Considering the purchase of an electric vehicle?
While we are not yet seeing electric vehicles frequently travel our rural Missouri roads, it is the goal for Consolidated Electric Cooperative staff to provide education and factual information on energy-related topics for their members. CEC, as part of the Missouri Electric Cooperatives network, has partnered with Choose EV to help provide education and information about electric vehicles and charging stations.
We are not promoting the purchase of electric vehicles. It is more so our goal to encourage members to consider the possible impacts of the charging requirements behind their purchase of an electric vehicle. Depending on the level of the charger, it can be comparable to adding an electric furnace to your existing home energy usage. Here are a few questions to consider before purchasing an EV.
Is the transformer large enough to handle the load if you plug in your EV when the heat/AC is on, you're doing laundry, running the dishwasher and cooking dinner?
How is that additional energy usage going to contribute to the cooperative demand?
Will you want to charge your EV when we are experiencing the hottest/coldest weather days and members may be asked to conserve energy?
Know before puchasing an electric vehicle
- Lower operating costs. EVs cost significantly less to operate than gasoline-fueled vehicles.
- Energy efficiency. Electric motors use 75 percent of the chemical energy in batteries to turn the wheels, while conventional engines convert only 20 percent of the energy stored in gasoline.
- Environmentally friendly. Electric power-plant-to-wheels emissions are lower than gasoline well-to-wheel emissions; there are no direct tailpipe emissions from electric vehicles.
- Superior performance. Electric vehicles provide quiet, smooth operation and require less maintenance than gasoline engines.
- Domestic fuel source. Electric vehicles can help reduce dependence of foreign oil.
Did you know?
Is an electric vehicle right for you?
There are many considerations to make before purchasing any new vehicle, and EVs have some unique aspects. First, consider your driving habits. Keep track of your actual daily use so you know what range you need from an EV. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the average American drives almost 30 miles a day, and for rural areas, that average is just under 36 miles a day. However, a typical range for an electric car today is over 100 miles, and ranges of 150 to 250 are becoming more common.
Also, consider what type of EV would work best for you. Depending on your driving habits, if you own a second gasoline-powered car or require any long-distance travel, you may need to consider a hybrid model. Review the types of electric vehicles on the right to determine your best fit.
Charging it up - Make sure your home is able to support the requirements your charger will need
If you decide to purchase a BEV, one of the most important questions to ask yourself is how you plan to charge it and can the electric service at your home support it? There are three ways to charge an electric car:
Level 1: The simplest charging technique is to plug the car into a standard home outlet. That will charge the battery at a rate that will add from two to five miles to its range each hour.
Level 2: These stations require a 240-volt plug and a dedicated 40-amp circuit. They will provide between 10 and 25 miles of range for each hour of charging, which would fully charge the battery overnight. Timers can also be used to charge the vehicle in the middle of the night when electric consumption is typically lower in the home.
Level 3: This is the fastest form of charging, and requires specialized equipment more suited to public charging stations. It will charge a car battery up to 80 percent of capacity in 30 minutes. This high-speed technique should only be used for special long-distance driving, since it can degrade the battery over time.
It is recommended that you ask an electrician to come to your home to inspect your breaker panel and assess the additional wiring needs required to install an EV charger. You will also need to contact the Operations Coordinator at Consolidated Electric Cooperative about your plans for an EV charger. Based on your energy usage and the capacity of the EV charger, the transformer for your electric service may need to be evaluated.
EV tax credits
All-electric and plug-in hybrid cars may be eligible for a federal income tax credit. The credit amount will vary based on the capacity of the battery used to power the vehicle.
Knowledge is key
To learn more about electric vehicles, Consolidated Electric Cooperative has partnered with Choose EV to provide reliable information about various EV models, tax credits, how to find public charging locations and general EV facts.