Electric Vehicles (EV’s) – Great to Drive, Convenient and Cost Effective AND Green

Purchasing an Electric Vehicle can be a simple and very effective way to reduce your carbon footprint and is the easiest and cheapest electric technology to adopt first. Overall, increasing adoption of EV’s will significantly help reduce Hingham’s carbon footprint because we are estimated to produce more carbon emissions than the average American: 64.4 metric tons per year compared to 48 metric tons per year due to our reliance on personal vehicles ( 1/3 of our emissions) and heating and cooling ( 1/4 of our emissions).

Electric Vehicles (EV’s) are 2-3 times more energy efficient than gasoline powered cars and their lifecycle carbon emissions are far less including emissions from manufacture and end stage processes). EV’s have evolved significantly from the early days and are now available in a variety of sizes and driving ranges. There are three types of electric motor vehicles available today:

All Electric: Have an electric power train, “fueled” only by plugging in to a home outlet or public charger and harnessing energy from regenerative braking. No carbon emissions from the vehicle and 141-180 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent). All electrics are known for responsive acceleration, stability and quiet operation, and have up to 150-300 mile range per charge, depending on model.

Plug In Hybrids: Have both electric and gasoline powered motors, are “fueled” for the first miles (12-40 miles depending on model) by plugging in to a home outlet and any additional miles are powered by the gasoline engine. Allows for daily errands and shorter commutes to be done on electric without carbon emissions and for easy longer driving powered by the gasoline engine. Overall reduced emissions and up to 100 MPGe for electric miles and up to 30 MPG for gas powered miles (depending on model).

Conventional Hybrids: Powered by a gasoline engine with onboard charging of the electric motor from regenerative braking, resulting in much greater fuel efficiency (30-58 MPG depending on model) compared to conventional cars and thus reducing carbon emissions to some degree without any change in technology.

EV’s drive like gas powered cars, have all the current safety features and by design are stable and have large crumple zones to reduce injuries, and are cost effective. Purchase prices are comparable to many gas powered cars due to Federal and State incentives (up to $7500 Federal and $2500 MA) and, with fewer moving parts, all electrics have very low maintenance costs. Note: Incentives are also available for leasing a new car. Additional incentives from the Federal Government and HMLP reduce the cost of installing a home charger. Studies show that owning an EV will cost less and will reduce your personal and our town’s carbon emissions significantly.

For two-car families, a good approach to reducing your transportation emissions is to have a smaller All-Electric car for local errands and commutes and a Plug-in Hybrid or conventional Hybrid for longer trips or to hold more passengers or cargo. Currently larger vehicles such as 7-seat SUV’s and minivans are only available as Plug-in Hybrids or conventional Hybrids, but larger capacity cars and trucks are in the works with evolving fuel cell technology and will be available in years to come.

We invite you to consider an EV when your current car needs to be replaced. For more information about types of cars available, the range of ways to charge your EV and issues to consider in looking at EV’s, click the button below.

If you would like to talk with someone with personal experience owning an EV who can answer questions and guide you through the rebates and incentives, an EV’s Climate Coach is available. To reach a local citizen who can help as you consider how an EV could meet your transportation needs, click here.