There are a wide variety of benefits to driving an electric vehicle but one of the most pressing on people’s minds is cost. To start, let’s look at the annual fuel costs in Michigan for different types of vehicles.
When it comes to yearly fuel costs, electric vehicles actually cost less on average than gasoline vehicles in Michigan. Part of this is due to the average price of the electric gallon of gasoline equivalent being $1.55 in 2016 as opposed to the average gallon of gas in 2016 being $2.14.
Emissions Reductions from Electric Vehicles
Now financial savings aren’t the only reason to look at switching to electric because electric vehicles also produce a significant amount less emissions than gasoline powered cars. According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center, electric vehicles in Michigan have annual emissions of 4,868 pounds of CO2 equivalent compared to the 11,435 pounds of CO2 equivalent emitted by gasoline powered vehicles.
This number has the potential to be lowered as well depending on the source of energy you use for electric charging. For example, if your home has solar charging capability or something similar these emission levels will be lower. Electric vehicles are not only better for your wallet but they are better for the environment as well.
Now a common question for people switching to electric is how do I charge my car? When it comes to charging electric vehicles, there are two main types of charging: residential and non-residential. For residential charging there are AC Level 1 and AC Level 2 electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). AC Level 1 is what many electric vehicle drivers will use as it requires no additional cost or installation provided there is a nearby power outlet on a branch circuit. This allows for the car to charge overnight and be ready to drive in the morning providing about two to five miles of range per hour of charging. AC Level 1 may not be enough for people that have long commutes or schedules that do not allow them to charge every night so in these instances AC Level 2 will be required as it provides ten to twenty miles of range per hour of charging. AC Level 2 charging equipment has to be purchased and installed. More information on residential charging can be found here.
In addition to home charging there are also many non-residential charging stations, including just under twenty public charging facilities within five miles of our office in Lansing.
These stations will have AC Level 1 or 2 EVSE and some will have DC Fast Charging which is for rapid charging along heavy traffic corridors. In 20 minutes DC Fast Charging can provide enough battery life for a 50-70 mile of range. In ideal conditions of mild temperatures and a low initial charge, a fast charge to 80% will take about 30 minutes, but longer in cold weather. To find more public fueling stations for electric and other alternative fuel vehicles check out the AFDC Alternative Fueling Station Locator.
Electric Vehicle Options in Michigan
So now that you know the benefits and how to charge and electric car what are your options?
As you can see in Michigan the Chevy Volt is the top-selling personal electric vehicle (PEV) followed by the Ford C-Max and the Ford Fusion. Other options are the Nissan Leaf and the Tesla Model S. As the infrastructure for electric vehicle technology improves and more companies focus more heavily on electric vehicles we can look for more diversity in the electric car market.
For more information on electric vehicles, please contact Greater Lansing Area Clean Cities at (517) 393-0342, or email Jeremy Orr at [email protected].