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The benefits of electric vehicles

Electric vehicles (EVs) hold promise as a load management tool for your co-op, if they’re charged at night, when the cost of energy is lower. As interest in EVs grows, we’re here to help you demystify the technology and take advantage of their money-saving benefits.

“Electric vehicles are evolving quickly,” said ECE Energy Services Supervisor Justin Jahnz. “Their range is expanding, the prices are coming down, and more public charging stations are starting to appear. We encourage members who are curious about electric vehicles (EVs) to come to our informational event.”

The event will be held, weather permitting, on Tuesday, June 21 from 6-8 p.m. at ECE’s Braham Headquarters. Dealer representatives and EV owners will be available to visit with members, and ECE will provide information about off-peak vehicle charging rates. A short program is planned at 6:30 p.m. If rain is expected, the event will be canceled. Confirmation will be posted at eastcentralenergy.com.

Q: How much do electric vehicles (EVs) cost?
A: The prices for EVs are coming down quickly as
technology improves. Lower operating costs, as well as
tax credits and other incentives, may help mitigate the
higher up-front cost. A vehicle cost calculator can be
found at afdc.energy.gov/calc.
Q: What’s the difference between a plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) and a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV)?
A: PEVs are powered by one or more electric motors. They receive electricity by plugging into the grid and store it in batteries. They do not consume petroleum-based fuel. PHEVs use batteries to power an electric motor, plug into the electric grid to charge, and also have a gasoline engine to extend their driving range.
Q: What is the furthest an EV can travel on a fully-charged battery?
A: Today’s EVs have driving ranges between 60 and 265 miles. The range of an all-electric vehicle varies substantially, based on driving conditions and driving habits. Range is reduced by the use of the vehicle’s heater and air conditioner, other electric equipment such as seat heaters, extremely cold batteries, high speeds, rapid acceleration and deceleration, hauling heavy loads and driving uphill.
Q: What type of charger is needed for an EV?
A: Most, if not all, EVs come with a portable Level 1 cord-set, which works with a 120-volt outlet. To receive ECE’s low off-peak charging rate of 5.3 cents and qualify for a rebate of up to $500 on installation, a Level 2, 240-volt charger, installed by a licensed electrician, is needed.
Q: How long does it take to fully charge an EV?
A: Charging times range from less than 30 minutes to 20 hours or more based on the type of charging equipment used, as well as the type of battery in the vehicle, how depleted it is and its energy capacity.

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