Electric vehicles have been growing in popularity over the last few years. Advances in technology, falling prices, the availability of tax incentives, and the quickly growing charging infrastructure have combined to make owning an electric vehicle an increasingly popular choice. This is good news for the people who live along the Wasatch Front and want to actively contribute to cleaner air. Vehicle emissions contribute to nearly half of all criteria air pollutants (the most harmful types of air pollution) in Utah, and by transitioning to electric vehicles we can reduce emissions immediately.
Electric vehicles aren’t just about air quality and environmental benefits: they are also a source of potential cost savings. On average, it costs about half as much to charge an electric vehicle compared to buying gasoline for a traditional vehicle. Electric vehicles have far fewer moving parts, and operate at much lower temperatures than gasoline vehicles resulting in reduced maintenance.
The Two Types of Electric Vehicles
Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles have both an electric motor with a rechargeable battery and an internal combustion engine. A Plug-In Hybrid can be charged by plugging into an outlet. You can drive a limited distance using only the electric motor, and when the battery runs low the combustion engine kicks in to take you wherever you need to go.
All-Electric Vehicles have only an electric motor and a rechargeable battery, and run exclusively on electricity. All-Electric vehicles are charged by plugging into an outlet and can regain some charge while driving through regenerative braking systems. All-Electric vehicles never produce tailpipe emissions. The average American drives about 30 miles per day, and 80% of all trips are 40 miles or less. Most All-Electric vehicles have a range of 80 miles or greater!
The range capability of new electric vehicles is rising, and growing charging infrastructure makes it easy to recharge on the go. In fact, “fast charge” charging stations can charge an EV battery to 80% in just 30 minutes! You can view a comprehensive map of charging stations in Utah (and nationwide) at the PlugShare website.
There are Federal tax incentives which provide additional savings towards the up front cost of purchasing a new electric vehicle. The Federal incentive can be as high as $7,500 (depending on your choice of vehicle).