Sustainable Transportation: Driving Electric Is Easy

Electric car at charging station
Photograph provided by MGE

A growing number of drivers have already switched to electric, and many will soon follow suit. Electric vehicles (EVs) have become a serious contender for car buyers nationwide. From convenience and fun to lower fuel and maintenance costs and environmental benefits, EVs have a lot to offer. Today’s models:

• Cost about half as much to operate as gasoline vehicles. The average price to charge an EV is roughly $1.20 per gallon. EVs also cost less to maintain. EV brakes typically last longer, and oil changes aren’t needed. Plus, drivers may be able to take advantage of a federal tax credit for buying a new EV.

• Help cut greenhouse gas emissions. All-electric vehicles have zero tailpipe emissions. If you charge your EV using MGE’s public charging network, you fuel up with 100 percent clean energy. You also can sign up for MGE’s Green Power Tomorrow program to fuel your EV with clean electricity at home.

• Can travel far on a full charge. The average Wisconsin driver travels 30 miles a day, so even the lowest-range EV can take you where you want to go. Improved EV battery technology has enabled some models to travel 300-plus miles on a full charge, and we expect even longer travel distances in the near future.

• Go fast. 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, Ford says its Mach-E GT Performance can hit 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds.

Charge@Home
Supporting the evolving EV market is part of MGE’s commitment to new technology and innovative products and services for customers. Our Charge@Home program makes it easy for MGE customers who drive EVs to conveniently charge at home, which is where 80 percent of charging occurs. That means no more trips to the gas station.

It’s easy to get started. MGE coordinates the installation of Level 2 (L2) 240-volt charging stations at customers’ homes for about $20 a month plus the cost of electricity, with no upfront costs. If anything goes wrong, MGE will repair or replace the station. Other benefits include:

• Faster charging. L2 chargers can charge up to nine times faster than a standard 120-volt electrical outlet. They can provide 10 to 25 miles of range per hour.

• Reduced charging costs. L2 charging allows drivers who sign up for the Shift & Save (MGE’s time-of-use rate) program to charge at times when electricity costs less.

• More control over energy use. Participants can monitor and manage charging sessions remotely using a smartphone.

Charge on the Go
Drivers need options for charging away from home too. MGE built one of the Midwest’s first EV charging station networks, powered by 100 percent renewable energy. The network of 45 public charging stations includes 5 DC Fast Charge stations.

MGE’s fast-charging hub along downtown East Washington Avenue corridor serves nearby businesses and residents, commuters, taxi and rideshare drivers, and others who need convenient charging on the go. It includes high-speed chargers to serve eight stalls at the site, which, with power levels up to 350 kilowatts, are some of the most powerful EV chargers in the Midwest. In addition, Tesla installed eight Superchargers at the hub. They’ve prepared us for the future of EVs with even larger batteries and range.

MGE’s EV Owners Group offers EV drivers who join 50 percent off charging at any public charger in MGE’s charging network, which includes the fast-charging hub. Members also receive updates on MGE’s EV programs, services, and station installations.

Tools to Make Informed Decisions
Learning about EVs and charging can seem overwhelming, but MGE can help. We have been talking to customers about EVs since launching our public charging network more than 10 years ago. Whether you’re new to EVs or an early adopter, MGE is available to answer your questions.

• LovEV. If you prefer to gather information on your own, MGE’s LovEV website is a good place to learn about the EV driving experience. This resource covers drivers’ most common questions about going electric and includes videos featuring EV drivers. Customers can learn how to charge and how to figure out if they’ll save by driving electric. The site also features an online EV search tool from the Electric Power Research Institute and a search tool for medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

• Explore My EV. This easy online tool allows users to compare EVs to gasoline models, showing 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.

Something for Everyone
The auto industry is embracing an electric future. Research and development dollars have been shifted to developing and marketing dozens of EVs that will be on the roads soon. From pickups and SUVs to longer-range vehicles, more options are making EVs practical for more drivers. Whether you need to haul equipment, transport your kids and their friends, or just travel to and from work, there likely is an EV to meet your needs.

Working Together for a Sustainable Future
MGE is targeting net-zero carbon electricity by 2050. The electrification of transportation is a key strategy for reducing carbon emissions. We continue to work with customers and community partners to grow the use of EVs, enable charging opportunities, and create a more sustainable energy future.

Stay up to date on the latest electric vehicle developments, charging opportunities, and more at mge.com/LovEV and mge2050.com .

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