Sunrise in Kalispell

Electric Vehicles Lightreading

How do you envision the future of EVs?

Charging infrastructure will be key. Eventually there will be plenty of quick charge stations, but generally charging will be done at home. Workplace charging or stations at other locations where cars may be parked for several hours at a time will also play an important role. For truck and other big rig enthusiasts, those types of electric vehicles are in the works!

What’s compelling the evolution of EVs?

Good old American innovation. As more batteries are produced and used, economies of scale drive costs down. EV’s have one-tenth the number of moving parts, so they’re more like a computer than a gas powered car. Word of mouth is also powerful. The same thing happened when America switched from horse and buggy to automobiles. When something is better, progress happens quickly.

What are the additional benefits?

EV’s are some of the safest cars on the road. Because most of their batteries are big and mounted low, some EV’s are almost impossible to roll. And, while they still need snow tires, the low center of gravity allows for safer driving in winter conditions.

What is the driving experience like?

3 men looking at an electric vehicleIt handles like an expensive sports car. You also don’t have the constant vibrations like in a gas powered car. Quiet driving means you don’t have to turn up the radio so high or raise your voice to have a conversation.

What’s the economic impact for you?

A 300% increase in efficiency. I commute from Bigfork each day, and I save about $4,000 per year in fuel and maintenance costs compared to the small SUV I owned before. EV’s get the equivalent of 100 to 130 miles per gallon (mpg). I have no oil changes, no transmission to repair, and brake pads that never wear out.

What has surprised you about your EV?

How fun it is to drive. The power is there from the moment you turn it on. I also wondered if the battery would wear out, but have learned that these cars can go 300,000+ miles without problems. And instead of having to stop at a gas station, I just plug my car in at night, and it’s fueled by morning.

What went into your decision to purchase an EV?

I have a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that runs on electricity for the first 40 miles, then switches to gasoline for the next 260 miles of range. My main impetus was saving money and reducing pollution.