Think back to when you were a kid. What do you remember being excited about? Toys, movies, and comics, right? These things were the coolest. They were awesome back then and even as adults you probably find yourself smiling at things that remind you of them. When we were kids, everything new and shiny was exciting and fun. As we grow older, we lose a little bit of that sense of excitement.
Glen Jenkins was a regular kid who was fascinated with certain technologies. When he was 13, he started making little electronics and listening to shortwave radio. In high school and college, he made electronics and technology his main focus.
Today, Glen is an electrical engineer whose EV journey brought that excitement into his life again.
Glen was first introduced to electric vehicles back in the 80’s when he opened up a magazine and found an article on how to convert a regular gas vehicle into an electric one. Glen, being an electrical engineer, was really intrigued by this exciting new technology. Taking apart a car and putting it back together into something new sounded so exciting. Unfortunately, he realized that the vehicle conversion process with only himself as the technician would take hundreds and thousands of man hours to complete. Just about 4000! As the father of a young family, Glen said no can do.
Glen was disappointed. He was not necessarily concerned with the environmental and economic factors of this new technology but he was just so excited about the new technology, the way everyone these days gets excited about the new cell phone. To him, electric cars were like the technology in a Star Trek ® episode.
He waited. He put off the idea of electric cars in his mind for a while and continued on with his family and career as he had been before.
Finally, one day, news reached Glen about the Chevy 2011 Volt in 2010, 30 years after the dream of owning an electric car was born. He started asking questions. When can I buy it? Where can I find it? He had to have it!
Glen heard there were some dealerships selling the Volt in Austin, Texas, 170 miles from his Houston home. He called every last dealership there, 6 or 7 total. Some were clueless to his request and some said they didn’t have enough for him to have one. Glen finally found a dealership who had ordered 9 Volts, allocated to them by GM! The dealership already reserved 6 of the cars and they were reserving the rest for people living in Austin. But Glen announced to the dealer that he was willing to write a check right there as they spoke. The dealer was so surprised by his interest that he agreed to reserve a car for him if his down payment check arrived before the last three cars were reserved. He won them over with his enthusiasm.
Glen agreed to the deal and sent in his check. A couple days later, Glen got a call. He had reserved the 7th of the 9 Chevy Volts. As he tells this story, Glen smiles at the connection between this event and the name of a Star Trek ® character, “7 of 9.”
And then Glen did some more waiting. He waited many months for his new car to arrive. He tracked his order from the beginning on a website. He got to track as the car was made and as it was put on a train to be delivered to the dealership. At this point, Glen was calling the dealership every other day. Is it there yet? Have you got it?
Finally, two days after Glen’s last call to the dealership, he received the call he was waiting for!! They had received the delivery and they had his car! He signed a lease and it was officially his!
How did Glen describe the driving experience? Flawless. Zippy. A fast, smooth and luxurious ride. He never had to get a repair and he never had to get any maintenance. For the 36 months that he owned this car, he only used 50 gallons of gas and it never needed more than two gallons of gas at a time. He drove it every day 12 miles to work and back and had no issues. He even took a longer trip and still had no problem, even on a tank of gas that only held 9 gallons.
He loved the car so much he got an updated Volt in 2014 for 36 months. In 2017 he got the Chevy Bolt from a dealer in Colorado, as they had some in stock. Unfortunately, Houston was not the place to be in the summer of 2017. Hurricane Harvey flooded Glen’s town and left his new electric car in 2 feet of water for 30 hours. Not exactly the ideal situation for Glen’s EV.
The SUV was ruined. Completely dead. Not to mention there was mold growing inside. They had to drag it out of the garage because the breaks were locked up. Even Glen’s wife’s non-electric car was ruined.
Undeterred, Glen calls up the Colorado dealership and asks for a new one. These people are so astonished by the repurchase after less than a few months, they decide to give him a deal. Glen was the first person that they had known to buy two Bolts – so they gave him a $2,000 discount.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, stuck at home, Glen has not gone and bought a new car– ending his 3-year car update cycle. He and his wife are eagerly waiting for summer, hoping for the end of the pandemic, when Glen hopes to buy a Tesla!
Glen is avid about electric cars because he genuinely enjoys the concept and experience. He’s fascinated by new technology and its potential possibilities.
Glen raves about new electric cars the same way that we all go off about our new phones and Glen likes to point out that the technology at this point is very similar. He loves the idea of plugging in your car at the end of the day and having it completely fine and ready to roll the next morning. Like his phone he loves that his cars can download new software to give new performance updates to improve distance and behavior on the road. Not to mention, with his electric car he has no need for oil changes, antifreeze or spark plug changes. He never visits the dealership or pays for expensive, frequent repairs.
The 2017 Bolt was the completion of a 30-year dream for Glen, a dream that he’s had since he was 39.
He has been anticipating an electric car to become a reality for a long time and now having it is like being in the future. Like a movie. Like having his own little personal spaceship. He loves their “zippiness.”