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Shocking Advantages To An Electric Vehicle, Is It Time To Dump The Pump?
There are many advantages to owning an electric vehicle, research has shown that there are plenty of advantages when it comes to owning an electric vehicle in the Phoenix area, and these benefits of electric vehicle ownership can strongly benefit the everyday Phoenix driver in ways they never knew. One might say, that this could this be the year that electric vehicles start coming in droves. In fact, according to (MacDuffie) some, this could very well be the year that electric vehicles become exciting. More and more new electric vehicles are showing up on the streets here in Phoenix every day. It is not that surprising when considering that company's like Salt River Project offer rebates of 3000.00 dollars towards the purchase of a new Nissan Leaf electric vehicle (SRP Special Offer).
Many think electric vehicles are still new, in fact that could not be further from the truth. Electric vehicles are not a new concept by any means, they were actually first introduced more than 100 years ago (Department of Energy). Looking back at the turn of the 20th century, electric, gasoline and steam were all competing for their place on the American roadways. Quickly though the electric vehicle started to fade due to the development of the electric starter for gasoline engines and extended distances that these gasoline engines could accomplish, the electric vehicle went silent (Department of Energy). Electric vehicles once again attempted to make a comeback in the 90s with several different models, General Motors EV1 model led the comeback, and the time was the only one developed to be an electric vehicle from the ground up (Department of Energy). During a recent interview, one current electric vehicle owner, Grant Simpson discussed how much he loved his EV1 and how disappointing it was when he had to return it at the end of his lease and how he was denied the option to purchase it (Simpson). However, due to high costs of manufacturing and low fuel costs for its gasoline competitors, the electric vehicle programs of that ERA were abandoned. This resulted in almost all of the electric vehicles ending up in the crusher (Sheen).
Although in recent years, popularity has started to gain interest again for the electric vehicle. So much so, that in 2014, there were 23 different electric vehicle models available to the general consumer (Department of Energy). That same year, more than 234,000 electric vehicles were actively traveling the streets of America (Department of Energy). A few years later, in 2016, KTAR published an article that stated that the city of Phoenix "ranked at No. 8 in the country for electric vehicle-friendly cities in Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative latest Top 10 Friendliest Cities for Electric Vehicles list" (KTAR). In addition, during this time Arizona also set their stance on electric vehicles by establishing the first universal charging route between Phoenix and Tucson; this was a first for the nation (KTAR). It was clear that in Phoenix, the electric vehicle was here to stay.
Once one explores the benefits of electric vehicle ownership, the reasoning behind why they are here to stay becomes much clearer. Many are unaware that electric vehicles have an enormous amount of hidden benefits associated with them. In fact, while researching their benefits, more and more keep becoming known. These benefits can be in the form of rebates, tax credits, free charging, upfront parking, and HOV lane (better known as the carpool lane) access during peak times. There are also lower registration fees and much more. Just looking at the rebates alone can draw one into electric vehicle ownership.
Rebates alone can yield a buyer a large amount of savings. In the Phoenix area, one of the two major power companies, Salt River Project, currently offers a 3000.00-dollar rebate for qualifying purchases on a 2018 Nissan Leaf (SRP Special Offer). In the prior year of 2017, Salt River Project offered a similar electric vehicle rebate program that allotted up to 10,000 dollars off. In addition, in 2017, ABC Nissan teamed up with City of Phoenix and offered city employees a program that allowed them access to a discount of 17,500-dollars (City Of Phoenix). However, rebates are not the only cost savings associated with the purchase of a new electric vehicle, there are also tax credits.
Tax credits are another major benefit to electric vehicle buyer. Since 2010, the Internal Revenue Service has allowed up to a 7500.00-dollar tax credit on qualifying electric vehicle purchases (IRS). Unlike the prior cost saving rebates listed before, this credit can be used towards just about any new electric vehicle make and model. When pairing up the Internal Revenue Service tax credit with the current Salt River Project rebate, a brand new 2018, Nissan Leaf before tax, title and license can be as low as 19,490-dollars (Nissan Motors USA). It is evident that the Nissan leaf keeps yielding the highest savings and most likely it is because, according to Nissan themselves, the leaf is the "World's Best-Selling Electric Car" (Nissan Motors USA). Finishing up with rebates and tax credits, charging is another benefit.
