The Road Less Traveled

by Eric Cohen

It only takes a few minutes talking with Elaine Borseth, President of the Electric Vehicle Association, to know she loves cars. It’s also clear why she’s President of North America’s leading volunteer organization that accelerates the adoption of electric vehicles. “I grew up in Detroit. My father loved cars. What made it fun – and interesting – is that he was always passionate about cars. He loved cars that got great gas mileage and I loved cars that went fast. This becomes quickly obvious as she begins to rattle them off … Triumph TR6, Chevy Corvette, Mercedes convertible, and more. But her love of gas-powered cars quickly changed as soon as she drove her first electric vehicle.


“I thought I’d test drive a Tesla. For grins,” Elaine laughs. Her response quickly picks up speed as she gets more excited describing her first test drive. “I was blown away by the performance! I didn’t care if it was electric. It could have burned rocket fuel for all that matters. I just loved the performance.” She then took time to learn more about the car she drove and was thrilled to learn that that she’d no longer have to go to a gas station. “I’m that person who always drove with the gas light on.” As a practicing chiropractor in San Diego prior to retiring, Elaine drove 50 miles to work and back every day. “I knew I needed to stop and get gas on my way home, but it would be late and I’d be tired so I’d wait until tomorrow. Sometimes tomorrow was too late.” Elaine loves that, with an electric vehicle, she wakes up every day to a fully charged vehicle.

Something else Elaine loves is road trips. The kind of road trips that would amaze most EV drivers. One week after her retirement in 2015, Elaine hit the road … cross country. She then described her latest adventure.  “I recently returned from a two-and-a-half-month 10,000-mile road trip to North Dakota, Michigan, Canada, New England, and back to California.” But that was nothing compared to her trip a few years ago – four months and 16,000 miles to the Florida Keys, upstate New York, the Midwest, Yellowstone, Glacier, Banff and across Canada, and back down through Washington and Oregon. “Now that was a trip!” Like many EV drivers, Elaine was initially concerned about range anxiety. “I’ve charged everywhere – campgrounds, motels, convenience stores … you name it. I don’t usually plan ahead unless I’m going somewhere off the grid.” But wherever she is, Elaine loves to patronize places that have charging. “With 400 miles of range and overnight chargers, I don’t have to stop and charge much, if at all during the day. In fact, my 10,000-mile road trip cost only $300 in electricity thanks to free destination charging.”

With all her driving – and charging – Elaine is enthusiastic about wireless charging. “It’s the coolest thing ever! How nice it will be to just pull up and not have to worry about plugging in. Imagine not having to even think about charging. Totally convenient. And so much safer. Most of my road trips are by myself and I’ve had to charge in a few questionable places. Granted, I’m a night person but I don’t enjoy having to get out of my car at midnight to charge it. The chargers are usually in back lots, behind buildings, or by a loading zone. Definitely sketchy. To be able to stay in my car while its charging and take off – if necessary – would be amazing.”

“I’ve driven many different EVs – from a Leaf and Bolt to Rivian, Taycan, and VW ID.4. Wireless charging on all these cars – plus my Tesla – will be a true game changer. I can’t wait.”

We can’t either, Elaine.