Meet a Cook County Employee Electric Vehicle Enthusiast

Sarah Edwards

As part of National Drive Electric Week, we are featuring a Cook County employee who is an electric vehicle enthusiast (and recent convert) who is doing his part to be more sustainable. Ekong Udoh, a Telecom Analyst IV for the Bureau of Technology, purchased a Tesla 10 months ago and doesn't plan to ever buy a conventional gas-fueled vehicle again.

It was time for him to buy a vehicle, so Mr. Udoh started shopping. He decided to check out Tesla. He test drove the electric vehicle three separate times to cement his decision.

Udoh really loves all the sophisticated features that come with his electric vehicle, including the ability to open the car from his cellphone and updates that happen through his connection to the internet. He also appreciates what his car does for the environment. “We are continually polluting,” said Udoh. “I feel good at least knowing that I am not part of that."

A traditional gas-powered car would need an efficiency of 44 miles per gallon to have the same low emissions impact as an electric vehicle operated off the Illinois electricity grid. In comparison, the average fuel economy of 2018 gas-powered vehicles is 24.7 miles per gallon, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Udoh was pleasantly surprised that his range anxiety quickly went away once he realized there are charging stations in numerous locations. In his Tesla, he has an option on his dashboard to see where all the nearby charging stations are located – in parking lots at grocery stores, at golf courses, in parking garages, even at his dentist's office.

With battery technology improvements allowing for greater range per charge, the 310-mile range for the 2018 Tesla Model 3, 151 miles for the 2018 Nissan LEAF and 238 miles for the 2018 Chevy Bolt, it’s possible to get most places without even needing a charge.

Udoh really enjoys the lack of maintenance needed with his electric vehicle. He does not miss the oil checks or emissions tests. He urges those who are shopping for a new vehicle to make sure they are "doing long-term thinking" and factoring in all the costs in the lifecycle of a conventionally fueled vehicle.

For Udoh, the choice is clear: "If it's not electric, I'm not buying it."

Are you thinking about purchasing an electric vehicle but still have questions? Want to talk to someone that owns an electric vehicle to hear their stories firsthand? Please attend one of the several events happening throughout Cook County as part of the National Drive Electric Week September 14-22. Click here for a list of events:  

Disclaimer: DES does not endorse any manufacturer or model. This story is shared as an example.