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If you are considering purchasing a new car and are looking at an electric vehicle (EV) as a serious option, it is important to understand how an EV can lead to different sources of spending and saving when compared to conventional gas engines. The decision is getting easier to make every year!

What is an electric vehicle?

Electric vehicle (EV) - powered purely with electricity, with no backup fuel source.
Examples: Tesla Model 3, Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf

Plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) - can run on electric power or gas power.
Example: Toyota Prius, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Chevy Volt

Is an EV right for you?

Is your daily commute under 200 miles?

Most of today's electric vehicles have a driving range per charge of around 194 miles. If your daily commute is under that number per day, there is likely an affordable EV model that will fit your driving needs.

BUYER TIP: If you're considering an electric vehicle, make sure to review the "range-per-charge" for your top picks. This reflects how many miles the car can go on one full charge - a critical factor when looking at EVs. Range differs greatly between models: If your daily commute is 30 miles, a model with a 100-mile range should get you through about 3 days of travel before needing another charge.

Do you frequently take long road trips?

Although electric vehicles are becoming more common and provide a viable alternative for drivers, long-distance trips can still be difficult. Planning ahead is essential when traveling far distances in an EV as battery technology has improved but not yet adapted to longer journeys, especially with the range of most models being limited to less than 200 miles per charge. However, those willing to invest may find high-end EVs offering up to a 330-mile range on one single charge.

Does your household have more than one car?

Living in a household with multiple cars? Going electric is an amazing opportunity to reduce your family's costs while helping the environment. Use one vehicle for daily commutes and reserve traditional transport for long-distance trips.

How do I charge my EV?

Level 1 - 120 volts
Charging a vehicle at Level 1 means plugging into a standard 12-volt outlet. Most vehicles can be charged at Level 1, although it takes significantly longer (15-40 hours) than other charging options.

Level 2 - 240 volts
Using 240-volt service, a depleted 60-kW battery can be fully charged in approximately 6 to 8 hours. Some electric models can completely charge in as little as 30 minutes. This is the most common level for a home charging system and many public charging stations.

Direct Current (DC) - Quick Charging
This option is typically only available for public charging. On average, the DC fast charger can add 40 miles of range for every 10 minutes of charging. These stations are usually found along major transportation corridors and many charge a fee for use, although costs may vary.

How do I install a charger at home?
Preparing for your electric vehicle is easy. Installing a 240-volt Level 2 home charger is much like installing the wiring for a clothes dryer or other heavy appliance. Most homeowners hire an electrician for this, and it can usually be done in a few hours. Home chargers usually cost between $400 and $1,000, and rebates are available.
What about winter driving?
All vehicles, electric or otherwise, will experience some level of decreased performance in the winter months. On the coldest days, when drivers are blasting their heaters, EVs may lose up to 40% of their standard charge range. However, that loss can be shortened up to 20% by keeping your vehicle in a warm garage and allowing it to heat up while still plugged in.
How long will it take to charge my EV?
It varies depending on the vehicle, the battery and how much it needs to charge. A typical electric car (ex. Nissan Leaf) takes four hours to charge from empty using a 7kW home charger.
Where can I charge on the road?, a national online charging station locator, is one of many online tools to find charging opportunities between you and your destination.
How much will charging my EV cost?

This can vary depending on your EV and the battery size. On average, an EV will require 30 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per 100 miles of range. If charging at home on our regular rate, EV charging will cost under 4 cents per mile. If charging at home using a Level 2 charger connected to our off-peak program, EV charging will cost about 2 cents per mile.

Based on driving 10,000 miles per year, the cost to charge an EV will be $360 per year on the regular rate or $200 per year on the off-peak rate. (This calculation does not include any utilization of public chargers that may charge a higher fee for use.)

How far can you drive on a fully charged battery?
A 7KW home charger provides about 30 miles per hour of charge. All-electric vehicles currently range from 62 miles to more than 290 miles (Tesla Model X) on a full charge. Hybrids typically range from 10 to 53 miles on the electric battery.
How long until the average battery needs replacement?
The lifetime of the battery varies greatly between models and is impacted by charging and driving practices. It is important to check with the manufacturer's warranty before purchasing the vehicle. Most vehicles have a 10-year battery warranty, while others are through the life of the vehicle.
Are there rebates available to me?
Yes, North Star Electric Cooperative offers an incentive for the installation of a Level 2 charger (240-volt) connected to the demand response/off-peak program: $100 per kilowatt ($500 maximum). In addition, there are currently federal consumer tax credits available for the purchase of an EV, ranging from $2,500 to $7,500 based on the size of the EV's battery. Most insurance carriers also offer discounted rates.