You’ve likely heard or read that most automakers are transitioning many or all their new vehicles to electric-only models over the next 10 years. Regardless of the type of car you drive today, the electrification of the transportation sector is underway.
We regularly receive inquiries about electric vehicles from CHELCO members, so I thought it would be helpful to respond to some of those frequently asked questions on our blog.
Q: Why is CHELCO communicating about electric vehicles?
A: It’s no secret that consumer interest in electric vehicles (EVs) is growing, and CHELCO is providing information about EV charging requirements so that our members can make informed decisions when considering an EV purchase.
Q: Why does CHELCO have an EV(s)?
A: We purchased our first EV in 2019 for research and development purposes. Our EV and charging stations help us access key data and gain insights into how EVs operate and what infrastructure is needed to support them. We have a Nissan Leaf to help raise awareness and promote understanding of EV technologies. We also provide educational tools about EVs on our website, https://www.chelco.com/electric-vehicles, and bring our EV to community events so folks have an opportunity to ask questions and form their own opinions.
Q: Why is CHELCO involved in EV infrastructure issues?
A: All electric utilities are planning now to ensure they have the necessary electric infrastructure in place to meet future EV charging needs––without jeopardizing the ability to keep reliable power flowing to our local homes and businesses. As your local energy provider, CHELCO is best suited to advise and help our members and local businesses plan for the electric vehicle future.
Q: Can I charge my EV using an existing outlet or do I need a special outlet?
A: All EVs come with a 110-volt-compatible (Level 1) charging unit which can be plugged into any standard household outlet. For an eight-hour overnight charge, this will enable traveling around 36 to 40 miles a day. If you typically drive longer distances or are in a hurry, a Level 2 charger takes about half the time and provides about 180 miles of range over an eight-hour charging period. A Level 2 charger must be installed by a licensed electrician.
Q: Does the outside temperature affect the range of an EV?
A: Outside temperatures, particularly colder weather, can impact the range of an EV. Unlike a gas-powered vehicle, where the heat is mostly coming from the engine, an EV must produce cabin heat and manage an optimal battery temperature with energy that comes from the battery, which can reduce battery range.
Q: Will an EV meet my daily driving needs?
A: If you are like most Americans and drive an average of 30 miles a day, an EV can meet your daily needs.
Q: What kind of incentives are available for EVs?
A: There are a variety of tax credits, rebates and other incentives available for EV purchases. Visit www.afdc.energy.gov/laws/electric-vehicles-for-tax-credit to learn about federal incentives available through the Clean Vehicle Credit program.
Q: Should I let my co-op know if I purchase an EV?
A: If you purchase an EV, please let us know so we can better serve you. As more CHELCO members buy EVs, it’s helpful to know where they’re located in our area so we can ensure we have the necessary infrastructure in place to meet charging needs and provide reliable power to our local homes and businesses.
We understand making the switch to an EV is a big decision. Whether you’re ready to make an EV purchase or wondering if an EV can meet your daily driving needs, we’re here to help you make an informed decision. Give our Energy Advisor, Tyler Jackson, a call at (850) 892-2111 or contact us at https://www.chelco.com/contact-chelco.