EV adoption rates are around 40% lower in rural communities, compared to urban areas. Rural EV infrastructure is also lacking. The majority of the EV charging expansion projects are concentrated along major highways and in cities. A smaller population and longer travel times are resulting in rural-urban disparities in EV adoption.
Closing these gaps is crucial for rural communities to take advantage of the economic, health, and environmental benefits electric vehicles can provide.
Benefits of Rural EV Adoption
Some of the benefits rural EV infrastructure can bring to drivers and communities apply to both individuals and businesses.
Lower Fuel and Maintenance Costs
The sticker price on a new EV can be startling. While the purchase costs for EVs are higher than what you pay for a gasoline or diesel-powered vehicle, you will see significant long-term savings. Industry experts are also predicting electric vehicle prices will be comparable to traditional vehicles by 2025 – 2030.
Add this in with the fuel and maintenance savings, and EV ownership will be affordable for everyone.
Reduced Operating Costs
The high-efficiency motors in EVs are around 3.5 times more energy-efficient than combustion engines. Comparing the cost of electricity versus fuel prices shows that EVs have a lower operating cost.
Efficiency for EVs is typically measured in miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent (MPGe), which represents the number of miles a vehicle can travel using a quantity of electricity with the same energy content as a gallon of gasoline. For example, most light-duty BEVs and PHEVs in electric mode can exceed 130 MPGe and can drive 100 miles consuming only 25–40 kWh.
Electric vehicles also tend to offer better performance than fossil-fuel-powered cars and trucks. Acceleration is smoother and faster. You also get an improved towing capacity since EVs generate full torque during all rotations. You also don’t need to worry about transmission costs with an electric vehicle. EVs don’t use transmissions, it’s a cost you only incur with traditional vehicles.
You will have charging costs and these can vary. If you have a home charger, there may also be installation costs. However, it’s still less expensive to charge an EV than fill up a gas tank. in a year costs an average of $546, while the gasoline required to drive the same distance averages $1,255, representing a savings of over $700 per year.
Lower Maintenance Costs
Along with lower operating costs, EVs are also cheaper to maintain. In fact, the average repair and maintenance costs are around 50% lower than what you pay to keep a traditional vehicle on the road.
EVs are free of many vehicle components that require regular maintenance (e.g., engine oil, spark plugs, air filters, transmission fluid). These savings can be crucial for rural households, especially those with long daily commutes. A significant portion of their salary is often going to transportation.
Readily Available Rural EV Infrastructure
While rural areas often lacking a robust charging network, drivers still have options. Along with potentially charging at work, drivers can take advantage of other public charging stations. Grocery stores, restaurants, malls, and shopping complexes are taking the initiative and installing EV charging stations.
Don’t forget about home EV charging. In fact, more than 80 percent of EV drivers rely on home charging. Detached single-family residences with off-street parking and readily available standard power outlet access are common in rural areas and can easily accommodate EV charging.
Rural business owners of public or private vehicle fleets can establish EV charging infrastructure for use at their own office locations or fleet depots. Some businesses even open some or all of their chargers to the public. The business charges a fee to use the stations and rural residents have a place to charge their EVs.
Funds from the BIL Act are also becoming available for rural communities to help them install EV infrastructure.
Plenty of EV Models to Choose From
In 2010, there was only one EV model on the market, while by 2022, that number had grown to 129 models. The increase in models is helping to ensure there is an EV for everyone.
Along with an array of vehicle styles and types, including cars, SUVs, and light-duty trucks, at price points ranging from entry-level to luxury models. There is also a growing number of options for electric motorcycles, micromobility, and transit buses.
Full-size pickup trucks are the best-selling vehicles in States and Tribal Lands with large rural populations. Smaller cars and compact SUVs are more popular in highly urban areas. Increased availability of full-size BEV pickup trucks starting in 2022 will provide rural drivers with EV technology in familiar and favored vehicle platforms.
Provide Power as Needed
Some EV models can even serve as a power source for electrical tools, equipment, and lighting. Using a bidirectional charger, the EV battery can even provide power to residences during a blackout.
The length of time the EV can provide power depends on the battery size, some newer models can provide around 30 KWh of power for up to three days.
Rural EV Charging with Apogee Charging Solutions
To learn more about these benefits, contact Apogee Charging Solutions and find out how we can help with your rural EV infrastructure goals. To speak with one of our EV charging specialists, call 484-816-2076, email [email protected], or schedule a call that fits your needs by clicking the button below.
Reference: U.S. Department of Transportation. Individual Benefits of Rural Vehicle Electrification. https://www.transportation.gov/rural/ev/toolkit/ev-benefits-and-challenges/individual-benefits