The Driving Force

The purchase and use of EVs has fast-tracked in popularity across the country. In rural Michigan, electric co-ops are keeping a close eye on the EV industry and can serve as a good resource if you have questions about purchasing one this year. Here are two TEC co-op members who drive electric vehicles themselves. Read below to learn how this shift in transportation has made financial and environmental sense for them.

TEC Board of Director Jon Findlay is familiar with the EV technology as his brother, Kevin, drives a Tesla Model 3. Kevin often refers to TEC as his “gas station” as he often charges his car at home, and at TEC’s 12 cent rate, he compares it to 50 cents a gallon gasoline. He recently took a trip to Grand Rapids from Unionville and figures he spent about $12 on the drive using both power from his home charger and a series of fast charging stations available at certain Meijer stores.

Dallas Braun TEC General Manager drives a Mitsubishi Outlander hybrid. It offers a little more of the SUV look and feel, including four-wheel drive. Like all hybrids, this vehicle has a small gasoline-powered engine along with battery technology. His vehicle can be driven solely in “EV” mode using only the battery. A trip on a full DC charge will get you about 18 miles. A full overnight charge on a level-1 charger (120 volts) at the retail rate of 12 cents/ kWh will cost approximately $1. So it costs about $1 to drive 18 miles. Compare this to a vehicle that gets 18 MPG. Even at $2 per gallon of gas at the pumps, the energy cost comparison is half the cost. Hybrid vehicles are ideal for those that have a shorter commute. Braun is excited to see where the transportation industry including EV technology will be in a few years.

Do you drive an electric vehicle?

Please email editor@countrylines.com with your contact information (name, email, phone number, electric co-op) and a brief testimonial outlining your personal experience driving an EV. Someone from the magazine may call or email you to interview you and possibly feature your story in an upcoming article. 

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