Imagine a gas shortage where you have no anxiety or stress. Imagine waking up with a full tank everyday and never having to take time out to visit a gas station. Well, for hundreds of Leon County residents that is their everyday reality.
It’s no coincidence that more and more people are making the switch to an electric car given that major auto manufacturers have set goals for their vehicle line ups to be entirely electric in the coming decades: Jaguar by 2025; VW by 2026; Volvo and Bentley by 2030; GM by 2035; Toyota, Honda, and Daimler/Mercedes-Benz by 2040; Ford by 2050.
What’s all this electric vehicle (EV) buzz about anyway?
Well, with new options in our city, such as the Ford Mach-E, VW ID.4, Volvo XC40 Recharge, and Kia E-Niro, EV ownership is finally doable right here in Tallahassee — not to mention old reliables that have been here for years such as the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Bolt. No more having to go online or out of town to buy an EV. You can go to our local dealers today and give them a test drive.
Still have questions about how to make driving electric a reality? Never fear. Sustainable Tallahassee’s Electric Vehicle Club is here to empower everyone to drive electric. So let us help you find the perfect EV by connecting you with real owners who drive them every day.
Join our Facebook group; our Sustainable Tallahassee’s Electric Vehicle, first Monday of the month, 5:30 p.m., meet ups; or send me an email (see below). Look for us spreading the electric word at local events as we recently did at LeMoyne Chain of Parks Art Festival, Springtime Tallahassee, and the Soul of Southside Festival.
Concerned about budget?
No problem! Used electrics can easily be found online at Carmax, Vroom, Carvana, Autotrader, and other websites. Just choose the “electric” fuel type filter under an advanced search. With the median fossil fuel vehicle in the US priced at $38k, the Chevy Bolt is already priced well below that at $30k; and the Nissan Leaf at $35k after $7.5k tax credit; even the Tesla Model 3 at $40k is not far above.
The new electric crossover SUVs are not too expensive either with the VW ID.4, $32k after $7.5 tax credit; Ford Mach-E, $35k after $7.5 tax credit; Kia E-Niro, $39k after $7.5 tax credit; and the Volvo Recharge, $46k after $7.5 tax credit. Of course, you can always splurge with a Tesla Model Y, S, X; Jaguar I-PACE; Audi e-tron, or Porche Taycan. I’ll let you look up those prices for yourself.
But what about going on a road trip?
No problem. Most new EVs now have ranges over 200 miles and over the past few years the charging network has expanded to all major highways, thanks to companies such as Electrify America, ChargePoint, and Tesla. But don’t take my word for it.
Go ahead and download the PlugShare app and take a look for yourself and use its trip planning option to find out where you can charge on your usual road trips.
Despite the focus on a car’s range, the reality is most people drive an average of 30 miles a day and charge their EV at home. Home charging is where you get the tremendous savings over gas vehicles. Charging a car costs less than half the cost of gas fueling. The savings really add up!
Did I mention that the maintenance of an EV is also a fraction of a gasoline vehicle? No engine means no oil changes, no tune-ups, no broken belts, no blown gaskets, no spark plugs, no fuel injectors – nada! The only real maintenance for an EV is tires, brakes, and windshield wipers.
So why do we want everyone to drive electric anyway?
About one-third of our city’s carbon emissions comes from transportation. Electric cars are not only much more efficient than gas cars, but strategically important in reducing the amount of CO2 we contribute to the atmosphere.
Without electric transportation we cannot meet our city’s goal of being 100% renewable by 2050. So, thank you for doing your part, and when it comes time to buy your next vehicle, please choose electric.
Leighanne Boone is the Chair of Sustainable Tallahassee’s Electric Vehicle Club and Renewable Energy Advocacy Committee. She can be reached at Leighanne.Boone@gmail.com. This is a “Greening Our Community” article, an initiative of Sustainable Tallahassee. Learn more at www.SustainableTallahassee.org
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