EV ownership drives up savings opportunities for member-owners

There are many reasons participants in Roanoke Electric Co-op's EV Pilot program say they are glad they signed up since the initiative debuted two years ago. Among them: The environmental benefits, low maintenance costs, charging at home and not having to trek to the gas station weekly.

However, there is one common denominator shared among the five current participants and that is how pleased they are with the cost-saving benefits that include a reduced rate for charging their EVs, and a free charging station installed in their homes, and a $1000 incentive.

Take for instance, member-owner Carol Ward of Gates County. When she used to drive her Volkswagen Atlas on a 45-mile commute to work, she would spend at least $50 in gas per week. That all changed when she purchased her Chevy Bolt last June. “I only use about $15 or $20 in power for a week’s commute with my EV,” she said. “As far as savings, the program has helped with that a lot.” On average, Ward’s total cost for charging her EV is about $75 a month. This savings opportunity is in keeping with research proving electric vehicles are considerably less expensive to operate the gasoline-powered vehicles. Consumer Reports estimates that EV drivers save an average of $800-$1,000 on fuel costs very year.

For member-owners Janet and Montgomery Clemons of Gates County, they are realizing significant savings on maintenance and repair costs with their Tesla Model S. “Where we used to spend money on oil changes and other maintenance items, we’re no longer having to do those things,” Mrs. Clemons explained. “Now, we only have the battery to think about, and that will likely save us thousands over the life of the car.”

Consumer Reports studies show that EV and plug-in hybrid drivers pay half as much to repair and maintain their vehicles. EV owners can expect to save an average of $4,600 in repair and maintenance costs over the electric vehicle's life compared to that of a gasoline-powered vehicle.

“These savings add up considerably with the co-op’s EV Pilot Program,” said Marshall Cherry, the co-op’s interim president and CEO. Member-owners can now choose from one of three service levels with monthly rates from $31 to $50. For a $50 per month flat rate, participants in the pilot can drive a range of nearly 1,500 miles on a full charge.

If you own an electric vehicle or are considering acquiring one and want to learn more about the EV Pilot program, contact the co-op office at 252-209-2236 or visit the co-op’s Electric Vehicle page.