RMLD: Why Plug-In Electric Vehicles Cost Less To Maintain

READING, MA — Reading Municipal Light Department presents Electrify Your Ride Part 7:

We know from the first article in our series that plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) owners save a significant amount of money by reducing fuel costs. In fact, RMLD residential customers pay between $0.95 and $1.17 per electric gallon (eGallon), as compared with the current average Massachusetts gas price of $2.94/gallon. This equates to a savings of between $500 and $1,000 a year (depending on vehicle type, make, model, and annual mileage). But did you know that PEVs also cost less to maintain than traditional gas-powered cars?

All PEVs contain an electric motor powered by a battery. An electric motor has fewer moving parts and is less complex than a gas-powered engine. Electric motors don’t have many of the components that require regular maintenance in a traditional vehicle such as a fuel injection system, spark plugs, an exhaust system, oil and an oil filter, and an engine air filter. In the case of a 100% Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV), eliminating this maintenance results in significant cost savings. In the case of a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) which has both an electric motor and a conventional gasoline engine, maintenance costs are still reduced because the gas engine is used much less and therefore requires less frequent maintenance. For example, a PHEV may need an oil change only once every 1-2 years (depending on make/model and level of use). And according to the US Department of Energy, the electric motor, battery, and related electronics require little to no regular maintenance.

Believe it or not, brakes are another area where PEV owners can save. Most PEVs contain a regenerative braking system. This means that the vehicle’s battery recharges during braking. Not only does this help your vehicle use less energy, it also reduces brake wear which translates to less frequent maintenance.

Couple this with significant fuel cost savings and it’s easy to see why plug-in electric vehicles are increasing in popularity. Remember to check out DOE’s Fuel Savings Calculator (https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/savemoney.jsp) to compare fuel costs by make and model to see what you can save!

Concerned about battery life? Most PEVs come with a battery warranty of eight years or 100,000 miles. But what happens after that? As the vast majority of PEVs haven’t been on the road long enough to surpass this benchmark, this is still somewhat of an unknown, but an important consideration for potential owners because of the cost associated with a replacement battery. If you’re shopping for a PEV, be sure to discuss this with the dealer/manufacturer before making a decision.

RMLD residential customers who are ready to electrify their ride can take advantage of our summer PEV pilot rebate program, which offers a $1,500 rebate for the lease or purchase of a new or used BEV, and a $1,000 rebate for the lease or purchase of a new PHEV+. Delivery must be taken by October 31, 2018. RMLD also offers residential customers a rebate of 100% of equipment costs up to $500 for the home installation of a networked (or “smart”) AC level 2 charging station. For more information on these rebates, visit https://www.rmld.com/electric-vehicle-rebate-programs.

Want to learn more about PEVs and take a test drive? Stop in to a Plug-in Electric Vehicle Ride and Drive Event on Sunday, September 16, 2018 from 10am-2pm at RMLD’s offices located at 230 Ash Street, Reading. If you can’t make it on Sunday, Concord and Belmont are hosting an EV Event on Saturday, September 15, 2018 from 11 am – 3 pm at Walden Pond in Concord.

This is the seventh in a series of articles RMLD will publish this summer regarding PEVs. Be on the lookout for our next article: Testimonials from PEV Owners. Visit https://www.rmld.com/electric-vehicle-rebate-programs/pages/electrify-your-ride-article-series to view the complete series of articles.

(NOTE: The above press release is from RMLD.)

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