Last winter, Al Byrum, a lifelong resident of Ahoskie, NC, was in the market for a new car. He considered purchasing an electric vehicle (EV), but the math didn’t quite add up for him. “When I compared the EV prices to comparable conventional fuel cars,” said Byrum, “the EVs total cost was more than I wanted to spend.” Although he was not thrilled about the overall purchase price of an EV, he did relish the idea of saving on fuel costs - EVs run on electricity - and the fact that they have lower maintenance costs (for example, EVs don’t require oil changes). Determined to find a price point he was happy with, Byrum began researching available federal and state tax rebates and credits.
During his search, he was pleasantly surprised to discover that Roanoke Electric Cooperative (REC), his local utility provider, offers a unique incentive to its member-owners. The co-op’s EV Program grants prospective electric vehicle owners up to $5,000 towards purchasing an EV – courtesy of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation. Byrum is the 9th co-op member to join the program. “Roanoke Electric’s offer combined with a federal incentive helped me decide to go with an EV,” said Byrum. “So, in December, I ordered a silver Chevy Bolt and received it in January.” The Bolt EV has a 200-horsepower motor and, according to an EPA estimate, can travel up to 259 miles on a single charge.
Byrum said his entire family is enjoying their new purchase, especially his daughter, Allie,11. “She loves the car. She’s already asked for an electric vehicle when she gets her driver’s license.” Byrum noted that by the time Allie is old enough to drive, he is certain that EVs will be the norm instead of the exception: “I go to a car show every year and last year, there were two EVs for sale. This year, there were 15. And that number will continue to rise exponentially because with each EV generation, these vehicles are getting even better and more affordable.”
The co-op is currently seeking additional member-owners to join the EV Program. Also, the first ten members to sign up can become part of the co-op’s EV Ambassador Leadership Program, designed to promote the many benefits of owning an electric vehicle. Since Byrum is the 9th member to join, there is only one ambassador space left as of press time. For more information, call 252-209-2236 or visit https://www.roanokeelectric.com/electric-vehicle-program. Member-owners may also schedule a test drive in the co-op’s electric vehicle.
Pictured below: Al Byrum and his daughter Allie charge up the family's new electric vehicle, a Chevy Bolt.