Electric Vehicle? Why Not!

Last year I purchased a Ford Focus Electric and have been enjoying it for the last 4,500 miles. Some of the perks for having an electric vehicle include: NV Energy’s Electric Vehicle Time of Use rate, free charging around Las Vegas, DC Fast Charging between Las Vegas and almost all points California, Tax Incentive for first year, and it’s fun to drive!

NV Energy’s Electric Vehicle Time of Use Rate:

NV Energy offers a special Electric Vehicle Time of Use Rate for its northern and southern Nevada EV customers. It allows customer to pay a discounted rate if they charge the vehicle during the utility’s off-peak hours between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. As an added benefit, the discounted rate applies to all of the energy used at a home or apartment during that period of time, not just electricity used to charge an electric vehicle.

Time of use rates are higher during daytime and early evening hours (peak-usage) and lower during nighttime hours (off-peak). To help customers who are uncertain about the best rate for their lifestyle and electric vehicle charging needs, a comparison will be made between the Electric Vehicle Time of Use Rate and the regular flat rate for the first 12-month period. If the Electric Vehicle Time of Use Rate was more costly during that period, NV Energy will credit the difference back to the customer and give the customer the option to move back to the flat rate.

It’s no secret that we have a whole home automation system that is smart enough to no run the HVAC system during the On Peak hours. I’m smart enough not to plug the vehicle in until 10:00 PM. This has effectively cut our total electric bill by 15% in the winter months and over 30% during the summer months.

Free Charging Around Las Vegas:

I live on the west side of town. Within easy driving distance the following locations offer free electric vehicle charging stations:

– Downtown Summerlin: Shopping Mall, ChargePoint J-1722 in each garage
– Las Vegas Cyclery: Parking Lot, single J-1722 and wall outlet – Solar Powered
– Veterans Memorial Leisure Center: Parking Lot, two J-1722, non-networked
– Tivoli Village: Shopping Center, J-1722 and Tesla
– Evo Apartments: Parking Lots, twelve two port J-1722 ChargePoint stations
– U.S. Micro Corp: Parking Lot, J-1722 station

Almost every strip casino also has EV parking stations, but one typically has to pay for parking or pay the valet – but then the electricity is free.

By and large I make use of the free EV stations around town at least once a week, and then plug in at home during non-peak hours to pre-condition the cabin before taking to the road.

DC Fast Charging between Las Vegas and almost all points California

Thanks to the Baker, CA DC EVGo station opening this past June I can now take my Focus EV from Las Vegas to San Diego, LA, Bakersfield, and beyond all the way to Seattle if I wanted…

Going east is a different story. Once the Tonopah, NV station and Moapa and Mesquite stations open it’ll be more time efficient.

My Focus EV takes just under thirty minutes to charge from empty to about 85%, giving me 100 miles of range. So each stop is about the same as my old 1987 Cadillac Limo, but far less cost! (My limo had a 20 gallon tank and got about 10 miles to the gallon highway, about 180 miles per fuel up at over $3.00 per gallon – do the math. I put over 35,000 miles on that car over seven years).

A year ago I had range anxiety, but knowing where the fast charge stations are, and keeping a standard 120/240 volt charge cable in the car has me confident I can go to Canada with my Focus EV! I’m already planning a road trip to Los Angeles later this fall.

Federal and State Incentives:

The federal government and a number of states offer financial incentives, including tax credits, for lowering the up-front costs of plug-in electric vehicles (also known as electric cars or EVs). 

The federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax credit is for $2,500 to $7,500 per new EV purchased for use in the U.S. The size of the tax credit depends on the size of the vehicle and its battery capacity.  To find out specific tax credit amounts for individual vehicles, visit FuelEconomy.gov’s Tax Credits for Electric Vehicles and Tax Credits for Plug-in Hybridspages.  This tax credit will be available until 200,000 qualified EVs have been sold in the United States by each manufacturer, at which point the credit begins to phase out for that manufacturer. Currently, no manufacturers have been phased out yet. 

Of course I took advantage of this tax credit. I’d have been a fool had I not.

It’s fun to drive!

As much as I enjoyed throwing the weight of the nine seat limo around, this Focus is just fun to drive.

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