OPPD Guide to Electric Vehicles
Preparing for Electric Vehicles
With virtually every major auto manufacturer in the world developing plug-in electric vehicles (EVs), OPPD’s EV team is working to ensure a smooth integration onto its infrastructure and to support the EV market in OPPD’s service territory. The team takes into consideration the customer’s EV experience, the impacts of EVs on the electricity grid and OPPD’s role as a public power provider.
There are many considerations when buying an electric vehicle. OPPD is committed to keeping you up-to-date with the most current information while the market is evolving. Here are a few basics:
- EV Technology: There are two types of plug-in electric vehicles - plug-in extended range hybrid vehicles and all electric vehicles – and they come in a variety of makes and models. The all electric vehicle runs solely on battery power. The plug-in extended range hybrid generates energy from a battery and an internal combustion engine used to extend the range of the vehicle, typically by recharging the battery. It is important to understand the vehicle you are considering, as it will impact driving range, energy usage and charging options.
- Cost of EVs: EVs range in price from around $23,000 to upwards of $100,000. There are several opportunities to reduce the cost of owning and operating an electric vehicle. Federal and state incentives can help reduce the upfront purchase price. In addition, the overall cost of ownership is made more economical through fuel savings, potential savings on auto insurance, lower maintenance costs and more. Compare your current vehicle’s costs to that of an EV using the Department of Energy’s (DOE) vehicle cost calculator.
- EV Range and Charging: How far you drive is an important consideration before purchasing an EV. However, you may be surprised by how little you drive per day and how many charging stations are available near you. Statistics show that 78 percent of American drivers travel less than 40 miles a day.
- Home Charging Installation: Most EVs can charge at your home on one of two charging levels. The level you chose will determine how fast your EV will charge. Level 1 charging can typically be done using standard outlets already in your garage or near where you park. For level 2 charging or higher, you may need to upgrade your home’s electrical system. This should always be done by professionals and with the appropriate permits, if required.
- Environmentally Friendly: There are two categories of vehicle emissions: direct and life cycle. Direct emissions are emitted through the tailpipe. All-electric vehicles produce zero emissions, reducing pollution and helping to improve air quality. Life cycle emissions include all emissions related to fuel and vehicle production. According to the DOE, EVs typically produce fewer life cycle emissions than conventional vehicles because most emissions are lower for electricity than burning gasoline or diesel. OPPD’s mission revolves around being a good stewards of the environment. With more than 30 percent of OPPD’s retail electricity sales expected to come from renewable resources by the end of 2018, emissions for EVs are even less. This environmental benefit will only improve, as OPPD strives to increase its renewable generation to 50 percent of total retail sales.
OPPD’s EV Fleet
OPPD continues to expand its EV fleet, with a growing number of hybrid and plug-in vehicles, including a Ford C-Max Energi, Ford Fusion Energi, two Nissan Leafs and two Chevrolet Volts that averages more than 93 mpg. In addition, OPPD installed rechargeable battery packs on several trouble trucks and streetlight aerial trucks to reduce idling time. OPPD has five EV charging stations – at the fleet’s main garage in Elkhorn and at OPPD headquarters in downtown Omaha.