But he also identifies why electric vehicle ownership remains out of reach for many.
Earlier this year Ken Kimmell, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists, purchased a Chevrolet Bolt EV. After about 6 months, he has found electric vehicle ownership to be everything he had hoped. The car is fun to drive, has a low cost of ownership, and far more efficient than a gasoline car.
Mr. Kimmell has uncovered what many EV owners have already come to realize. For a home owner with a garage, an EV is more convenient (not less) than a gasoline-powered vehicle.
“I charge the car once or twice a week overnight. Plugging it in takes about five seconds, and the charging takes between 4-8 hours. When I wake up, the battery is full. No more trips to the gas station. (…) Because of the long range, I rarely need to use public charging stations while on the road. I’ve used them five times since I leased the car, typically to add about fifty miles of range.”
Owning an EV like a Chevy Bolt, Tesla Model 3 or Nissan Leaf is also much more affordable than it appears at first blush. In addition to taking advantage of the $7,500 federal tax credit, $2,500 of his down payment was paid back by the MA rebate program. Similar programs are available in many other states. That is just the upfront savings:
“At the same time, I am saving about $60/month in fueling costs, as electricity cost per mile is less than half of gasoline, even in a state like Massachusetts that has relatively high electricity costs and relatively low gas prices. And not paying for oil changes, air filters, belts, brake pads and many other maintenance expenses for a gas-fired car also saves money.”
Read more: Inside EVs