Why Drive Electric?
Electric vehicles offer several perks for driversBy Steve Hamlin
Whether you get your news from the local paper, a national TV network or a notification on your phone, electric vehicles (EVs) are filling up the headlines.
Electric cooperatives across the state are preparing for more EVs on the road as their popularity and versatility grows. Among them is Piedmont Electric, my cooperative, which offers members a rebate and a discounted rate for charging their vehicles overnight. By charging overnight, they help everyone in the cooperative save (see “Electric Vehicles and the Grid,” January 2020).
Also, it seems as if every week another car manufacturer is announcing a new electric vehicle option. Whether you enjoy the luxury of a Tesla Model X, the ruggedness of an electric Ford F-150, or love being an early adopter in your Nissan Leaf, there will be an electric vehicle out there for you. Let’s discuss some of the reasons you might want to own one.
How would you like to have someone come fill up your car with gas every night while you sleep? Well, when you own an electric vehicle, you can start every morning with your ride fully charged.
Try not to smile when you pass everyone waiting at the gas pump. Also, many shopping and dining areas offer premium parking spots for electric vehicles.
It seems like the car manufacturers have harnessed the Energizer Bunny because the range for electric vehicles keeps going and going and going. The most popular models range from 84 miles to more than 300.
While 84 miles might not sound like a lot, it is more than the average commuter uses in a day and is enough to get you from Raleigh to Greensboro. If you purchase an EV with a 300-mile range, you could drive across much of our beautiful state without recharging!
Low ownership costs
EVs have fewer moving parts under the hood than gasoline vehicles so this means no oil changes and less maintenance overall. Also, it means less parts that could break or wear out.
Some people have worried about the need to replace the batteries powering the car. While batteries will wear out just like anything else, many vehicles come with an extended warranty, which could cover the replacement cost. Check the fine print when you purchase your vehicle.
Also, while prices at the pump fluctuate based on the day of the week, electric prices are much lower and more stable.
Speaking of those stable electric prices, powering your vehicle with electricity is better for the environment than powering it with gasoline. Members of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are blessed with an energy mix that is lower in carbon than much of the nation. We enjoy ready supplies of carbon-free sources like solar, nuclear and hydro power.
Electric vehicles do not put out any exhaust, and if you’ve ever stood next to an electric vehicle you also realize just how quiet it is. EVs cut down on exhaust and noise pollution in our communities.
Check with your tax advisor to see if you qualify for any federal or state tax credits for your new EV as well as special EV rates and rebates from your local cooperative.
From sedans to sports cars, family SUVs to heavy duty pickups, there are a lot of great reasons to buy electric and a lot of great options. What are you waiting for?
About the AuthorSteve Hamlin is president and CEO for Piedmont Electric in Hillsborough.