week. Over the course of a month, I could save around 2,000 RMB, which is a significant temptation for me.

Of course, electric cars also have some significant drawbacks. The most troublesome issue for me is charging. This UX300e has a range of only about 350 kilometers on a full charge, which might even be a bit optimistic; getting 300 kilometers would be considered good. My daily commute is quite long, approximately 90 kilometers round trip, with more than half of it on the highway. With this calculation, I would need to charge the car every two days. However, my workplace and home don’t have dedicated charging stations, so I have to find nearby charging stations or parking lots with charging spots, which is very inconvenient. Each time, I need to spend time looking for a spot and worry about whether there are available spaces or if someone is cutting in line.

Even worse is the slow charging speed. I charged the car at home, and it took nearly four hours to add 21 kWh of electricity. Fast charging can save time, but fast-charging stations are not very common, and fast charging can also degrade the battery. Additionally, fast charging is not exceptionally fast; it still takes at least half an hour to reach 80%. This means that charging takes a lot of time and effort, making it very inconvenient.

The final and most significant drawback for me is motion sickness. I’ve had motion sickness since I was a child, and sitting in the back seat of other people’s cars makes me very uncomfortable. I can’t look at my phone and have to just sit there feeling queasy. I thought driving an electric car might solve this problem, but it didn’t. Electric cars have abrupt acceleration and braking without the smooth transitions of gasoline cars, making me very uncomfortable, especially during the start and stop phases. I almost felt nauseous during those moments. With this issue, electric cars are basically not an option for me.

In summary, electric cars have provided me with some new and exciting experiences, as well as exposed their limitations. While electric cars offer excellent acceleration and lower operating costs, issues with charging and motion sickness make them unacceptable for me. Perhaps other brands or models of electric cars may perform better, but for now, I still prefer my gasoline-powered car.