Electric Vehicles are becoming more and more prominent in our area and across the nation. We've compiled a stack of information to help you, our members, learn more about EVs and to help you make informed buying decisions if you choose to cruise down the electric highway.
The appeal of electric vehicles (EV) is gaining momentum as range is expanding. EV owners can confidently drive nearly everywhere with a bit of planning. The Chevrolet Bolt, Hyundai Kona, & Tesla Model 3, all shown here, are popular EV choices among consumers.
How to Charge
At home using a normal wall outlet (cable included with the car)
Slow charge rate (3-5 miles per hour)
Useful for drivers traveling 40 miles or less daily (Level 2 preferred if available)
At home using a dedicated charging station
Medium charge rate (15-30 miles per hour)
Useful for drivers traveling 100+ miles daily
DC Fast Charging
Three connector types (CCS, CHAdeMO, Tesla)
Just off the highway using dedicated high power stations
Fast charge rate (150-400 miles per hour)
Useful for long-distance driving 300+ miles daily
When to Charge
All Electric Vehicles have timers that let you set when the car charges.
The best time to charge your Electric Vehicle is between 10 pm and 6 am. This is when renewable wind power peaks and there is typically more capacity in the Texas grid.
You want to avoid charging late afternoons (4 pm to 7 pm) when there is typically less capacity in the Texas grid.
Where to Charge
There are over 2,000 charging stations (and growing) in Texas and many stations charge multiple vehicles at a time. For daily driving, most charging will occur overnight at home or throughout the day at Level 2 & DC Fast Charge stations. Stations are usually located at offices, shopping malls, restaurants, and hotels. For highway driving, charging will happen at dedicated DC Fast Charging stations located along main highways. Drivers can choose from multiple networks based on the fast charging connector on their vehicle (most networks support multiple connector types at each station.) Common networks include Electrify America, Tesla, EVgo, & ChargePoint.
Be sure to plan ahead for any trips. Charging stations are connected to the web with apps that display station status, occupancy, cost, & charge rates.
Helpful charging station maps & route planners for EV drivers:
The State of Texas offers a $2,500 rebate for buying an electric car. Texas EV Rebate Program (2,000 applications accepted per year). The US Federal tax credit is up to $7,500 for an buying electric car. Federal Tax Credit (200,000 vehicles per manufacturer). Electric vehicle drivers save $500-$1500 per year in refueling costs compared to gasoline. Auto manufacturers are estimating a 40% reduction in maintenance costs over the life of electric vehicles. Many electric utility providers offer reduced rate plans for nighttime hours (this is when you should charge your car). Rebates exist for the installation of charging stations at homes and businesses (check with your local utility provider).
Information from the Texas Department of Transportation https://www.txdot.gov/driver/travel/ev-tips.html