National Drive Electric Week, celebrated from September 26 to October 4, is a 9-day long event raising awareness about the environmental and social benefits of driving all-electric and plug-in hybrid cars. In its tenth annual commemoration, National Drive Electric Week events will include webinars ranging from topics on how to get started with an electric vehicle (EV) to making ownership more inclusive.
RENEW Wisconsin, in partnership with Wisconsin Clean Cities, will be hosting the fourth and final webinar of our Virtual Electric Series on September 30 from 1:00PM to 2:00PM. The Local Utilities & Infrastructure Webinar will feature utility experts as they talk about incentives and programs offered to help Wisconsinites drive electric.
Why Drive Electric?
From 2017 to 2018, EV sales grew 80% across the nation, with a total of 1.18 million EVs on the road by the end of March 2019. Wisconsinites drive electric vehicles for many reasons, some cite the safety and speed and others love the efficiency and environmental benefits of EVs.
For Madison resident Matthew Ploeger, driving an EV means having the perfect car for a road trip. Ploeger, who owns both a Tesla Model S and a plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt, said he particularly enjoys the safety features of his Tesla, as well as the smooth and quick acceleration.
“I love being able to drive the Tesla … and make use of the supercharger network, which makes a road trip fantastic,” Ploeger said. “We can go for 180 to 200 miles, stop for 25 to 30 minutes to charge, stretch our legs, get something to drink, and then we’re back on the road in 30 minutes with 80% charge and we go another 175 to 190 miles.”
Echoing that sentiment, Bayfield resident Roger Aiken enjoys driving his roomy all-electric Chevy Bolt, which he says is an ideal way of travelling with his two labradors and his wife, Susan. Pre-COVID, he drove 20,000 miles a year, getting 107 electric miles per gallon.
Living in a hilly neighborhood, Aiken has found that his EV drives more efficiently than a gas powered car, as his car generates electricity as it’s going downhill, so that he can use that energy for driving uphill.
EVs are efficient, especially when powered by the sun
Madisonite David Brow says his all-electric Tesla Model S is easy to maintain and fun to drive. He and his wife chose to drive electric for the environmental benefits. Brow has solar panels on his home, which means his car is powered by the sun! Solar powered EVs minimize emissions and create a cheap way to produce energy. Even without access to renewable energy, EVs don’t produce any tailpipe emissions, limiting the amount of smog-forming pollutants in the air and having a positive effect on human health.
Similarly, Lee Gasper-Galvin of Sun Prairie cites her vehicle’s efficiency as a primary reason why she chose to drive electric.
“I drive electric because electric vehicles are much more efficient than internal combustion engine vehicles,” Gasper-Galvin said. “For example, this Tesla Model 3 has a 95% efficient electric motor, as compared to an internal combustion engine vehicle, which is only 20-30% efficient.”
Other ways to ride
Choosing to drive a car is not the only way to drive electric.
Jim Holmes, a Marshall resident, rides an electric motorcycle and an electric lawnmower. He said his electric motorcycle is his preferred way to ride, as it is low-maintenance and can go 90 miles per one full charge.
Holmes chose to invest in an electric lawnmower not only because of the convenience of not having to get gas, but also because of the added environmental benefit.
Whatever you choose to drive, EVs have a plethora of individual and environmental benefits, such as savings on fuel and maintenance costs, and reduced emissions and cleaner air. EVs are becoming increasingly popular, and driving electric has never been easier. EVs are becoming increasingly popular, and driving electric has never been easier. For more information, visit renewwisconsin.org/electric-vehicles.