South Central Power

“Wattsun” Driver Spotlight: Bret Rice & Rocky Stone

December 13, 2019

Wattsun, South Central Power’s new Chevy Bolt, gets pressed into service as a fleet car for the co-op’s employees in a variety of ways. Occasionally, we’ll share the stories of employees who drive the car. It’s an opportunity to see how members of our team – who live and work in the communities we serve – experience performing everyday work with an electric vehicle rather than the typical internal combustion engine under the hood of their company vehicle.

We’ll share their impressions and insights – the good, the bad and the interesting.

Spotlight: Bret Rice and Rocky Stone, information technology
Bret and Rocky provide IT support to South Central’s business operations and offices, sometimes putting them on the road for support, upgrades or repairs at various facilities across the service territory. Recently, Bret and Rocky performed a printer upgrade at the operations center in Canal Winchester. The pair had to replace three existing laser jet printers with newer models, which they had to transport to the Canal Winchester facility from Lancaster.
Rocky (left) and Bret took Wattsun on one of its first adventures – replacing printers in Canal Winchester.

Was Wattsun up for the task? And how did Brett and Rocky feel about the car’s performance?

“This was my first experience riding in and driving an EV,” said Rocky, who was concerned the compact vehicle might not be a good fit for transporting the new printers. “Wattsun is much more spacious than it looks. I was surprised how well the interior was designed to maximize available space.”

But what about the driving experience? Rocky, our EV novice, was impressed. “It did not feel like driving a small car, there is plenty of pep,” Rocky said. “I was amazed at the acceleration when we were entering the highway.”

Bret, who has more EV experience as the owner of a Fiat 500e, was similarly impressed with the car. “Wattsun is a lot bigger than my EV, and the seats are more comfortable than I thought they would be,” he said. “There is definitely lot of storage in the back, and it was a pleasure to drive.”

For a trip across Fairfield County with a specific task in hand, Wattsun performed wonderfully. But the big question remains – would Rocky and Bret consider an EV for a future vehicle purchase?

“I already own one, and want another one,” said Bret. “Electric is the way to go, with no oil changes and not a lot of maintenance other than things like tires, wiper blades and few other things that wear out on any vehicle.”

Though Rocky had never driven an EV before, he was similarly impressed. “I would definitely consider it, taking Wattsun for a drive changed my mind on EVs” said Rocky, whose daily drive is a pickup truck. “I’m trying to talk my wife into buying one of those Tesla Cybertrucks,” Rocky said.