Kiwanis Club of Laurel members heard an informative program on electric vehicles by Sara Peterson of Cooperative Energy at Wednesday’s club meeting at the Laurel Country Club. Cooperative Energy serves 11 electric cooperative systems that cover 55 counties to provide electricity to more than 1 million Mississippians.
Peterson, who is the company’s corporate communications manager, explained the growing development and acceptance of electric vehicles in the United States and worldwide. Cooperative Energy is developing programs to encourage the usage of electric vehicles in Mississippi by placing charging stations at businesses and other locations in the 11 electric cooperative systems they serve.
Establishing charging stations for electric vehicles in the state will provide the individual, business, industry or education owners of these electric vehicles with the ability to take longer trips without the concern of being too far from a charging station.
Peterson gave an example of a co-worker who owns a 100 percent electric Tesla and took a 320-mile trip with the cost of electricity to fully recharge the vehicle costing only $6.86. The comparison to a gasoline-powered vehicle would require the gasoline powered vehicle to achieve 117 miles per gallon in order to compare to the cost of the same trip in the Tesla EV.
Peterson noted that 2018 EV sales were up 361,000 vehicles over 2017 — an 81 percent increase. Major automobile manufacturers are currently investing more than $150 billion in EV development and are projecting 140 EV models to be in service by 2023. The electric vehicles being produced require less maintenance than traditional gasoline-powered vehicles, perform well and are safe, quiet, produce no emissions and are easy to recharge.
In addition, the use of locally produced electricity reduces dependence on foreign oil and can save drivers more than $1,000 per year on fuel costs. Cooperative Energy likes to save on fuel costs, too. That’s why they have their own GO EV! electric vehicles, Peterson said. Cooperative Energy’s fleet features two types of vehicles — the Chevy Bolt and Volt. The Bolt is 100 percent electric and the Volt is a plug-in hybrid.
For those interested in learning more about Cooperative Energy’s GO EV! electric vehicles as well as a map showing the placement of EV charging stations in Mississippi and nationally, go to www.myelectriccooperative.com/electric-vehicles/ .
Kiwanis Club of Laurel meets most Wednesdays at noon at the Laurel Country Club. Prospective members are invited to attend and learn more about the philanthropic activities of Kiwanis.