Electricity is a very affordable way to fuel a car. Exactly how much you will save depends on electric rates and the price of gasoline. In Georgia, regular unleaded gasoline costs, on average, $2.53 per gallon. The cost for driving an electric vehicle averages $1.20 per e-gallon, the Department of Energy’s measure for the cost of fueling a vehicle with electricity compared to a similar, but gasoline-fueled, vehicle.
Many people are looking to electric vehicles for environmentally-friendly and affordable transportation. If you find yourself contemplating the switch from gas to electric, look at your lifestyle and decide which option is the best fit for you.
COMPARE: 3 types of electric vehicles
Battery Electric Vehicles
Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have no gasoline engine and run exclusively on the energy stored in batteries. These vehicles can run for 80 miles or more before recharging and include the Nissan Leaf, Fiat 500e, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Ford Focus Electric, Chevrolet Spark EV, Honda Fit EV and Tesla models.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are similar to conventional hybrids, but they have a larger battery that can be charged by plugging into an electric outlet. PHEVs are usually designed with an electric-only range of 10 to 40 miles, blended with a gasoline engine to achieve higher speeds and loads. After the electric-only range is exceeded, the vehicle continues to operate as a hybrid vehicle using a gasoline engine or generator. Examples include the Toyota Prius, BMW i8, Honda Accord Plug-In and Ford C-MAX.
Extended Range Electric Vehicles
Extended range electric vehicles (EREVs) have a plug-in battery pack and electric motor, as well as an internal combustion engine. EREVs are different from plug-in hybrids because the electric motor always drives the wheels, with the internal combustion engine acting as a generator to recharge the battery when it is depleted. Typically, these vehicles have a pure electric range of around 40 miles before the vehicle switches to the range-extender mode. A Chevy Volt is one EREV.
- Up to $7,500 Federal Tax Credit for Electric Vehicles.
- Up to $5,000 Georgia Tax Credit for Electric Vehicles.
All electric vehicles can be charged using a standard 120-volt outlet, commonly called Level 1 chargers. Charging vehicles with a Level 1 charger can take seven to 17 hours when empty. If you need to charge your vehicle faster, consider having a 240-volt circuit installed, similar to the one that powers your clothes dryer. A 240-volt, or Level 2 charger, can fully refuel a battery in four or five hours.
If you are traveling around town, or across the country, download the PlugShare app for your smart phone to find a charging station. Or, log on to the Department of Energy website and find chargers on their map, www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/electricity_locations.html.
PLUG-IN ELECTRIC VEHICLE (APEV) RATE:
If your lifestyle allows you to limit your electricity use during peak times, you could charge your vehicle overnight for five cents per kilowatt-hour with the Jackson EMC Residential Plug-In Electric Vehicle (APEV) rate. This is a whole-house rate, which has the potential to benefit electric vehicle owners. It is similar to our Residential Time-of-Use rate plan, which encourages the shift of electricity use from peak time periods, 3 to 8 p.m. on summer weekdays, to off-peak periods. In addition, those on the APEV rate have the added benefit of a Super Off-Peak period between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when charging their car will result in the greatest savings. Qualifying members must commit to stay on the plan for 12 months. More information about the APEV rate is available at: www.jacksonemc.com/evrate or send questions to [email protected].