Shifting from a gas-powered vehicle to an all-electric vehicle is an exciting experience. To test out what it’s like to trade gas station stops for charging ports, Kingsley Iduma, Project Manager, Vehicle Line Planning, got behind the wheel of a Mazda MX-30 EV.
Here, Kingsley chronicles his experience driving Mazda’s MX-30 for two weeks. From using charging stations for the first time to driving friends around town, he details every aspect of making the transition to an electric vehicle “The more I drove the vehicle, I became more comfortable,” says Kingsley.
Located in Southern California, Kingsley tested the MX-30 in all the typical ways — errands around town, picking up family at the airport, and commuting. “The interior and exterior design, coupled with the electric sound, creates an experience unlike any other electric vehicle,” he says. Here, we hand it over to Kingsley:
Exploring Outside of Comfort Zones
Already familiar with the MX-30’s impressive design and styling, I picked up the vehicle from Mazda’s headquarters with great anticipation.
Initially, I focused on getting the vehicle home and then spent some time appreciating the details and familiarizing myself with the features. The MX-30 offers Mazda’s signature premium feel. Everything is sleek and beautiful, with obvious attention paid to creating an ergonomically correct cabin that’s entirely pleasing to the eye.
Details like the freestyle doors sparked admiration, and I imagine their wide opening will make it easy to put things into the back seat. (Spoiler: I later had to pick up an office chair to use at home. Just as I thought, the flexibility of putting down the second row of seats and swinging the doors wide allowed my tall office chair to fit easily into the cargo area.)
The following day I needed to run a few errands.
After a long day of running around town, I returned home with roughly 80 percent battery remaining. Still having so much available range after a busy day was surprising.
Inviting Others Along for the Ride
This boost in my comfort could not have come at a better time, because the following day my fiancé and I needed to put a lot of miles on the MX-30 with even more errands. We grabbed some household essentials, stopped by the bank, and found ourselves at the grocery store twice when we forgot a few items from our list. Finally, we stopped to enjoy an iced chai (my fiancé’s favorite) before heading home. Despite all our stops during a surprisingly busy weekend, the MX-30 easily got us through.
Wrapping up the busy weekend, a family member flew into town and I picked him up from the airport. He previously worked in the auto industry and has been known to have strong opinions on vehicle style, comfort, and technology. As he entered the car, he immediately gravitated to the two digital displays and was drawn to the MX-30’s premium and luxurious feel. Since this was his first time in Orange County, we cruised around town a bit before heading to my home.
Embracing Excitement in the Drive
Having worked from home all day. I decided to feed my cravings by ordering takeout. Instead of placing my pickup order at the nearest location, I chose one that would allow me to enjoy a bit more of a drive. I arrived at my destination with a smile on my face from the spirited driving.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, I found myself enjoying the MX-30 and its dynamics more with each drive. It’s smooth acceleration and handling are not dissimilar to the rest of Mazda’s lineup. The exterior styling is eye-catching in a uniquely Mazda way — as evidenced by the countless curious stares, parking lot conversations with strangers, and friends asking for a turn behind the wheel.
Finding a Charging Routine
Remembering to charge the vehicle was its own learning curve. During the first week, I often found myself returning to my vehicle to confirm that it was plugged in — something that I realize now can easily be checked through the MyMazda app. It took a few days, but I eventually got the hang of everything.
In addition to charging in my neighborhood, I charged in parking lots away from home. Mazda’s official charging partner is ChargePoint, and by using one of their stations the MX-30 charges to 80 percent in just over 30 minutes — which just so happens to be the perfect amount of time to grab a quick lunch.
So Long for Now, Not Farewell
For our last outing in the MX-30, my fiancé and I headed to Newport Beach. We drove down the 405-freeway filled with heavy traffic. This was the first time I had taken the vehicle on the freeway during rush hour traffic, but I wasn’t worried because I had nothing but confidence that I would have enough range to make it home later.
The traffic toward the beach was heavy but the beautiful destination made the inconvenience worthwhile. When we were leaving, as expected, the freeway traffic had finally died down. Still, we opted to soak in out last night with the MX-30 and took the long way home with the sunroof open.
Confidence Yields Excitement
When I first picked up the vehicle, there was a learning curve to driving and living with an EV. However, the lost luxury to stop by a gas station and fill up was quickly replaced by the convenience of charging at home and on the road. The more I drove the vehicle, the more comfortable and confident I became. By the end of my time with the MX-30 I found myself regularly taking longer routes to enjoy the vehicle a little more.
In my opinion, the MX-30 is the perfect commuter vehicle. In my two weeks with the vehicle, I learned the vehicle size, cargo, and battery capacity was perfect for my daily needs, while the design and dynamics made it exciting to drive. I think an EV is in my future.