Electric vehicles are worth a second look

A black electric car is charged by an electric plug.

Electric vehicles are worthy of consideration as your next vehicle.

 

Electric cars are powerful, quiet and cheaper to maintain than gas-powered vehicles. Add the tax credit and incentives, and these vehicles are worthy of consideration as your next vehicle.

Range anxiety no more

These green vehicles have evolved rapidly. The 2011 Nissan Leaf could drive 73 miles on a full charge. Today, brands like Ford, Lucid, Tesla and Rivian are boasting more than 300 miles per charge. That’s more than enough distance for the average commuter, even here in rural Nebraska. Of course, factors such as the terrain and heating and cooling use will affect this number as it demands more from the battery.

Charging times vary depending on the charger used. Most electric vehicle owners charge at home or at work. The process takes hours, which sounds like a hassle, but it can be more convenient than a trip to the gas station because you are doing other things while the battery recharges.

The slowest way to charge is through a standard 120-volt outlet. It can take 12 or more hours to receive a full charge. The faster 240-volt level 2 charger can add 15-25 miles per hour. Dawson PPD offers two rebates to help electric vehicle owners upgrade their electrical wiring and install this type of charger. There are also fast charging stations located within certain parking lots and along major roadways, which can add up to 50 miles of range with one hour of charge.
Regardless of how the electric vehicle is charged, it does require a change in habits.

An affordable solution for daily driving

On average, it costs about half as much to drive an electric vehicle than a gas-powered one. To compare the range to miles per gallon, fuel efficiency is rated in kilowatt-hours (kWh) per 100 miles. If you pay $0.11 per kWh for electricity and have an average electric vehicle rated at 34 kWh per 100 mile, the cost is about $0.04 per mile. If gas is $3 per gallon and a gas-powered vehicle gets 25 mpg, the cost is about $0.12 per mile. This scenario amounts to a savings of $800 for every 10,000 miles you drive.*

The U.S. Energy Department has a website to determine an eGallon, or the cost of fueling a vehicle with electricity compared to a similar vehicle that runs on gasoline.
Visit energy.gov/maps/egallon to see what it would cost you. At the time this article was written, the average cost of gas was $2.17 per gallon. An electric eGallon was $1.03.
In addition, electric vehicles typically have lower total cost of ownership and maintenance costs. This is because they have fewer moving parts, reduced oil changes (or none for a full electric) and fewer brake jobs – battery regeneration absorbs most of the energy.

Local dealerships are selling and servicing electric vehicles

Dawson PPD contacted several car dealerships within its service territory. Many are planning to sell electric or hybrid electric vehicles and service them in 2021. That means rural Nebraskans have similar access to this technology as residents in a more populated area. See the list below of local dealerships:

North Platte

  • Bill Summers Ford, Lincoln, Honda, Nissan
  • Janssen Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge & RAM
  • Janssen Buick GMC
  • Premier Toyota

Gothenburg

  • Pony Express Chevrolet Buick

Lexington

  • Heartland Chevrolet Buick
  • Platte Valley Auto

Kearney

  • Platte Valley Auto
  • Midway Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, GMC
  • Midway Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram
Electric car charging parking symbol

Charging times vary depending on the charger used. The process takes hours, which sounds like a hassle, but it can be more convenient than a trip to the gas station because you are doing other things while the battery recharges.

Rebates and tax credits are available

As mentioned earlier in this article, Dawson PPD provides rebates for those who wish to purchase an electric vehicle.

  • Pre-wiring: A $200-$400 incentive is available for electrical wiring installation of a residential vehicle charging station.
  • ChargePoint Charging Station: Install a ChargePoint charging station and earn a $500 incentive. The average cost for this charging station is $700.
  • Electric vehicle and ChargePoint Charging station: Earn a $4,500 incentive when you purchase an electric vehicle and ChargePoint charging station. Hybrid vehicles do not qualify for this incentive.

Additional details may be found here or by calling Bobby Johnson, Energy Services Specialist, at 308-324-2386.

Local tax credits are also available for both all-electric and hybrid vehicles. A tax credit of up to $7,500 may be available for qualified purchases. This savings is in addition to any special promotions your local dealership may be offering.

Electric vehicles are an affordable alternative to gas-powered and are cheaper to maintain. Although it does require some changes in habits, the convenience of the electric vehicle may outweigh some minor inconveniences.

*Sources: PublicPowered.com, Energy.gov, NPR

 

February 2021

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