Are you ready to trade in your gas card for some time at the charging station? If so, then you’ll join the nearly half a million people, and counting, who have made the switch from gasoline-powered vehicles to plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs).

PEVs, commonly referred to as “electric cars,” are vehicles that are powered, at least in part, by battery power. They come in two varieties: plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs).

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles can run on either gas or battery power. Owners can choose to fill up at the pump or recharge their batteries. PHEVs can typically travel up to 35 miles on electricity alone, or more than 300 miles in electric/hybrid mode. They also tend to have low emission rates depending on how much gas is used.

Battery-electric vehicles run entirely on electricity stored in their battery. Therefore, they need to be recharged regularly. BEVs can typically travel 70-100 miles on a full charge. Because they do not have gas engines, BEVs are zero-emission vehicles.

Today, there are more than 25 PEV models in the U.S., 50 PEV options available globally, and even more options expected over the next few years. Early adopters of PEVs were interested in the innovative, budget-friendly and environmentally responsible aspects of these vehicles. However, an increasing number of mainstream buyers seem to be jumping on the PEV bandwagon and their reasons for doing so are as diverse as the car buyers themselves.

Plug-in electric vehicles are more costly than their conventional counterparts, but they pay off in terms of lower operation and maintenance costs, as well as their environmental sustainability. PEV buyers may also be eligible for a federal tax credit - $7,500 for BEVs and nearly $5,000 for most PHEVs.

As electric cars become more popular, especially electricity-only BEVs, drivers will be looking for additional charging stations close to home or work. This can impact homeowners’ associations, community associations and condo Boards across the country who may need to respond to residents demanding charging stations in their own communities.

Has your association considered installing an on-site charging station? Installing one may enhance your community’s “green” image and make your community or high-rise building more desirable. But how do you know if it is the right solution for your community? Be on the lookout for our follow-up article containing valuable information to help your association decide. For more innovative ways to enhance your homeowners’ lifestyles, contact FirstService Residential. 
Thursday July 28, 2016