GO GREEN AND JOIN THE EV COMMUNITY
Electric vehicles are the future of automobiles, and demand is skyrocketing. But while the idea of switching from conventional to electric may seem appealing – lower cost, positive environmental impact, etc. – you probably have a lot of unanswered questions. So we have put together this guide to help navigate you through the many EV benefits and address any reservations you may have.
More and more electric cars are filling our streets, and you could be at the forefront of this environmentally friendly change. And to answer any questions you may have, here are some insights that will offer a better understanding of what it means to own and operate an EV.
There are two types of plug-in electric vehicles – plug-in extended-range hybrid vehicles (PHEV) and all-electric vehicles (EV) – 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.
There are actually three levels of charging stations available for EVs. Level 1 is a wall outlet charging station, most often included with your EV purchase. This is the slowest form of charging, but it works well enough if you’re merely traveling from home, work or running errands and you can plug in overnight. Level 2 chargers are a faster option than Level 1 and are typically the stations you can find easily throughout your city and across the U.S. You can also have a Level 2 charger installed in your home for fast, convenient charges. Level 3 chargers offer fast charging at commercial locations and are oftentimes more expensive than a commercial Level 2 charging station. And because their system requires a 440-volt DC power supply, they aren’t an option for in-home use.
110–120 volt (V)
220–240 volt (V)
400+ volt (V)
*These are rough estimates to give you an overview of the different charging levels. Your EV’s make, model and type of battery, as well as the type of charging station, can affect these numbers.
EV Charging 101
EV Impact on OPPD's electrical system
As interest in electric vehicles grows in our area, OPPD is monitoring the increased usage related to charging and how that might affect our overall system for decades to come. The impact of electric vehicle charging remains manageable across OPPD’s system at this time. By 2030, we estimate that 60 megawatts will be needed to support electric vehicle charging. However, the demand for this usage varies widely across our service territory; some areas have more electric vehicles than others. OPPD has been very proactive on this topic. For several years we have studied how EV’s are being used – and charged – in our service territory, so that we can provide services and solutions that fit Nebraskans. As the needs of our customer-owners change, we will continue to look for innovative ways to meet their needs, including new rate designs and product offerings.
How far can I drive an electric vehicle before having to charge?
- One of the most common concerns new buyers have is how far their new EV can take them – this is what’s called “range.” Under normal driving conditions, most of today’s electric vehicles can travel more than 200 miles on a full charge. And with more and more demand for EVs, newer models are coming out with a substantial increase in range. Plus, the average American only drives 31 miles a day, so you’ll be more than covered for your day-to-day drives. If you’re planning a long road trip, have no fear. There are plenty of public charging stations located all across the country, so it’s easier than ever to drive long distances with complete peace of mind. In fact, many in the EV community charge their vehicles overnight at a free charging station so they’re ready to go the next morning. They call this “destination charging.”
How does cold and hot weather affect EV car batteries?
- While electric engines continue to improve year after year, extreme weather does play a factor in how they function. Particularly, extreme hot or cold temps can cause your EV to lose range – even up to 50% in some cases. That means, if your engine normally gets 250 miles on a full charge, in extreme temps, you could only be getting 125 miles. That’s why your best defense against cold weather is installing a Level 2 charging station in your home so you can conveniently and efficiently charge your vehicle every night.
How will my bill be impacted by having an EV?
- Many variables go into how your bill will be affected, including the time of year and the length and strength of your charge. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the average cost of charging a plug-in vehicle in the United States is about half the cost of filling a tank of gasoline. Because prices for gasoline and electricity rates vary by state, DOE launched the eGallon tool to help consumers compare the benefits of electric vehicles by calculating regional costs. Additionally, DOE offers a price-to-buy calculator to help crunch purchase costs.
While there are plenty of benefits to purchasing an electric vehicle, we want to make sure you do so with confidence. Our EV calculator provides a personalized estimate and allows you to compare vehicle models side-by-side in order to understand near-term and long-term costs based on driving habits, electricity use and savings potential.
In an effort to ensure your EV driving experience is never interrupted, there are many public charging stations available throughout the greater Omaha area, as well as across the state. Eleven sites have been installed by OPPD, alongside community partners, and we are continuing to install more.
There are 5 new DC fast charger sites at the following locations:
• Cabela's - La Vista
• Casey's - North Bend
• Casey's - Blair
• Casey's - Syracuse
• Park Omaha - 17th & Chicago
OPPD-Installed Charging Stations are located at:
• Henry Doorly Zoo (2): 10th and I-80
• UNMC (2): 42nd and Leavenworth
• OPPD Office: 16th and Harney
• NP Dodge Real Estate: 86th and Dodge
Take a look at the map below to find charging stations across the area. Also, if you’re looking for charging stations in nearby cities or you want to map them out for an upcoming trip, here is a helpful charging location website.
Rebate incentives for electric vehicles and EV chargers are currently not available through OPPD.
There’s a lot to know and learn about electric vehicles, so here’s a quick compilation of info and resources you may find useful on your EV journey.
Cost of EVs
There are several opportunities to reduce the cost of purchasing 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 U.S. Department of Energy’s vehicle cost calculator.
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.
Still Have Questions?
You can always email email@example.com or call 402-536-4131.