Electric vehicles are gaining traction among Wisconsin drivers and businesses that provide support
- Dec 29, 2021 5:01 pm GMT
From cars to motorcycles, and fire trucks to charging stations,
Moreover, the number of EVs on the state's roadways, although still barely a blip on the radar screen, has risen steadily in recent years — fueled by growth from
There were 7,521 electric vehicles registered in
"The 'suburban donut' phenomenon holds true throughout the country," said
"It would really transform transportation in this country," said
Pierce Manufacturing, based in
From batteries to windshields,
Electric vehicles dominate our most anticipated cars, trucks list for 2022
"We're a big manufacturing state. In fact, we just overtook
"If you're not ready for this today, you're going to be left behind over the next five years," said
"We've been working for at least five years to really diversify our product portfolio," Ramirez said, so the company is well positioned for EVs or conventional vehicles.
"EVs are the future of transportation. In the next 20 to 30 years, the market will roll over from gas combustion engines to electric," said
Modine has developed different versions of its battery thermal management system depending on where it's going to be used. In
"There's a safety aspect of making sure you don't have a thermal runaway on the engine or battery," Bonini said.
Pierce Manufacturing has been testing the nation's first electric fire truck in
"We always have that ability to switch modes," said
The fire truck is much quieter when using its electric motor, improving communications in the cab and at fire scenes. What's more, the lack of diesel fumes keeps the station cleaner and healthier.
"There's been a lot of focus on not putting carcinogens into the air," Linsmeier said.
At various airports around the
"This is exciting work that matters," Linsmeier said.
EV car owners say range anxiety isn't so bad
And he did it with a
"I had no issues at all," he said.
What's called "range anxiety" is a legitimate concern in places where not following a route with charging stations could leave an EV driver stuck on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck.
But in reality, that hardly ever happens, according to
"I'd say it's extraordinarily rare when we get those calls," said
The majority of electric vehicle owners do most of their charging at home where it's cheaper and convenient. And the driving range of the latest EVs is now between about 100 and 500 miles depending on the model of car and variables such as speed and weather.
Klimkosky says he's getting around 350 miles on a full battery charge on one of his two Teslas, and that a typical recharge would cost less than
"There are now thousands of them across the country," he said.
Range anxiety is more of an issue with older EVs that didn't get very good mileage when they were new and have worsened as their battery has aged.
There was a time when even 40 miles was considered "amazing," said
Electric vehicle owners point out that they save money on maintenance because their cars have fewer moving parts to wear out, there's no catalytic converter to replace, no fuel injectors to go bad, and no oil changes. The batteries are supposed to last hundreds of thousands of miles, although in many cases it's too early to tell whether that's true.
Still, the sticker price is enough to scare off some buyers. The cheapest new
Teslas no longer qualify for the tax credit because the company met the government's allowed quota of vehicles.
"Where the purchase incentive really matters is for the lower-price cars," said Levin with Plug In America.
In some places you're about as likely to see a unicorn, as an EV, on anything but the interstate highway.
"Most EV growth has occurred, and will continue occurring, in suburban areas," said Borenstein with the data firm Blastpoint.
"The two major reasons for this are fairly simple: logistics and economics," he said. Suburban homes have garages that are well suited for at-home charging, and the families can afford an expensive vehicle.
"The old adage 'keeping up with the Joneses' also helps to explain the viral nature of EV growth in the suburbs," Borenstein said.
A group of about 50 electric utility cooperatives is promoting EV adoption through a network of rural charging stations.
The group, CHARGE EV, has stations across much of the Upper Midwest. It recently added more cooperatives including one that covers 41 counties in
"This is an incredible boost for CHARGE both in terms of cooperatives' participation and the opportunity for collaboration," said group President
Electric co-ops, many of them started from the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, are a powerful economic engine serving more than 42 million people across 48 states. In
Rural charging stations are well positioned to help ease range anxiety between cities. "There's really no better entity to fill in the gaps," Boettcher said.
Many utilities have offered generous rebates for consumers and businesses to install chargers. They've also offered reduced electric rates during off-peak hours to lower the cost of EV driving.
Some cooperatives have purchased EV demonstrator vehicles to show that they're not tiny, underperforming cars.
"Once someone takes an EV for a test drive, it really changes their opinion," Boettcher said. "At one event, we had an electric school bus. And, you know, it looked just like a regular yellow school bus."
What could open up much of America to EVs would be the rollout of pickup trucks such as the Ford F-150 Lightning that's scheduled to go into production in the spring.
"That's going to be a game changer," Boettcher said. "If an EV pickup looks like an F-150 that people know and love today, and it has the ability to do the things they want, they're going to want to drive that."
Rivian will have to overcome a lack of brand recognition and dealerships in order to gain much traction in the marketplace. But
"It's also very clear that anything that significantly lowers the price of a vehicle makes it more attractive," said
Businesses see opportunity in EV traffic
Many businesses, including restaurants, shopping centers and convenience stores, are gearing up for EV traffic and the opportunity to gain customers looking to spend money on something else while they wait for their car to charge. Hotels are planning to be EV-friendly destinations as well.
"It's a relatively low demand right now ... but we think this is the future," said
Starting in January,
"This amenity is a first of its kind for a campground network," KOA President
Wireless charging has become available in several states and in
Integrated Roadways, a
Integrated Roadways has eyed several
"We're transforming the road into a network," he said. "Our goal is to be a technology platform for the next generation of vehicles."
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