User login

A Community of Green Bloggers & Activists

Understanding The Grid And Its Impact On Your Electric Vehicle

Electric VehiclesYour area is only good as your electric vehicle (EV). Or was it the other way around?

That was my initial response to a recent study done by the Union of Concerned Scientists on the efficiency of an all-electric car in a given state. What it hints at is how an EV from California could have a slight edge on a similar EV vehicle charging in Oklahoma. If a state has less solar powered/wind turbines facilitating the energy grid and relies more on coal and other so-called “dirty” fuel sources to do so, even if the EV was all-electric and not a 50/50 engine, the charging station would burn off more emissions in the end. The organization even created a nice little map showcasing the EV levels.

So that begs the question: Is it pointless to buy an EV if your state has a normal or below average energy grade?

What this study ultimately uncovers is the disparity of some states versus another in how their energy grids burn off emissions. But at the same time, that’s not to say that Oklahoma’s resting on its laurels and isn’t working on alternative energy sources for its grid.  In fact, Oklahoma has AeroSpace and other alternative energy companies exploring solar power channels to their grid. So in essence, drivers in that state will eventually receive a higher EV grade. Same with drivers in Missouri, parts of New Mexico, Colorado Kansas, Texas, Nebraska, Ohio and other Midwestern states.

And the study doesn’t really touch upon the fact that some states have more accessibility to charging stations than others. California and Arizona currently have more stations than Kansas and Minnesota because EVs are still a relatively fresh concept in the driving landscape. That difference can almost certainly change in the near future, and in turn, push the concept of energy efficient vehicles even further.

But, while the eastern and western shores of the U.S. share the highest grade for EV cars, drivers in the Midwestern states are still reaping the same benefits of their EV as their coastal compatriots.

EVs are still making their presence known outside of being an eco-friendly initiative for the roadways. Drivers are still saving gobs of $$ when switching over to EVs. And the environment is all the better for it. Just for fun, you can calculate the average yourself and see what you could be (or currently are) saving.

And while it’s been hinted at here and there for a while, the EV difference is this:

•Government tax credits upon initial purchase (if still applicable)

•No more oil changes

•Fewer moving parts can mean lower maintenance

•No polluting emissions from the tailpipe

•Quieter engines (more of a driving luxury, but a bonus nonetheless)

•Higher MPG efficiency

In the end, more advanced hybrid vehicles and EVs are still going to be a great alternative for drivers who are looking to reduce their impact on emissions. This study just lets you know where your state currently stands in that race.

Author Bio: Kyle is a freelance writer in the automotive world and has covered topics ranging from car care, model comparisons, how-to’s and other ideas and has consulted for a car dealership near his hometown, State Line Nissan.