With climate change currently happening in our world, it is imperative that we try our best to help protect our environment. There are a lot of ways in which we can achieve that. We can reduce, reuse, and recycle our garbage, and we can turn to renewable energy sources, such as solar, for our electricity needs.
Right now, there is a new practice that we can do to help our environment. And that is to get an electric vehicle (EV).
What Is an Electric Vehicle?
Simply put, an electric vehicle is a vehicle that uses one or more electric motors or traction motors for propulsion. This type of vehicle may be powered through a collector system by electricity from off-vehicle sources, or it may be self-contained with a battery, solar panels, fuel cells, or an electric generator to convert fuel to electricity.
There are several types of EVs that are available right now. Examples include road and rail vehicles, surface and underwater vessels, electric aircraft, and electric spacecraft.
What Are the Benefits of Electric Vehicles?
EVs Reduce Car Emissions to Help the Environment.
As mentioned earlier, electric vehicles can be fueled by electricity from renewable sources, such as solar, wind, and hydropower. This is a big plus since traditional vehicles use gasoline, which can only be produced through intensive extraction and transportation processes.
In other words, electric vehicles don’t release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when you drive them. They are also built to be more environmentally friendly than conventional vehicles since the large batteries inside the electric vehicles can be recycled. So, if you choose an electric car, you can reduce your carbon footprint and pollution impact on our environment.
EVs Reduce Your Fuel Costs.
Buying gasoline from a gas station on a weekly basis is costly, especially when the price of gasoline constantly fluctuates. When you choose an electric vehicle, you can forget about paying for gasoline.
Electricity is less expensive than gasoline, and it also has a much more stable price point. This means that the rapid price fluctuations of gasoline can now be eliminated by going electric.
Moreover, you can reduce your costs even further by installing a rooftop solar installation to charge your electric vehicle. When you generate your own free electricity, you avoid increasing your monthly electric bill by plugging your electric vehicle into the grid. In other words, with electric vehicles and the remarkable flexibility of electricity generation, it is now possible to entirely remove fuel costs from your life.
Related Article: How Much Does Solar Panel Installation Cost in Illinois
EVs Are Cheaper to Maintain.
A battery electric vehicle (BEV) has fewer moving parts than a conventional car. So, there is relatively little servicing and no expensive exhaust systems, starter motors, fuel injection systems, radiators, and many other parts that aren’t required in an electric vehicle.
That said, batteries do wear out, so you will eventually need to buy another battery. Most car manufacturers warrant EV batteries for around eight years.
Meanwhile, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have a petrol engine that needs regular servicing, so they cost more to maintain. However, because the electric motor needs little maintenance due to fewer moving parts, this will eventually lead to less wear and tear of the petrol engine components.
Are There Incentives for EVs in Illinois?
With the various benefits that electric vehicles offer, it won’t be a surprise if people would find it tempting to get one for themselves. Luckily, if you live in Illinois and you want to invest in an electric vehicle, you’ll be able to enjoy several incentives.
Here are the incentives for electric vehicles that Illinois offers.
The Qualified Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Tax Credit
The Qualified Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Tax Credit is the primary federal incentive program for electric vehicles available in the United States. Under this program, the purchase of a new electric vehicle is qualified for a tax credit worth $7,500. You just have to meet the following requirements:
- The electric vehicle is purchased after December 31, 2009.
- The EV uses a traction battery.
- The battery has at least 4 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of capacity.
- The EV uses an external plug-in source to recharge.
- The EV has a weight rating of up to 14,000 pounds.
- The EV meets emissions standards.
This federal electric car tax credit is applicable to both all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The actual amount of the tax credit you can get varies depending on the car model. For that reason, when you’re deliberating which electric vehicle to get, you should check out exactly how much your new car gets you in the form of federal electric car tax credits.
You should also note that this tax credit has a “phase out” built into the program that is dependent on the car manufacturer. The phase-out will start at the beginning of the second calendar quarter after a car manufacturer has sold 200,000 eligible EVs.
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebates
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity provides rebates to offset the cost of electric vehicle supply equipment with SAE J1772 or CHAdeMo connectors.
The rebates cover 50% of the cost of equipment and installation (including materials and labor), up to $3,750 per networked single station, $3,000 per non-networked single station, $7,500 per networked dual station, $6,000 per non-networked dual station, $15,000 per networked DC fast charge (DCFC) station), and $12,500 per non-networked DCFC station.
The maximum possible total rebate award is $50,000. Eligible applicants include government entities, private businesses, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and individual residents of Illinois.
However, you should note that program requirements are subject to change with each new funding period.
Electric vehicles are now starting to gain recognition. This is not surprising because electric vehicles offer so many benefits to prospective buyers. For one thing, electric vehicles help you lessen your carbon footprint, and for another, they can help you save money since you won’t have to spend on gasoline anymore. In other words, electric vehicles are great for you and for the environment.
Fortunately, right now, there are a lot of incentives that can entice more people to consider buying an electric vehicle. Illinois, in particular, offers great programs. There’s the Qualified Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Tax Credit, a federal incentive program that gives people who buy electric cars after December 31, 2009, a tax credit worth up to $7,500. And there’s also the Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebates. This program covers 50% of the cost of equipment and installation of charging equipment with SAE J1772 or CHAdeMo connectors.
Essentially, if you live in Illinois and you are interested in electric vehicles, now is the time to invest in one. There are available incentives at your disposal, so you should take advantage of them while you can.