Because an electric vehicle used electricity rather than gasoline, charging the batteries in the electric vehicle needs to occur. The amount of charging will solely depend upon the amount of mileage that the electric vehicle is driven. The 2018 Nissan Leaf advertises that its current model can go up to 151 miles on a charge (Nissan Motors USA). While it may sound complicated at first, it is not. Charging is now a lot more convenient than ever before. In fact, many locations have exclusive parking/charging stations dedicated for electric vehicles only, many of which allows the electric vehicle owner the luxury of free charging. A quick look at PlugShare reviles that currently there are around 300 hundred publicly advertised Phoenix Metro locations that allow owners to charge their vehicles for free (PlugShare). Exploring the same site reveals thousands more in other locations throughout the United States. Some of these stations even offer an option called DC quick Charging. DC Quick Charging allows an electric vehicle to charge much more rapidly than that of a typical charging station. According to Nissan, their Leaf model connected to a DC quick charge can add 90 miles of additional distance in just 30 minutes of charge time (Nissan Motors USA).
With all of these charging stations and locations available, Charging is even easier than ever before. In fact, charging has become such a regular routine for some, that Grant Simpson, an electric vehicle owner, enthusiast and supporter stated, "My employer allows me to plug in while I am at work, and since I live less than 10 miles, I rarely ever find the need to charge my vehicle at my residence. I virtually have not paid for fuel [fuel in this case being electricity to charge] costs in months" (Simpson). In addition, while not everyone may have the luxury of free charging, it is important to know that power company's offer special rates.Not only will customers benefit from lower charging costs on these plans, they may see additional savings on how power is used for other means.
Power companies such as Salt River Project; provide a special power rate to qualifying electric vehicle owners (SRP Plan). These plans can save the subscriber a fair amount of money compared to charging a vehicle on a traditional power program. These special plans are designed to allow the customer to charge their vehicle during off-peak hours, and it typically takes around 7-8 hours to fully charge most electric vehicles to full capacity. They even offer a cost calculator to their customers so they can see the cost of charging up front. This is a great tool when considering the purchase of a new electric vehicle. If fact, someone interested in purchasing an electric vehicle can use this tool to compare all makes and models of electric vehicles to all types of gasoline models.
When using this tool to compare a 2018 Nissan Leaf to a smaller less compact 2017 Nissan Juke, a cost increase of just under 500.00-dollars is added to the expected power bill. While this at first may sound like a large increase, it does not consider the fact that no gasoline is used, no maintenance costs are needed, and registration costs for an electric vehicle are lower. Once those factors are included, it actually turns into a savings of almost 2100.00-dollars for the first year (SRP Tool). These cost savings will vary upon the types of vehicles compared; an example would be that if one compared the same Nissan Leaf against a Ford f-150, the savings could increase while if it were compared to a high mile per gallon economy vehicle, the savings would most likely decrease. While Salt River Project was the only power company researched, other providers such as Arizona Public Service also provides plans similar to those listed above. In addition to charging for commuters, the benefit of HOV lane may really become appealing.
Like the prior benefits, this benefit provides the owner with a savings. Except this time it is not money, it is time. It is important that anyone interested in the purchase of an electric vehicles know that electric vehicles are allowed to access this lane at any time of the day, it even allows access when there is only just the driver. In Phoenix, this is because the Arizona Department of Transportation issues a special alternative fuel license plate to electric vehicle owners (ADOT). This plate, known as the cloud plate is what makes it possible to drive in the HOV lane legally with only one person, and lets law enforcement know that the vehicle is allowed to be in the lane legally, regardless of passengers (ADOT). However, the benefit of this plate does not stop here; this cloud plate also entitles the owner to a much lower registration fee (ADOT). This time saved can be very appealing to those who commute during rush hour traffic every day.
