Winter 2019 Newsletter: 4 Things To Know About Electric Vehicles

Electric Vehicles, or EVs, are getting a lot of attention these days. Here are a few things to know about this transportation transformation.

1. EVs can handle MN winters

Fuel mileage of all vehicles is impacted by extreme cold. In a gas-powered car, your fuel lines can freeze and your battery can die. While cold can affect an EV’s battery life up to 30%, an average commute is 40 miles, still well below an electric vehicle’s range of at least 150 miles. And, with an EV in your garage, you leave every morning with a full tank. No stopping to fill up in the freezing cold.

2. EVs have a lower carbon footprint than traditional vehicles

Total emissions for an EV are between 25% and 65% lower than those from a conventional car. EVs emit no tailpipe pollutants and are far more efficient at converting energy into power. When an EV and a gas-powered vehicle roll off the dealer’s lot, the EV may have higher emissions due to the battery—which is 95% recyclable, unlike oil and gas. After that, the gas-powered car rapidly passes the EV in total emissions.

3. EVs plug into a grid that’s getting cleaner everyday

We are in the midst of an energy transformation and in Minnesota almost 50% of our power generation is carbon-free. Low-cost clean energy is rapidly making coal-fired plants obsolete. Xcel Energy, Minnesota’s largest producer of power, has a plan to be 100% carbon free by 2050. As a bonus, EVs help stabilize the grid. Most EVs get plugged in at night, when our grid experiences a drop in demand. EV load is predictable, manageable, and welcomed by utilities.

4. EVs save you money

Electricity as a power source is less expensive and more stable than gas. Without oil changes or tune-ups, spark plugs, valves, mufflers, distributors, starters, clutches, drive belts, hoses, or catalytic converters, EVs are also far cheaper to maintain. Today the purchase price of EVs is dropping and, with current federal rebates, new EVs are on par with a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord.