Is an EV Right for Me?
If you are considering an EV, here are some questions to answer to make sure it's the right choice.
How many miles do I drive each day and does the car have enough range?
Many EVs offer more than 200 miles of range on a charge, though there are some that won't go that far. With 200 miles of range, most people aren't going to experience range anxiety during their daily commutes. Many factors impact a car's range, such as your speed, your driving habits, the weather, and the car's climate control. It's wise to anticipate having less range than the car's EPA estimate, just to be safe. If you travel over 200 miles on a daily basis, make sure the EV you choose has enough range.
Do I have regular access to charging at home or at work? What level will I need?
Charging at home is convenient. Just plug the car in for an overnight charge. Most EV's come with a Level 1 cordset that uses a standard 110-volt wall outlet, but Level 1 charging only adds about 4 miles of range per hour. This is fine for short commutes, but…
Most EV owners hire an electrician to install a Level 2 charger, using a 240-volt outlet. Level 2 charging, adds 25 miles of range per charging hour. That's 200 miles on an eight-hour charge.
Are There Public Charging Stations Nearby?
Home charging is the most convenient way to power up your EV, but at some point, you may need to charge on the road. Some public charging stations are Level 2, but many offer DC fast charging, which allows you to charge your car rapidly. Some EVs can be charged to 80% in less than 30 minutes at a fast-charging station. Some public charging stations charge a fee.
How much would the electricity cost?
Idaho Falls has some of the lowest electrical rates in the country. This is a big benefit if you are considering an EV. If you're charging at home, you will likely spend much less than the cost of a gas-powered vehicle.
How often do I travel beyond the electric range? Can I take a road trip?
Whether it's convenient or viable comes down to your route and your car's range. If you need to make a long trip, know you EV's range and plan accordingly. Map out the trip to make sure there are DC fast chargers at each stop. It shouldn't be an issue traveling on major highways, be careful if you get off the beaten path.
Many EV owners also own a gas car they use for family road trips.
An EV May Not be Right If…
- You don't have a dedicated spot for overnight parking/charging.
- You have a long commute.
- You make lots of road trips.
- You don't want to constantly plan for where and when the car will be charged.
- Rates and Policies
- Solar / Wind
- Energy Efficiency
- Power Quality / Equipment Protection
- Security Lighting
- Electric Vehicle Programs
- Tree Trimming