Savings does not just stop though at time and money, another major savings is that of the carbon footprint. When comparing the 2018 Nissan Leaf to the Nissan Juke, removal of over seven thousand pounds of Carbon Monoxide emissions by that one single vehicle every year (SRP Tool). This is equivalent to over one ton of recycled waste, and could account for up to 80 trees planted (SRP Tool). Of course, this is also an important time to mention that the electric vehicle does not need to be emissions tested, as it is a zero emissions vehicle, this only adds to the list of saved trips for the year.
In addition to the saved trip for emissions testing, no longer will there be a need for some of those trips for routine maintenance. Because an electric vehicle does not burn fuel, and therefore it does not require oil changes that a traditional gasoline powered vehicle would need. In addition, there is no longer a need to stop at the gas station for fuel. That can be very refreshing as the standard gallon of gas reaches over 3.00-dollars per gallon, and that is assuming that one's vehicle does not require premium fuel. These rising fuel costs alone are enough for some to explore these advantages.
When conducting researching for the advantages of electric vehicle ownership, a lot of facts and information come up. In fact, a simple google search on all of these benefits can yield results into the thousands, if not millions. Because of the massive amounts of information available, it is also very important to note that all research data and information acquired included researching and checking the creditability of the source. All sources were evaluated so that all of the best information could be presented.
Research also reviled that while there are many benefits to electric vehicles that it also has shown that electric vehicles are not for everyone. For many, the technology is far enough along for people to consider the transition, while for others it is just not there yet. Examples for those that may not benefit would be someone that needs a truck, someone that commutes extreme distances or someone that needs to haul a large trailer. However, for those that were unaware or maybe did not know about the current benefits, it may just be a possibility for them to consider that their time has come to take a first or second look at electric vehicle ownership.
While most of the research was exclusive to the Nissan Leaf, it is important to remember that anyone interested in an electric vehicle should first conduct some personalized research of his or her own. This is so the right type of electric vehicle can be best suited for an individual's needs. Two different personal interviews were also conducted as well. The first interview reviled that the owner, Grant Simpson, who is an Engineering Specialist for Universal Studios reviled that his personal preference was the Chevrolet VOLT electric vehicle. As many others would do, the options of each brand were weighed and it was discovered that the VOLT was the best choice at the time (Simpson). It is also important to know that this is the third electric vehicle that he has chosen to own. Another interview was conducted with a local architect named Richard Beltran. Unlike this first, his choice was the BMX i3, he stated that this option best suite his needs because of the loaner program from BMW. According to this BMW owner, this loaner program provides customers with a loaner Gasoline powered vehicle for those who find the need for an occasionally longer trip (Beltran).
In Closing, electric vehicles can be very fun to drive, they are very clean to the environment, emit very low noise and overall present a very different feeling from that of an typical gasoline powered vehicle. With the growing benefits and advantages get stronger every day, it is no wonder that more and more people every day are choosing to dump the pump. Anyone considering the idea of an electric vehicle should really consider taking a test drive; it will most likely be shocking.Works Cited
ADOT. Vehicle Services.
Beltran, Richard. Electric Vehicle Ownership Brian Brinkley. 27 June 2018. In Person.
City Of Phoenix. Phoenix.gov.
Department of Energy. The History of the Electric Car.
IRS. Plug-In Electric Drive Vehicle Credit.
KTAR. Plugging in: Phoenix ranked among friendliest cities for electric vehicles
MacDuffie, John P. Wharton University of Pennsylvania, Is this the Year Electric Cars Become Exciting?
Nissan Motors USA.
Simpson, Grant. Electric Car Ownership Brian Brinkley.
SRP. Electric Vehicle Price Plan-. Special offer for a 2018 Nissan LEAF
Who Killed the Electric Car? Dir. Chris Paine. Perf. Martin Sheen