Driving on Sunshine: What Is Owning an Electric Vehicle Like?

  |  March 4, 2021

Images courtesy of SunCommon

With year after year of record wildfires, hurricanes, and other extreme weather events, it’s clear that the climate crisis is only escalating. Widespread change is possible though, and one way that we can all help do our part to reduce our individual carbon footprints is by replacing our outdated, fossil fuel-burning vehicles with clean, electric cars.

When charged with traditional electricity from the grid, electric vehicles (known as EVs for short) produce 60-85 percent fewer emissions than their gas-powered counterparts. And, when you charge your EV with renewable solar power, you’re talking about 100 percent emissions-free transportation!

To learn more about how electric vehicles work, we turned to SunCommon, a Rhinebeck-based installer of residential solar systems and solar electric vehicle chargers who is passionate about the future of clean energy. Read on to find out the answers to three of the top questions SunCommon gets about the day-to-day ownership of EVs.

Images courtesy of SunCommon

1. “How does the cost of an EV compare to a traditional vehicle with an internal combustion engine?”

While the initial price of an EV could be higher than gas-powered models, it’s important to factor in the available incentives and think about the lifetime savings an EV provides. In New York State, the Drive Clean Rebate offers a point-of-sale rebate up to $2,000 on a new electric vehicle, and the federal tax credit offers another $2,500-$7,500. You’ll also save on maintenance costs. With an EV,  there are no oil changes, fuel filters, spark plugs, or exhaust systems to worry about. On top of that, powering your vehicle with electricity is 25-50 percent cheaper than filling up with gasoline.

Images courtesy of SunCommon

2. “Where can I charge my EV?”

EV chargers can be installed easily at your home, usually in the garage. SunCommon also offers the Solar Canopy, a modern timber-framed structure that generates solar power while providing the perfect spot to park and charge an EV.

Public charging stations are also growing in number, and New York State recently committed to installing more than 50,000 charging stations state-wide over the next five years, which will make charging an EV easier than ever.

Images courtesy of SunCommon

3. “How far can I drive on one charge?”

Most new electric vehicles today can go over 200 miles on one charge. While this doesn’t quite match the range of a traditional gas tank, it’s often more than enough for everyday use. Drivers in the US average about 40-50 miles per day, so chances are you’ll have plenty of power to get where you need to go. And, if you’re planning a longer trip, you can simply stop at one of the many increasingly available public chargers and extend your driving range.

A clean energy future is something everyone should enjoy and when it comes to e-transport, that future is arriving quickly! When you’re ready to take the plunge, review this EV checklist and give SunCommon a shout at (866) 452-7652 or solar@suncommon.com.

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