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The Future Of Electric Vehicles & Beyond

Jul 9, 2021

With every passing year, electric vehicles are becoming more widely adopted and diverse in their options. Virtually every car manufacturer in the United States offers at least one electric vehicle option or has one coming soon. Some manufacturers have even committed to produce all electric vehicles by 2035!

If you’re thinking an electric vehicle might be one you own in the future, we talked with our efficiency expert, Cara Shaefer, Director – Communications & Energy Services, about all things electric vehicles and where she thinks they will land in the future.

What is an electric vehicle? What are some examples of electric vehicles?

An electric vehicle (EV) is a car that runs on an electric motor rather than a gasoline powered engine. Gasoline powered cars are traditionally called internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. An all-electric vehicle runs exclusively off a battery. A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) has both a battery motor and a gasoline engine. With plug-in hybrids, the battery for the motor is smaller and supplements the gas engine.

What are the benefits of owning an electric vehicle?

You can charge your car at home, they require little maintenance, and they lower the cost of fuel (energy) for the car.

When you install an electric vehicle charger at home, you save time when you skip the gas station fill up. Instead, you simply plug in your car overnight and you’re ready to go in the morning. When you compare traditional vehicles with electric vehicles, you could pay up to 70% less on fuel alone!

Maintenance is simple on an electric vehicle. With no engine, there’s no need for motor maintenance like oil changes, fuel filters or new spark plugs. Over the life of an electric vehicle, you will pay nearly half as much in maintenance costs as you would a gasoline powered vehicle.

What are the direct benefits to the community, if any, of driving an electric vehicle?

With more people driving electric vehicles in the community, that could lead to infrastructure upgrades that include more public charging options. Plus, electric vehicles have the potential to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by up to 50%, improving our community’s air quality.

How has City Utilities embraced adopting electric vehicles?

We offer an EV-Ready Home rebate for builders of new single-family homes. The rebate is offered to builders to encourage them to install a 240V outlet since they do not come standard in garages, which is required for Level 2 home chargers. By having the upgraded outlet already in the garage, the homeowner is saving money if an electric vehicle is in their future. Retrofitting your garage to include the 240V outlet is more expensive since the breaker box may be full and the sheetrock is already up.

Additionally, City Utilities has had an electric vehicle in our fleet for over a year, so we can educate ourselves on the ins and outs of these vehicles. Later this year we will be rolling out two new all electric buses! 

Thinking about the future, where do you see electric vehicles in five or even 10 years?

In five years, we anticipate seeing an increased adoption of electric vehicles. With more on the road, we hope to see more public charging stations locally available. In 10 years, most new vehicles purchased from car manufactures will be all electric.

Do you have more questions about electric vehicles or our EV-Home Ready rebate? Call our energy services team at 417-874-8200.