Why electric vehicles? Savings, convenience, environmental benefits

Electric vehicles could seem like a difficult switch, but they could be a more practical option than you may think.

Posted by Guest Blogger on September 24, 2019

For those who have always driven gasoline-powered vehicles, it can be difficult to think of making the switch to an all-electric car. But with how affordable electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming, the convenience of “fueling up” at home and the added bonus of knowing you’re positively impacting the environment, it could be a more practical option than you first think.

Cost savings

While EVs are less expensive to own and operate than a traditional gas-powered vehicle over the long-term, they can cost more upfront to purchase. That’s where incentives come into play. For example, the federal government offers consumers a tax credit of up to $7,500 to put toward the purchase of a new EV, which can significantly lower the price tag. The primary cost of an EV is its battery, but innovations in design and manufacturing have driven battery prices down more than 80 percent between 2010 and 2018.

Once you own an EV, the fuel cost savings start adding up. Electricity prices are far more stable than gas prices, and EVs are three times more energy efficient than gasoline-powered vehicles. This means that a typical EV can travel about 43 miles on $1 worth of electricity. While total savings depend on current gas prices and your driving habits, someone who drives 12,000 miles per year could save $1,300.

Convenience

You already charge all your personal electronics at home – why not your vehicle, too?

Wright-Hennepin (WH) offers another cost savings solution, this time on a home EV charger. By enrolling in the ChargeWise program, you’ll receive a rebate for up to $500 to offset the cost to install an EV charger controlled on an off-peak rate. You can also enroll in an Energy-Saving Program for a discounted electricity rate. 

Another convenience factor of EVs is that very little maintenance is required beyond changing windshield wipers and tires. They have fewer moving parts to break down – no carburetors, spark plugs, starters/alternators, etc. – which means they’re also more reliable than their gasoline-powered counterparts. EVs are also extremely quiet since they don’t produce combustion noise.

Environmental benefits

Overall, EVs have better environmental attributes than traditional vehicles because of their higher efficiency, lower energy consumption and no tailpipe emissions. Plus, WH and one of its wholesale power providers, Great River Energy, are producing energy from many renewable sources, including hydro and wind. As the source of electricity gets greener, so does the vehicle.

To learn more about what it’s like to own an electric vehicle, check out this video of a WH member’s EV journey.


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