Drive Electric

Experience Wicked Zoom: Drive an Electric Car

Driving an electric vehicle (EV) is a fun way to be green while also saving money. EVs are propelled by an electric motor using electricity stored in an on board battery, substantially reducing or eliminating fossil fuels. EV’s help Sonoma Clean Power achieve its goals of reducing carbon emissions while helping customers save money. For the majority of drivers, an EV is a cost effective and logical option.

Why Drive an Electric Vehicle?

Electric vehicles are a great way to eliminate tailpipe emissions. The only emissions are from the electricity used to charge them because they do not have a gasoline-burning engine. Thanks to Sonoma Clean Power’s clean electricity mix, charging an EV significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions. An EV charged with our EverGreen product has 96% fewer emissions than a Toyota Prius Hybrid. That means that a single Prius emits the same greenhouse gas emissions as 23 electric vehicles driving on EverGreen.

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are less expensive to own and operate than gasoline-powered cars. Although new vehicle purchase prices may be initially high, tax incentives, rebates, and competition are helping bring down the price. Additionally, operating an electric vehicle is cheaper than a gas car: they require less maintenance and can be “fueled” for less. EVs are also more efficient than traditional gas cars, traveling roughly 100 miles using the same amount of energy as one gallon of gasoline. Does your car get 100 miles per gallon?

Fun: EVs are fun drive. They provide quick acceleration and are extremely quiet.

Reliable: Unlike a gasoline motor, EV engines have fewer moving parts so there are fewer elements that might fail and need to be replaced. Additionally, they do not require any regular oil changes.

Convenient: With the ability to charge at home, you can leave home each day with a full charge. No more having to stop at the gas station to fill up. Additionally, many innovative employers are offering workplace charging to employees.

Cost of Electric Vehicles

Like all cars, the purchase price of EVs range widely. Manufacturer suggested retail prices for new vehicles range from about $24,000 for a standard EV to $143,000 for a top-of-line, luxury EV. The price will vary depending on the make, model, model year, and dealer promotions.

Incentives: Purchased Electric Vehicles qualify for government tax credits and state rebate programs:

  • Federal Income Tax Credit for up to $7,500. Learn more at fueleconomy.gov
  • California Rebates: $1,500 to $2,500 depending on the vehicle type. Learn more at cleanvehiclerebate.org
  • Carpool Lane Access: A limited number of single-occupancy carpool lane stickers are available for EV drivers. Learn more at dmv.ca.gov

Electric vehicle leases are a popular way of getting EVs. Leasing terms vary depending on the dealership but the common lease averages around $199/month for 36 months; variable upfront costs apply. Check with your local dealerships for any special financing offers for EVs.

Incentives: Leased Electric Vehicles qualify for government tax credits and state rebate programs. The dealerships have the option of including any incentives as part of the final lease price.

  • Federal Income Tax Credit for up to $7,500. Learn more at fueleconomy.gov
  • California Rebates: $1,500 to $2,500 depending on the vehicle type. Learn more at cleanvehiclerebate.org
  • Carpool Lane Access: A limited number of single-occupancy carpool lane stickers are available for EV drivers. Learn more at www.dmv.ca.gov

The cost of “refueling” an electric vehicle is dependent on where and when you are charging your vehicle. With Sonoma Clean Power’s CleanStart product, the price is typically $1.00 per day or approximately $30 per month.

Maintenance of an all-electric vehicle is simple and less expensive!

Because there is no engine, therefore fewer moving parts, an EV has a streamlined maintenance routine:

  • no oil changes
  • no smog checks.
  • Extended life of the brake pads thanks to regenerative braking helping reduce wear and tear.

Charging an Electric Vehicle

Charging a car takes longer than filling a gas tank – anywhere from 30 minutes to 12 hours depending of a few factors:

  • the electrical service being used (Level 1 vs. Level 2)
  • the capacity size of the battery, and
  • how depleted the battery is when the vehicle is plugged in to be recharged.

Approved_EV_signage_(6837651227)Level 1 is from a standard 120v outlet, which is slow but can work well for overnight charging and meet many people’s daily needs.

Level 2 uses a larger outlet, like the one used for an electric dryer, and charges twice as fast.

 

While the range of each vehicles varies, EVs average around 80 miles per charge. The average American drives less than 40 miles per day so the range of a current EV is sufficient for most daily driving needs. Additionally, many auto manufactures have committed to bringing higher range EVs (120 miles or more) to market in the next couple of years.

Home: Home charging is more convenient and comfortable as it allows you to start each day fully charged. Most drivers, charging from a standard 120v outlet is sufficient to satisfy their daily driving needs.

Work: Some innovative employers offer workplace charging as a benefit to employees. Workplace charging is also extremely convenient since your car is parked for the majority of the work day.

Public: Public chargers are quickly becoming more commonplace, helping drivers get a quick pick-me-up charge as they run daily errands.

Various companies and public organizations are working to expand the already growing list of charging locations. The Sonoma County Regional Climate Protection Authority (RCPA) is working to identify the best locations for charging infrastructure. Sonoma Clean Power is working to capitalize on this work to install chargers, while our partner, PG&E, also works to install a large number of EV chargers.

View a list of EV charging stations, as compiled by Plugshare.com