Roanoke Electric Cooperative recently debuted its EV Pilot Program, which offers member-owners a special discount rate for charging their electric vehicles. With the new incentive for this increasingly popular driving option, the cost savings can add up significantly.
“We recognize the EV trend, and believe the future of your co-op is filled with great possibilities," said Marshall Cherry, the co-op’s chief operating officer. “This new rate allows us to fulfill our mission and keep rates affordable through various programs and services in a respectful and environmentally responsible way."
While the initial purchase price for an electric vehicle may be somewhat higher than a conventional gasoline-fueled vehicle, the federal government offers tax credits and other incentives that can help offset the up-front costs. The state of North Carolina also offers incentives for qualified electric vehicles, including an exemption from state emission inspection requirements.
Electric vehicles have proven considerably much less expensive to operate. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, on average it costs about half as much to drive an electric vehicle than a gasoline-powered one. Also, the maintenance costs are notably lower. Some industry stakeholders estimate that maintenance on an electric vehicle averages 3 or 4 cents per mile, compared to 6 cents per mile for gasoline-fueled options.
These savings add up even more with the co-op’s the EV Pilot Program. For a $50 per month flat rate, participants in the pilot can drive a range of nearly 1,500 miles on a full charge. That “subscription rate” compares to about $185 it would cost to drive a 20-miles per gallon vehicle the same distance. Participants also have the benefit of “re-charging” at home with the new charging station that will be professionally installed at no upfront cost to member-owners – a $1,700 value.
“We would like to sign up as many member-owners as possible for our EV Pilot Program so we can strengthen the service that we provide," Cherry said, adding that the program will also focus on educating member-owners about electric vehicles and how to maximize savings.