Electric vehicles are no longer a vehicle of the future, they are the vehicle of today. There are becoming more popular everyday due to innovative technology, lower sticker prices and longer driving range. Get smart about electric vehicles below
I’m interested in an electric vehicle, how can I learn more?
Introduction to Electric Vehicles
Get to know the world of Electric Vehicles Electric vehicles are quickly becoming a reality in homes across the country. Runestone Electric Association is ready to provide you with the information to help you understand the ins and outs of battery electric vehicles and hybrid battery electric vehicles! Start your research on the Energy Wise MN website. There you will find facts, types of electric vehicles, and even a savings calculator that will compare your current vehicle to whatever type of electric vehicle you’re interested in.
Check out A U.S. Consumer’s Guide To Electric Vehicles – EPRI for a more in depth look into the EV market
How will an EV affect my Lifestyle
Charging Electric vehicles require charging every 80 to 300 miles, depending on your EV’s range. Most of your charging will be done at home overnight, although, public chargers are becoming more popular, making road trips more realistic to an EV owner. Refer to the FAQs for more chargeing info.
Driving Driving an EV is different than driving a gas powered vehicle. Although all the pedals and Gear shifters are located in all the same places, an EV drives differently. EV’s are powerful, the instant torque is superior to a gas-powered vehicle, it may take awhile to get used to the additional power when first driving an EV. There’s no engine noise. They are equipped with regenerative braking that send kinetic energy back to the battery. The regenerative braking starts as soon as you take your foot off the accelerator, thus stopping much quicker than a gas powered vehicle.
Maintenance One of the biggest perks of an electric vehicle is the low maintenance. No oil changes, no fuel filters, no spark pugs, no transmission, the list could go on and on. EVs require minimal scheduled maintenance to their electrical systems. Because of regenerative braking, brake systems on EVs typically last longer than on conventional vehicles. The biggest maintenance is tires and window wiper blades.
Cost The big question: How much does it cost? A 2019 Chevrolet Bolt driven 15,000 miles per year would cost you $483. (Based on REA general service rates) That same $483 would only get you 5,351 miles in a comparable gas vehicle (in this example, Ford Fiesta).
What can REA offer me?
Controlled: Electric Vehicle Charging Rate*: 4.69¢/kWh
Uncontrolled: General Service Rate: 11.8¢/kWh
*Available to members with a plug-in electric vehicle. An 8-hour charge between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. is available. See requirements
- Qualifying loads must be hard wired (cord and plug connections are not eligible).
- Installation of a meter, controller, and accessory equipment is required.
- Equipment including the meter, meter socket, and REA control device are provided by REA.
- State Electrical inspection required.
- REA inspection confirming control is necessary to finalize eligibility.
$250 Rebate for qualifying uncontrolled EV chargers
$500 Rebate for qualifying controlled EV chargers
- Call REA at 320.762.1121 or toll free at 800.473.1722 to verify program status, prior to purchase.
- EV meter socket must be installed to be eligible for this rebate.
- Rebate amount is up to $500 for qualifying EV charger on a storage rate.
- Rebate amount is up to $250 for qualifying uncontrolled EV chargers
- Fill out this form completely. Incomplete forms will not be processed.
- Include your account number and sign the form.
- Submit completed rebate form and a copy of the original sales receipt within 60 days of purchase date to: EV Rebate, REA, 6839 Power Lane SW, Alexandria, MN 56308
- For questions, call REA at 320.762.1121 or toll free at 800.473.1722 Fax: 320.763.4149
- Rebate program is subject to change or cancellation without notice.
So I bought an electric vehicle, what’s next?
A look at the process
Charging at home
Where do I purchase a charger?
When shopping for a charger, you need to make the best choice for YOU. Use these helpful options to make an informed decision on your EV Charger.
Energy Wise MN Online Store The Energy Wise MN Online store offers Clipper Creek ZefEnergy Chargers. They offer 3 different options:
- The 7.7 kw charger Ideal for charging a Cheverlote Bolt or similar EV.
- The 10 kw charger Faster Charging for EVs with larger batteries like a Tesla model X or similar EV.
- The 11.5 kw charger This charger will provide for future needs of charging EVs.
No need to send in any rebate forms because the Energy Wise MN store offers a $500 instant rebate at time of purchase.
Other Charger Options If the Clipper Creek EV Charger from the Energy Wise MN Store isn’t quite what you’re looking for, there is other buying options out there. Always do your research before purchasing online, you get what you pay for – the cheapest option may not be the best option.
- Buy Direct from the manufacturer like Tesla, Bosch, Charge Point, Juice Box, Siemens, Clipper Creek, ect.
- Online Marketplaces like Amazon or Ebay offer a wide variety of charging options.
- Buy Locally through your preferred electrician.
Chargers purchased independently are available for rebates ranging from $250 to $500. Please contact REA’s Energy Management department for more details.
After your charger is purchased, it’s recommended to have a certified electrician complete the installation of the charger. To receive the REA rebates, installation of a meter socket is also required. Any electrician is qualified to install an EV charger, which means you can have your preferred electrician do the installation!
Where do I find a public charger?
Electric vehicle charging infrastructure is quickly evolving to meet the needs of EV users. To find chargers and to keep up to date on charging infrastructure use these REA recommended sites:
PlugShare Use the app (or website) to find a charger near you and also keep up to date on chargers that are being built.
Plug Into MN Use this local MN site to find chargers
Check out these FAQ’s
Electric Vehicle FAQ
Are electric vehicles Reliable, considering MN tough winters? In short, yes, electric vehicles are very reliable if your driving range is within the range of your electric vehicle. Most EV’s have a driving range from 80 to 300 miles, although this is quickly changing. The cold weather DOES affect your range just like a gas powered vehicle, not due to the cold physically affecting the battery, but due to the added energy it takes to operate your car in the cold.
Will they perform like my current traditional vehicle? While most EVs may not currently look as exciting as a sports car, looks can be deceiving – and the acceleration of EVs is no exception. Several models have already set new records at race tracks and vehicle performance events around the world.
Are EVs as safe as gas powered vehicles? Electric Vehicle must meet the same safety standards as any other vehicle. Plus you won’t be carrying gallons of combustible fuel.
Do I have to buy a foreign car for it to be electric? No, almost every car brand has come out with an electric vehicle or has a plan to offer one in the coming years
Will my electric bill go up? Yes, your bill will go up. You have to consider that your electricity is your fuel. It’s all in weighing the pros and cons. For a close estimation, visit Energy Wise MN and use their savings calculator.
Where do I charge my EV? Most charging can be completed with the regular outlet in your garage at night. Just plug into the 120-volt Level 1 charging cordset that comes with the car. You can also invest in more powerful chargers to power up faster. For road trips, public charging stations are becoming more readily available every day.
How long does it take to charge? Charging has a lot of variables, it depends on the car, How full the battery already is, and type of charger. A level 2 charger would take 6-8 hours to fully charge whereas a DC supercharger would take 45 minutes to 1.5 hours.
Are they expensive? The fuel and maintenances costs of an EV is three to five times cheaper than gasoline- and diesel-powered cars, depending on your local gasoline and electric rates. You might also qualify for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 for the initial purchase of the vehicle.
Do they go far? The average range of today’s EVs is 196 miles on a full charge. The average American’s daily round-trip mileage is less than 30 miles, which makes most models of EVs suitable for the typical commuter. In 2020 new electric vehicles are being introduced with up to a 400 mile range!
Where can I learn more about electric vehicles? Energy Wise MN