We finally got our all-wheel-drive plug-in electric vehicle (PEV)—no gasoline engine and no more CO2 emissions. We’ve been driving it hard for a couple of months and tallied over 6,000 miles, including a few 400-mile trips from the U.P. to Chicago and to Detroit.
Based on my experience, you should order yours now because it takes 6 months to more than a year for delivery. As you hesitate to order, the prices keep increasing. They can now cost as much as a new crew cab fossil truck, but cheaper models are available.
Fossil gas drivers have “range anxiety” (fear of running out of battery) but PEVs today have plenty of range, some over 300 miles on one charge. We rarely drive more than 100 miles a day and we recharge at home. It’s like having a gas station in your garage. Charge overnight with an ordinary 240V garage outlet and wake each morning to a fully charged vehicle ready for another long day of driving. For apartment dwellers, there are programs for owners to add parking lot chargers or just fill up at your local public charger, then drive home, just like you do with a gas guzzler. Either way, PEVs drive cheaper.
We drive electric for about $.04 per mile.
Our gasoline car averages a respectable 28 MPG but still cost $.16 per mile. Our PEV gets 131 MPGe in the city and 117 MPGe on the highway. It’s 75% cheaper to drive, saving about $300 per month in gasoline expense. Plus, there is almost no maintenance–no oil changes, muffler, catalytic converter, or tune-ups. PEVs have few moving parts, there is much less to fail so there are fewer repairs. We do occasionally add a windshield washer.
People worry that the batteries will die in a couple of years but federal law mandates that batteries be warrantied for a minimum of eight years or 100,000 miles. Old PEV batteries don’t die, they just have about 5%-10% less range. Experts suggest today’s batteries will last 10-20 years–300,000 miles or more.
On our 400-mile trips, after about 250 miles we needed to recharge as expected, but plenty of rechargers are available. We never experienced “range anxiety.” It takes 20-40 minutes, depending on the recharger’s power, to recharge to about 80% capacity, enough to finish the trip. Rechargers are usually in the parking lots of major grocery chains or near snack areas, and more are being added nationwide. Recharging takes just enough time to stretch your legs, tap a kidney, visit the stores, enjoy a snack, or just lay back and relax for a bit. After hours of continuous driving on a long trip, the break is welcome and healthy. We recharge while the car recharges.
The experience of PEV driving is different—tons of power, electric everything. It’s like driving a computer with wheels except that PEVs often do much of the driving for you. With multiple cameras and sensors, PEVs are very good at adjusting your cruising speed to traffic, keeping the car centered in the lane, and avoiding hazards. It sees and senses more than you can and reacts faster, making PEVs some of the safest cars on the road. People express fears of battery fires, but records show that you are ten times more likely to have a gas-guzzler car fire than a battery-car fire.
Michigan charges a $100 electric registration fee and a $40 electric tax to compensate for road maintenance gasoline taxes that PEVs don’t pay. One month’s gas savings easily exceeds Michigan’s fees, so drive safer, save money, and stop emitting CO2. Order your PEV today.
Steve Waller’s family lives in a wind- and solar-powered home. He has been involved with conservation and energy issues since the 1970s and frequently teaches about energy. Steve can be reached at Steve@UPWallers.net.
Excerpted from the Fall 2022 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2022, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.