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Drive Electric Week Rides into Idaho


Thursday, September 29, 2022   

This week is National Drive Electric Week, and the vehicles are garnering more attention than ever.

Over the weekend, Boise hosted an event showcasing electric vehicles, and more events are planned this weekend in Pocatello and Moscow.

Randi Walkins, coordinator with Treasure Valley Clean Cities Coalition, said there are upfront costs for buying new electric vehicles, but those can be mitigated in the long run.

"Once you have an electric vehicle, the price for fueling is actually considerably cheaper," said Walkins, "especially now with how much gasoline prices are. But it really just provides new options, it's better for the environment and it helps with our national security."

Walkins said there's so much demand for electric vehicles right now that it's causing a shortage in supply.

There were 3,500 electric vehicles registered in Idaho in 2021 - up from 2,300 in 2020. Over all, electric vehicles still make up only a small percentage of cars on the road.

This is the 12th year of National Drive Electric Week.

The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act is providing incentives for people to buy electric, with a $7,500 tax credit for new vehicles. Crucially, Walkins said the law also includes a $4,000 tax credit to buy used electric vehicles.

"For different groups of people or folks who are more interested in buying used EVs versus new," said Walkins, "it'll open up those opportunities for them and allow them to take advantage of incentives as well."

The state of Idaho announced at the beginning of September that it was in investing $2.6 million in charging stations for rural parts of the state.

Walkins said these stations could help tackle people's range anxiety, or fear that they might not be able to find a charger on a long trip. She said it also will expose these rural communities to electric vehicles.

"Charging infrastructure can be really expensive to install," said Walkins, "and so this will help ease that burden for those communities."

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