As Charging Price Drops, More Kane Residents Look to Electric Vehicles
- This article was contributed by Jessica Mino, resource management coordinator for the Kane County Division of Environmental and Water Resources.
As road trip season begins, many of us are asking a similar question: What is the best way to get where I need to go?
Transportation options and efficiency are some of the things going through our minds as we prepare for traveling this summer. For some, this also means shopping for a new vehicle, if the life of your vehicle has expired like mine has. As my husband and I were searching through options, we found an expanding amount of electric vehicles now available to choose from.
Why Go With an Electric Vehicle?
For starters, Kane County has dropped its electric vehicle charging station price, starting June 1, 2018. There are more locations to charge up, and the price of charging is actually going down. (Scroll down to read more.)
And in general, electric vehicles are becoming a great option for efficient travel.
EV fuel economy frequently surpasses that of conventional vehicles. This then contributes to lower fuel costs and significant savings. Fueleconomy.gov demonstrates that EVs convert about 59 percent to 62 percent of electrical energy from the grid to power at the wheels. Conventional vehicles only convert about 17 percent to 21 percent of the energy stored in gasoline to power at the wheels.
A reduced dependence on conventional fuels also leads to energy security benefits. The Alternative Fuels Data Center developed by the U.S. Department of Energy confirms that transportation accounts for nearly three-fourths of total U.S. petroleum consumption. Therefore, diversifying the U.S. transportation fleet reduces the impact of international supply disruptions. This further supports the U.S. Economy by utilizing domestically produced electricity.
Infrastructure flexibility is another benefit of EVs. The electric grid is now becoming available in many places where people park. Plug-in electric vehicles can charge overnight at a residence, at your workplace, or at public charging stations.
According to the AFDC, the number of publicly accessible charging stations surpassed 15,000 in 2017, offering about 40,000 outlets.
If you frequently travel long distances, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles can be a great option. PHEVs have the added flexibility of also being able to be refueled with gasoline when necessary.
EVs continue to gain attention for their performance benefits. Electric motors provide quiet and smooth operation, as well as requiring less maintenance than internal combustion (conventional) engines.
One of the major drivers of turning to electric vehicles is to reduce emissions. Hybrid and PHEVs have significant emissions benefits over conventional vehicles. As stated by the AFDC, EVs produce zero tailpipe emissions, and PHEVs produce no tailpipe emissions when in all-electric mode. Charging your EV on renewable energy sources such as solar or wind minimizes these emissions even more.
According to ChargePoint, the Chicago region is among the Top 10 Regions in the United States with the Largest Growth in EV Sales.
Explore more EV benefits from Energy.gov.
Where Can I Charge My EV in Kane County?
Three EV charging stations are available through Kane County in addition to the EV charging stations installed by other municipalities or private ownership.
Kane County’s EV stations are located at the Kane County Courthouse on Third Street in Geneva, the Kane County Government Center on South Batavia Avenue in Geneva, and the Kane County Health Department on North Highland Avenue in Aurora.
Kane County’s electric vehicle charging station at the Third Street Courthouse has officially enacted the County Board approved fee reduction, effective on June 1, 2018. The fee has been reduced to $0.15 per kwh, down from the previous price of $0.30 per kwh.
The remaining two EV charging stations at the Kane County Government Center and Health Department continue to be available without a fee through the duration of the installation networking plan.
You can find EV charging stations near your destination at Plugshare.com.
Learn more about electric vehicles from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center.
What else is going on with sustainability? Check out Kane County’s Division of Environmental and Water Resources.