With their one-week test drive of a Think City well under way, we sat down with Timo Häkkänen of the SELL Student Games last Friday to see how he was getting along. Eager to hear how an electric vehicle novice, such as Timo, would take to driving a fully electric car, we asked Timo to fill us in on his experiences and the lessons hands-on experience had taught him.

Timo and Hille Häkkinen (SELL's Environmental Issues Specialist) with the Think

Setting out at the beginning of the week having never sat behind the wheel of an electric car, although being relatively familiar with the technology and its development over the course of the past decade, Timo was initially surprised by how quickly he took to driving the car. Thus, Timo was not surprised to hear that even a novice driver such as the Games’ Accreditation Officer, who had only been driving for a few months, would find the car as easy to drive as he did.

Timo’s first impressions of the car were of its silent ignition and, apart from a slight humming sound, its nearly noiseless operation which, Timo noted, certainly sets it apart from fuel-powered cars and required a bit of getting used to at first.  Otherwise, Timo found himself growing accustomed to driving the car surprisingly quickly. Timo mentioned that, being used to cars with manual transmissions, the car’s automatic transmission was the only aspect which took a bit of adjusting to.

Having become quickly accustomed to driving an EV Timo’s first days with the Think were made even smoother thanks to its compactness and agility. Comparing the car’s size and handling to a Smart Car, Timo commented on how well-suited the car had been to his tasks, which had him constantly in need of a place to park the car to make brief stops in, at times, less than ideal surroundings. One such task took Timo on a drive around the Leppävaara area late at night posting signs to guide competitors and audiences to venues in the area. Therefore, Timo found himself needing to make frequent stops and the Think’s compact size helped make certain that he would never be left without a spot to park in.

Throughout the course of these first five days, Timo covered a total distance of 300km driving the car for three hours a day. Timo’s early concerns over the car’s range were put to rest following his first overnight, charge at the same garage where Timo and the other SELL staff members regularly park their cars, which easily lasted through a full day of driving.

Join us later this week for a final interview with Timo!