About Electric Vehicles

Battery-powered electric cars and trucks are growing in popularity at an exponential rate, as more models come on the market and the network of charging stations expands.

Electric vehicles (EVs) don't generate any tailpipe exhaust, which improves local air quality. Their indirect emissions (from the electricity they use) are less than those produced by conventional vehicles, and will steadily decrease to zero as the electric grid approaches 100% carbon-free in the next decade or so. EVs cost considerably less per mile to drive and, with fewer moving parts, they’re also cheaper to maintain.

Finally – and what most people appreciate as soon as they get behind the wheel of one – EVs are fun to drive!

For advice on EV tax credits, buying EVs and more, see the links at the bottom of this page.

State turbocharges EV tax credits

Colorado is a pretty great state to live in, especially if you’re in the market for an electric vehicle or e-bike! The state tax credit for the purchase or lease of a qualifying electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle has been increased to $5,000, with an extra $2,500 for models that retail for $35,000 or less. More info here.

Range limitation is becoming less of a concern

Many EVs can now go 250 miles or more on a fully charged battery. That's less than the 400-500 miles conventional passenger vehicles can go on a tank of gas, but it's more than enough range for typical daily driving. 

Furthermore, in some ways it's easier to recharge an EV. True, charging is slower than filling up a tank. But on the other hand, you can "fill up" your EV while it's parked at home or while at work, shopping or eating at a restaurant (often for free!). EV owners get into the habit of topping up their battery frequently, rather than waiting until it's empty.

Longer trips, especially in remoter places, can still be challenging in an EV. But this is getting easier with each passing year, as a network of fast-charging stations is being steadily built out along Interstates and other main routes.

Experience Electric

From our Experience Electric series: in this April 2021 video, Naty Olen checks out Ford's Mustang Mach-e and VW's ID.4.

EVs are cheaper to drive and own

The U.S. Department of Energy has analyzed the energy content of gasoline and electricity and the efficiency of gas-powered engines and electric-powered motors to compare the costs of driving.

Using the energy in a gallon of gasoline as the baseline, and the fact that electric motors are 3-4 times more efficient than internal combustion engines, DOE developed the "e-gallon" to measure the cost of driving electric vehicles.

Even when gas prices are at their lowest, EVs are cheaper to run. Given recent prices, an e-gallon costs less than half as much as a gallon of gas!

Moreover, EVs cost much less to maintain because they have so many fewer moving parts - there's no need to change the oil, transmission fluid, spark plugs, fuel filters or drive belts, and other expensive systems like the transmission are greatly simplified. Although an EV might cost more than a comparable gas car up front, the total cost of ownership over the life of the vehicle tends to be less. (Meanwhile, EVs are projected to achieve "price parity" with gas vehicles by around 2025.)

Questions about EVs?

CLEER's transportation program lead, Mary Harlan, can explain EV purchase and EV charging options for personal use, business use and fleets: (970) 704-9200 ext. 107, mharlan@cleanenergyeconomy.net.

Learn about EV charging

If you're considering buying an electric vehicle, probably the first thing you'll want to know is how and where to charge the vehicle. Learn all about it at our Electric Vehicle Charging 101 page.

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