What drivers should consider when switching to an electric vehicle

Get all the facts before making the switch
Published: Mar. 13, 2022 at 11:06 PM CDT
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PARAGOULD, Ark. (KAIT) - Gas prices are rising across the U.S., and Northeast Arkansas is no exception. The spike in costs is leading many to consider switching from gas to electric vehicles.

The learning curve of operating an electric vehicle like a Tesla can be substantial, but that’s not the only obstacle you might face if you’re making the switch from gas to electric.

Jeremy Edgar, owner of Edgar Electric Company and a Tesla Model S, has installed several charging ports in homes around Paragould. For electric vehicle owners, home charging stations are a must. However, the cost of purchasing and installing the charger can be a bit pricy, and not all homes can equip them.

So if you’re thinking of switching, make sure to contact a professional on the front end.

“If you’re doing this, make sure you hire a professional electrician to install your circuits and your charger because it’s a life safety issue,” Edgar said.

Edgar installed a home charging port for Paragould City Council member Jeremy Biggs. He bought a Tesla in July, and he said for anyone that can afford an electric vehicle that’s on the fence, the switch is an easy decision.

He said even after the cost of the vehicle and other upfront charges like installing a charging station, it came out to be in the same price range as a Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Plus, he saves nearly $2,000 per year in gas.

“I say do it. The vehicle I got will go 264 miles on a full charge. I charge it twice a week, and it comes out to about $2.82 for a tank of gas, so to speak,” Biggs said.

Even without a home charging port, it’s possible to own an electric vehicle. Charging ports can be found on interstates and in most cities, including Paragould. Currently, the city of Paragould has four such charging ports, and the plan is to add several more in the near future.

Though they can cost quite a bit more for a full charge and they can take up to 20 minutes to charge to full, Biggs said those are minor inconveniences when taking it all into perspective.

If you are considering making the switch, make sure to weigh all your options before purchasing. Just because they’re right for Edgar and Biggs doesn’t mean electric vehicles would necessarily be right for you.

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