November 15, 2021 Home
Up until recently, when we heard about electric vehicles (EVs), it was usually a very expensive car like a Tesla. There are plenty of models on the road now that are not so pricey. Chevy, Nissan, Volkswagen, Hyundai, and Mazda all have models at standard vehicle prices. Mileage range and charging locations have also been issues of concern.
Change is on its way. In 2011 there were three EV models available in the US. Today there are 72 models. Over the past ten years, average range for EVs has increased from 73 miles to 248 miles on a charge.
Most important for those of us living in rural America, pickup trucks are being produced right now. Rivian, a new and growing company, began delivering pickup trucks in October (with 150,000 pre-orders) and plans production of one million trucks per year by 2030. There has been a lot in the news about the Ford F-150 Lightning. More than 150,000 people have put down $100 deposits on this truck, which will be hitting the road next year.
UPS, Amazon, DHL, and Fed Ex are now operating electricity-powered vans in urban areas. These delivery services are looking towards all electric fleets for local deliveries in the next ten years. General Motors has launched a whole new business, BrightDrop, centered entirely on electric delivery vehicles. The electric delivery vehicle is a perfect matchup for businesses that deliver and pick up goods in the daytime. The vans are idle at night and can be charged up – ready to go in the morning.
What about charging stations? Most people with personal EVs can charge cars through the electricity service in their home. What about travel? This is a major concern for the EV industry. There are now about 43,000 public charging stations (not counting Tesla’s private network) in the US, with a total of 120,000 charging ports.
Good news from the recently passed infrastructure bill – it provides funding for 500,000 charging stations nationwide. Tennessee is out in front of this with a recent grant offering by TDEC and TVA. This grant provides funding for charging stations every 50 miles along the interstate and secondary highway system. This is especially important for states like Tennessee that are major tourism destinations.
You may not be ready for an electric vehicle right now, keep your eyes open. There will be more and more vehicles available, including pickup trucks, with longer range between charges.
Don’t forget: not only is no gas needed, but no oil to change, no water levels and temperatures to check, no spark plugs, no oxygen sensor, no timing belt, no transmission service, no fuel or oil filters. A recent study (Clean Technica, June 20, 2021) showed maintenance costs for EVs at 6 cents per mile, while the comparable internal combustion vehicle was 10 cents a mile. Over 100,000 miles that saves you $4,000 – plus the time spent on repairs and services. EV fuel cost (electricity) is half that of gas.
Everyone needs to learn more about our electric cooperative. For more information, go to pve.coop.