The most recent messages from car manufacturers are all about higher MPG, lower emissions and the move towards electric vehicles (EVs). This hits home for mainstream drivers looking to save money and lower their carbon footprint. While saving money and being less dependent on fossil fuels is always a great idea, the jump to an electric vehicle may not be for everyone. I spoke with Thuy Dang, our Head of the Automotive Domain about what it was like when he switched to a Fiat 500e as his daily driver.
First, the benefits electric vehicles are pretty clear from an ecological perspective by reducing the amount of pollutants in the air and relying less on gasoline. The ability to use this technology is also really cool. It opens the door to someday replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy. From a monetary perspective the reduction in gasoline dependence brings freedom from fluctuating prices, and depending on your state there are loads of tax rebates available. When you factor in the gas savings, rebates and other deals, driving an electric car becomes very cost-effective. Another perk is the eligibility of EVs to use the HOV lanes which can help save time and reduce stress on your daily commute.
What are the downfalls of switching over to an EV? Well according to Thuy, there is ‘range anxiety’. This is when you worry the battery will run out before you can reach your destination or a charging station. While this is always a concern, and a very valid one, as EVs become more popular there will be more public charging stations. In fact, many of the current charging stations are free to use. So hopefully ‘range anxiety’ will be a thing of the past. In recent history several people have taken trips across America in the Tesla Model S, proving there are plenty of charging stations. Although it must be noted these trips were planned around the availability of those stations.
Another concern about EVs is the lack of power available to excite the traditional car enthusiast, and while Tesla has found a solution to this, the extravagant price tag is a major turn off to many. The new Model X can do 0-60MPH in 3.2 seconds but it also costs a whopping $132k. I do believe as the technology becomes more developed it will be cheaper for mainstream auto manufacturers to develop electric solutions with more giddy-up for the average motorist.
Aftermarket electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) is making huge strides to pick up where the stock equipment from auto manufacturers leaves off. Companies like EVoCharge are pushing the limits of EV equipment and making it easier than ever to switch over to electric with intuitive solutions for home and commercial use.
One of the biggest problems with stock Stage 1 EVSE is it does not take full advantage of the energy coming in since most operate between 8-16 Amps. This equates to a charging time of about 12-16 hours, which is inconvenient if you drive frequently throughout the week for long distances. The EVoCharge units and other Stage 2 EVSEs operate at 30 Amps, thus reducing the charge time to about 3-4 hours. It’s perfect for topping off or fully charging without sacrificing your schedule.
The units are made in the U.S.A and designed to increase the efficiency of the EV. For example, their charging solutions include a retractable cord, making it easy to keep your garage floor clear and safe from tripping. It even has more durable construction for outdoor use.
When talking to Thuy about his switch over to an EV daily driver, he says “I’m a motorhead and didn’t think I would be so accepting of EV’s, but it is just so convenient.” With the Southern California Edison Electric Vehicle Rate plan (Residential Time-of-Use Plan) designed for EV drivers, Thuy only sees a bump of about $20/month in his electric bill from overnight charging. This plus the tax rebates almost offset the cost to lease the vehicle, and combined with the gas savings on a daily driver make the switch very attractive to many in similar situations.
Looking to the future of the EV industry, Thuy sees charge times being reduced with the ranges extending. We can also expect more auto manufacturers adding multiple lines of electric cars to compete under the tightening federal mandates for emissions and MPG. Before long, the majority of the population may own an EV of some form or another and want to maximize the efficiency further with solutions like these.
Have you considered switching over to EV technology? Let us know.