I thoroughly enjoy technology. It’s no secret that I like to learn about technology and innovations. Perhaps the most advanced technology I use is the car I drive, a fully electric Chevy Bolt. I have been driving this vehicle for more than a year and a half, but recently I have been asked several questions about the experience by community members.
Although electric cars are powered by a variety of electric sources, including natural gas, coal, and nuclear power, the United States Department of Energy estimates the production of pounds of CO2 required to power an electric vehicle is more than 7,000 pounds less than a gasoline vehicle would produce from direct emissions through the tailpipe and through evaporation in the vehicle’s fuel system.
An electric car drives the same way a gasoline or diesel-powered vehicle does. The only exception is that it is silent and recharges via charging stations. In larger cities, many charging stations are free or have a small fee associated with plugging in. When traveling, there are several apps that can locate charging stations and can tell you before you drive to their location whether or not they are in use by another EV driver. Most electric vehicle (EV) drivers in rural areas use level 2 chargers at their home. Although the electricity rates depend on location, there has not been a noticeable change in the electric bill due to charging my EV.
There are a few power-saving techniques that can be used to lengthen the mileage of an EV. For instance, using air-conditioning, the heater, windshield wipers, and the headlights are all systems that will reduce the available distance to be traveled in a charge. On nice days, rolling the windows down and turning off the air-conditioning and heating system can lengthen the available distance to be traveled by 50 miles or more.
On one nice spring day, I drove to the OSU South Centers in Piketon and only used nine miles of energy because I was able to recapture energy when descending the hills and curves in the road. Unlike a conventional vehicle, EVs have the ability to regenerate some power when braking or descending slopes. Even when using air-conditioning or heat, I have enough of a travel distance with my EV that I can drive from Hillsboro to Columbus and back on a single charge.
Overall, I have found the experience of driving an EV to be enjoyable. The car is built for efficiency, not necessarily storage capacity or inclement weather. During the winter months when it is snowing, the EV is not the most practical of vehicles as it does not have four-wheel drive.
The production of EVs is anticipated to increase in the future. We will continue to see more EVs and EV charging stations in the United States, which will make the charging network easier.
For more information about OSU Extension programming, contact the Highland County Extension office at 937-393-1918 or visit highland.osu.edu.
Beef Quality Assurance and Transport Quality Assurance trainings will be held on Monday, Oct. 28 in Xenia. BQA will start at 5 p.m. and BQA transport will be held at 6:30 p.m. The cost for BQA training is $10 per person. Transport BQA is free to attend. Contact the Greene County Extension Office at 937-372-9971 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by Oct. 24 to register.
Brooke Beam, Ph.D. is an agriculture and natural resources/community development dducator, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, OSU Extension Highland County.