Green, Green with EV Envy

Just before Christmas, my friend Dawna called and asked, “Could I stop by for a little while? I have something to show  you.”

“Sure,” came my answer. “I’ll put the kettle on for tea when you get here.”

Dawna is a talented photographer and graphic artist who sells cards at various local shops and online through Etsy.  (Do check out her beautiful work if you get a chance.) I thought she was going to show Clif and me a new line of cards, which I always enjoy seeing.

Therefore, as soon as Dawna came into our dining room, I said, “Let me put the kettle on, and you can show me what you brought.”

“Well…” she said in a hesitating way as I trotted into the kitchen to put on the kettle.

When I went back into the dining room, Dawna was grinning. “I got a new car.”

I’m sure there was a click, click, click as I processed this information, looked out at the new snazzy blue car in my driveway, and understood exactly what she meant.

“Oh, my God!” I exclaimed. “You bought an electric car!”

“Yes, I did,” Dawna said, and if my knees weren’t so creaky, I would have jumped with joy.

Here is a picture of her new EV beauty, a Hyundai Kona:

All thoughts of tea were forgotten as Clif and I went to admire the new car

“After Christmas, ” Dawna said, “I’ll take you for a ride.”

Dawna kept her promise, and last Friday she took us into Augusta, where we had brunch at Downtown Diner, which serves breakfast all day long.

As we ate, Dawna’s spoke about her decision to buy an electric car. Her previous car had become unreliable, and the time had come to replace it. She asked herself, why buy a polluting ICE (internal combustion engine) car? Dawna knew that the range of EVs had  improved, and when she did some research, she discovered that the Hyundai Kona got a peak mileage of 258 per charge. (Less, of course, when the weather is really cold.)

And that was that. Because there were so many rebates available, Dawna bought the car in December, not wanting to take the chance that the rebates wouldn’t be there in 2020. (Let’s face it: The current administration in DC is not exactly concerned about the environment.)

Here is what she got:

$2,500 from Efficiency Maine.

$500 from a Hyundai rebate.

$7,500 from a federal government rebate.

Her Hyundai EV Kona sold for $38,000, and the rebates brought the cost down to $28,000.

And how does Dawna like her new EV? Very well, indeed. As Clif and I noticed, the Kona is smooth and quiet and has great pick-up. Even on a cold Maine January day, Dawna can take the Kona to Portland, about a 120-mile-round trip, and still have 50 miles left on her battery. The Kona’s seats are heated, and Dawna and her husband, Jim, take advantage of this, which means they don’t have to use the car’s heater as much.

While most EVs come with a charging cord that can be plugged into a standard receptacle, charging this way is slow, and Jim has installed a charger that does the job much more quickly.

Southern Maine has a number of places to charge an EV,  but as you head north, their numbers dwindle. Dawna has decided to become an advocate for EVs, and she is writing a letter to encourage Governor Mills to support the installation of more charging stations.

Go, Dawna, go! And kudos to you for taking the leap into our electric future. I hope that someday soon Clif and I can follow your example, and I also hope many others will, too.







36 thoughts on “Green, Green with EV Envy”

  1. Whenwe repaced our car 10 years ago we looked into an EV but the range was not enough. There are still problems in the UK finding charging points and the fact that they are run by lots of different companies so you need lots of apps on your phone. When i need to replace this car I will look again but it really does need government to build the infrastructure and get it all joined up. With renewable electricity becoming more common it is surely the way to go.

    1. In ten years, there has been a lot of progress with both range and charging stations. Hope even more progress is made when you need to replace your car. Yes, government needs to step up to the plate.

  2. Good for Dawna! and the rebates are amazing! I’m looking myself, but apartment life means I wouldn’t have a place to plug in, so I’m looking at hybrids and cars with really good mileage…

    1. Vermont has partnered with the power company to encourage landlords and others to provide charging stations. The landlords even make some money on the deal. Who knows? Maybe your state will do something like this?

      1. It’s possible, but it’s very dense and urban here, so would be hard to do, I think. There’s a charging station a mile or so away, but…

  3. Electrics and hybrids are wonderful cars. Rick has one. What we learned with Rick’s CMAX is that the sticker shock comes when parts need replacing and the warranty is out. The EV battery on his car cost $13,000. We were fortunately still under warranty, and it It was a battle to get the dealership to acknowledge the problem, but they finally did, and replaced it for us. I am keeping the old ’93 Subaru running as long as possible, and then will consider leasing cars in the future, as the technology is changing so rapidly now.

  4. I think an electric car is something we’ll consider eventually. Right now we live far out in the middle of nowhere and everything is far away…but still…it would work. I definitely see it in our future though.

  5. Congratulations to your friend. I have a friend who has also bought an electric car, unfortunately there are not the same generous rebates in Australia, but perhaps, after our appalling fires, this will be the impetus for more change here too.

  6. Our neighbour is waiting for his arrive from the dealer. At the moment, some of the charging stations are free – at the Lidl supermarket for example – but I think this is the honeymoon period so I don’t know what will happen once more people buy them. A bit like (in the U.K.) encouraging us to change to diesel cars then hiking up the price of the fuel to more than petrol and now telling us it’s not better for the planet anyway. In France diesel is still a bit cheaper than petrol but I imagine it will soon go the same way.
    I think you’re right to think about leasing when the time comes so you can see how it goes.

  7. Exciting times, and we have a couple of charging stations in a town parking lot. You’d have to pay to park, but you could charge up. 🙂 I’d need to investigate one other piece of info. Our NH electric bills are outrageous. I’d have to know how much it would cost to charge in order to really evaluate a purchase of one.

    1. I did a little research, Judy, and here is what I found from News Center Maine (January 9, 2019): Maine’s price per kWh is 13.02 cents. New Hampshire’s is 16.17 cents, a little higher, but certainly not double. My friend’s husband is an engineer and has been monitoring the use and cost of electricity for their electric vehicle, the Hyundai Kona I wrote about in my piece. He figures that it costs half as much to fuel their EV car with electricity as it would with gasoline. Wouldn’t be that much of a savings with your electricity prices, but you would still see a significant difference in the price of fuel.

  8. We had to replace one of our cars last summer and were really keen to get an EV, but found it impossible… huge long waiting lists or very limited ranges. There’s no excuse. Everyone should be able to buy one. In the end were were forced, through necessity, to buy a standard ICE car and feel extremely disappointed. Clearly the UK has some catching up to do.

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