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Electric Vehicles: Cruising into High Gear

Get up to date by confronting electric vehicle myths

By: | September 6, 2015 4:34 pm

American Graffiti may be a forgotten film of Modesto, California teenagers coming of age. It all took place in one long evening centered around the cherished act of cruising the strip. Stephen Spielberg’s first studio film perfectly captured the critical interdependence of people and cars in the 1960s. Half a century later, that love of cruising has a new chapter. Now EV (electric vehicle) aficionados are finding their joy of cruising.

For instance on the first Friday in the summer months starting at 6 p.m. at Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis, MN you’ll find the local electric vehicles geared up for cruising – silent cruising! In Colorado, electric vehicle chargers along I-70 and other major highways have been installed for quiet electric road trips to scenic and recreational areas like Silverthorne.

The attraction of driving an electric vehicle is more than the novelty of driving without exhaust or any notable rumble that was the bravado of their gas-powered brethren…

The advantages of going EV are far-reaching:

  • Electric driving is competitively priced: Approximately $1 per gasoline gallon equivalent. Xcel Energy’s affordable electricity can save more than $750/year* on fuel costs.
  • Electric driving has no tailpipe emissions: Xcel Energy emissions are about half the amount of gasoline. Plus, more than two-thirds of EV driving customers subscribe to Xcel Energy renewable energy programs like Windsource® to offset their driving with renewable energy.
  • Electric vehicle charging potential is all around us: Colorado and Minnesota collectively have nearly 400 recharging stations. Plus, there is the convenience of charging in your own home while you sleep.
  • Electric vehicles are fun to drive: This is not a golf-cart motor. Feel the rapid acceleration for yourself with a test drive. Here’s a summary.
  • Learn more,

* Assuming 12,500 miles annually, 25 MPG comparison at $2.50/gallon of gas and 12 cents/kWh

Plugged into renewable and clean energy sources

EV drivers in Colorado and Minnesota have even more reasons to be charged up about. That’s because their electricity (or fuel for their EVs) is coming from some of the cleanest sources in the nation. In fact nearly 40% of the electricity generated by Xcel Energy for these two states is carbon-free. And that’s projected to grow each year going forward.

Education is Key to Confronting Electric Vehicle  Myths

You may be hearing myths about the growing EV market…

Myth #1: Electric vehicles are far more expensive than the average car.

Reality: Federal tax incentives are available, up to $7,500 as well as possible state and local incentives. Compared to gas-powered cars, you will save on fuel, maintenance and repair costs. More info can be found at

Myth #2: Plug-in electric vehicles can only support short trips, not daily commutes.

Reality: Most full-battery electric vehicles are targeting close to 100-mile EV range on a full charge, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles provide 20-50 miles of EV range and then you can drive another 300-500 miles in hybrid mode.

Myth #3: The new demand for electricity will drive up generation and costs.

Reality: The existing electrical grid is ready for you to charge at home, work, or on the go. Xcel Energy does not anticipate the need to build new power plants just to meet the needs of electric vehicles

So get educated. Learn more about electric vehicles here.

To engage in National Drive Electric Week activities, visit here


Driving transportation efforts forward to make electric and natural gas vehicles a viable option for customers. Passionate about emerging technologies and improving how the world creates and uses energy, including renewables.

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