The electric vehicle (EV) market is exploding. From SUVs to crossovers, nearly 50 models are available today—and that number is expected to reach nearly 140 by 2023. Automakers continue to develop and sell EVs for drivers with different needs and who want different features and price points. Whether you take frequent road trips or commute to and from work, there likely is a model for you.
With the summer travel season upon us, it may be an ideal time to explore your options. MGE can facilitate the process—helping you learn more about models, benefits, charging, and costs. We have valuable information, tools, and resources for individuals as well as companies interested in fleet vehicles.
Why Should I Drive an EV?
A survey from AAA shows one in five Americans likely will choose an EV for their next vehicle purchase. If you are looking for reasons to join the thousands of Wisconsin drivers who already have EVs, consider these benefits:
• Cost. While EVs generally are more expensive to buy or lease compared to similar gasoline vehicles, they cost less than half as much to operate. EV drivers see an average annual fuel savings of more than $600, with the average price to charge an EV being about $1 per “gallon.” EVs also cost less to maintain because they don't require oil changes, and the brakes last longer. Additionally, drivers may be able to take advantage of a federal tax credit of $2,500 to $7,500 when buying a new EV.
• Distance. Today's fully electric vehicles can go up to 200-plus miles on a full charge. Plug-in hybrid models use battery power until it's depleted and then seamlessly switch to gasoline. The average Wisconsin driver travels 30 miles a day, so even the lowest-range EV will get you where you want to go. Advances in technology are improving EV batteries. We expect even longer travel distances in the future.
• Sustainability. Driving an EV can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and MGE has options for EV drivers who want to charge at home on 100 percent renewable energy. All MGE public charging stations are powered by wind energy.
• Experience. When driving an EV, you can expect instant torque. All of the motor's power is available to the driver faster than with a gasoline engine. For example, the Chevy Bolt goes from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than seven seconds. Plus, it's easy to get comfortable using your phone to remotely preheat or precool your car.
Online Tools Put Knowledge at Your Fingertips
MGE makes it easier for drivers to learn about driving and charging an EV.
• Explore My EV. MGE's newest resource, Explore My EV, allows users to compare plug-in hybrid and EVs to gasoline models. This tool explains your savings potential based on your driving habits, home electricity use, and available tax credits and incentives. It also allows users to view options side-by-side to see how different scenarios impact costs in the short and long term. Visit mge.com/ExploreMyEV to learn more.
• LovEV. MGE's LovEV site covers drivers' most common questions about going electric. The website explores the different aspects of driving an EV, including videos featuring EV drivers. It's an easy online stop to learn more about the EV experience. Visit mge.com/LovEV to see what it has to offer.
• EV Rider. This site provides up-to-date and easy-to-understand information on EVs and charging. Its conversational style features short articles, local videos, and interviews with industry experts. Check out energy2030together.com/EVRider for the latest updates.
Charge at Home, at Work, and On the Go
MGE makes it easier to charge at home, at work, and on the go. We also provide customers with options to charge their EVs with clean energy.
• Charging at home. With MGE's Charge@Home program, drivers get faster charging at home, which is where 80 percent of drivers plug in. MGE installs Level 2 chargers at participating customers' homes in exchange for a monthly fee of about $20 plus the cost of electricity. Level 2 charging stations are up to six times faster than using a standard electric outlet and offer more control over charging times.
• Charging on clean energy. Customers can further reduce their environmental footprint by charging their EV at home with green power. With MGE's Green Power Tomorrow, customers can purchase up to 100 percent of their energy from renewable sources. Another option is MGE's Shared Solar program, which allows customers to add locally generated solar to their energy mix. And with MGE's optional rate program, Shift & Save, customers with EVs can save up to 40 percent on home electric costs by shifting vehicle charging and other electricity use to nights and weekends.
• Charging away from home. When drivers need to charge away from home, they can find almost 60 public charging stations in the Madison area. MGE continues to add chargers to its local network, which is powered by 100 percent renewable electricity. MGE's charging network features more than 30 public charging stations, 4 of which are DC Fast Chargers, capable of providing 60 to 80 miles of range in 20 minutes. MGE is planning additional charging stations this year at Madison College's Park Street campus, Willy Street North in Madison, and Piggly Wiggly in Cross Plains.
Our partnerships with local businesses and municipalities that host charging stations help to expand opportunities for EV charging and advance MGE's commitment to support new technology. MGE also helps area employers of all sizes and multifamily developers who want to offer charging for employees and apartment residents.
Take Action Today for a Cleaner Tomorrow
Transportation accounts for 29 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. The electrification of transportation is one of our key strategies for achieving deep decarbonization. We continue to work with employees, customers, municipalities, property owners, and community partners to grow the use of EVs, enable charging opportunities, and create a more sustainable energy future.
In addition to being environmentally friendly, EVs have a lot to offer drivers—from cost savings to expanded features.
Photographs provided by MGE.