Annika Carter was honestly, and pleasantly, surprised.
When a race driver like Annika Carter thinks about a car for daily life, her thoughts focus on a traditional gas car with an internal combustion engine as her go-to. The 25-year-old former medical student and now race driver thought an electric vehicle could never work for her and her long drives, especially living in North Georgia where EVs are not yet part of the daily landscape. And then, there is her day job as a realtor, for which she can typically have long drives, and adventures, such as hiking trips to Asheville and road trips with friends.
So, we put Annika to the challenge with the VW ID.4, in partnership with Volkswagen of America, to see if this certified car girl could make the switch, and what she thinks of all-electric driving.
This series, How She Does It, was produced in partnership with Volkswagen of America to explore how the ID.4 can work for daily life. You can see more of these stories here and here, the full video series here. And follow the hashtag #SheDrivesElectric to discover more!
Annika Drives an EV for the First Time – the Volkswagen ID.4
Annika spends a lot of time behind the wheel, and the quality of the drive and the experience is important to her. From long drives to show homes to clients, to taking clients along for a drive, a professional, presentable look and feel is important to her. An elegant interior and space for rear seat passengers are important to her. When Annika sits inside the interior of a nice car, she says it “makes you feel like more of an adult.”
She also found that the Driver Assist Features were really helpful on her long drives. She loved that they can be easily adjusted and turned on and off through the infotainment touchscreen. And, adaptive cruise control made highway driving simply more enjoyable and less stressful.
But maybe the most useful tech feature Annika discovered was at the Car-Net app. She was surprised at how easy it is to find charge stations using Car-Net, especially at stations where she could charge the car while getting lunch or shopping.
But Can You Road-Trip with the ID.4?
When planning her week with the ID.4, Annika and her boyfriend Ben decided to drive it to Asheville, NC, for a weekend trip. After looking up the charge station options along the 160 mile route, she was happy to discover how simple road-tripping with an EV can be.
Annika had been worried she would be “wasting her vacation at charging stations,” but she was surprised at how different it was from her expectations. She was able to charge it in a public parking garage, leaving the ID.4 with enough charge– and Annika with enough confidence –to drive up to the Blue Ridge Parkway for a hike.
On the downhill mountain roads, Annika really got to experience the ID.4’s B-Mode. Driving with regenerative braking was a new experience for Annika; she learned that it can extend the range of the ID.4 significantly, especially on downhill drives. She liked it so much that Annika chose to drive all week long in B-mode, and the gauges on the ID.4’s driver information and media screens let her know just how much regeneration she gained and how much energy she was using during each drive.
Would an EV Fit into Annika’s Everyday Life?
This was probably the biggest surprise. Annika didn’t think that an EV would be practical in North Georgia, or for her long drives during her work week. And , who went from being a pre-med student to racing cars during a post-graduate gap year, find out what Annika’s Mom said when she made this significant shift in her life. When Annika was certified for racing in 2016, she still had to get a real ‘day job’ and became a realtor.
Annika explains to her friend, Jessica how B-mode works and how unique the gear shift knob is in the ID.4. Have you ever seen such a unique shifter, we know you haven’t because this shifter doesn’t exist in any other car.
What Annika Loved the Most in the ID.4: You’ll Never Guess!
Annika’s favorite feature of all? It could be the wireless phone charger. Or the ease of charging both at home and on the road. Or the panoramic sunroof. But she immediately spotted something you won’t see in most any other car: the ‘Play/Pause’ pedals in the ID.4 in the First Edition. These give it a very fun, modern and digital feel.
It was fun to put a race car driver to the test of driving the VW ID.4, a new and unfamiliar car. And even more fun to see her delight in discovering its features and abilities, and to hear her say, “yes, this could be my next car!”
See more of Annika’s experience and that of journalist Alicia Quarles and The Car Mom Kelly Stumpe on our YouTube channel!