How Avista supports electric transportation.
Considering going electric on the road? It's a big change, but it's one that's getting easier to make, thanks to the expanding number of both vehicle options and charging locations. We're big believers, and ready to be your resource if you're thinking of making the switch.
What are electric vehicles?
Cars or trucks that run on battery technology. There are two types, but they're both considered PEVs, or plug-in electric vehicles:
- Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Electric range 10-40 miles
Blended electric/gas at higher speeds
- Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Powered by electricity only
Electric range for 80-300 Zero emissions
Benefits of electric transportation
- Cleaner air Driving electric means no tailpipe emissions.
- Energy independence Reduces the dependence on foreign oil.
- Cost savings Driving electric can save you more than 70% on fuel costs.
How it works
Avista provides and installs an AC Level 2 charger for the first 240 Avista Washington electric residential customers who qualify. You'll receive a reimbursement of 50% of installation costs up to a maximum of $1,000.
For qualifying business customers:
Avista will provide an AC Level 2 charging station for the first 175 workplace and 60 port connections installed. You'll receive a reimbursement of 50% of installation costs up to a maximum of $1,000 and $2,000 per port connection.
Why we're doing it
We want to study how managed charging can smooth out electricity use on our system and improve efficiencies. A combination of data and personal feedback will help us learn how to lessen strain on the electric grid and prepare the grids for the future.
- Reimbursement of 50% of installation costs up to a maximum of $1,000 for residential customers.
- Reimbursement of 50% of installation costs up to a maximum of $1,000 and $2,000 per port connection for business customers.
- Charging that's 2 to 5 times faster than a standard 110 VAC outlet, adding convenience and flexibility for the EV driver.
- No payment required. The charging station is owned and maintained by Avista. Customers do pay for the electricity use, and business owners can choose whether to require user fees for workplace and public installations.
- As part of the pilot program, we'll install DC Fast Chargers at 7 strategic locations in Eastern Washington. They greatly reduce charging times to as low as 15 minutes.
- Public charging stations must be available to the public and within a 5 minute walking distance of a major park, shopping area, restaurants, entertainment center and/or en route to a longer distance destination.
- The site host can choose whether to require user fees for use of the charger.
- Workplace installations must make charging available to employees driving EVs.
- May also be available to visitors and the public at the discretion of the business owner.
- Businesses with employees driving EVs to work, and participating in the program get priority.
How much can I save on gas by driving electric?
The exact number depends on driving patterns and habits, the price of gasoline, the fuel efficiency of the alternative vehicle you're comparing it to, whether you commute or not, and if you have workplace charging available.
Here's a scenario:
As an Avista customer, you'd likely pay a residential rate of approximately of $0.09 per kWh to charge your vehicle at home.
That should get you about 3.3 miles of driving distance with today's PEVs.
So, if you drove 1,000 miles at 24 mpg and the cost of gasoline was $3.50/gal, your gasoline fuel expense would be $146.
Driving 1,000 miles with a PEV at 3.3 miles/kWh, you would use 303 kWh and at $0.09/kWh, and your electric fuel expense would be about $27. That’s more than an 80 percent savings in fuel costs.
For more estimates, try this handy tool from The University of California at UC Davis.
Do I need to install a charger in my home? What do I need to know?
We advise most new PEV owners to drive their vehicles for a few weeks before installing a charging station in their home. A few facts:
With a 120VAC outlet in the garage and the Level 1 connector that comes with their car, drivers can expect to gain 3 to 5 miles per hour of charging.
With a 208/240VAC receptacle and a Level 2 connector, (EVSE) station, expect 10 to 25 miles per hour of charge depending on the amperage capacity of the dedicated circuit and the inverter inside your vehicle, which converts the AC to DC electricity and recharges the battery.
Most drivers of today’s plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs), like the Chevy Volt, find that charging from their 120VAC outlet in their garage works fine for them. Most owners of all-electrics, also known as battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) like the Nissan LEAF, have larger battery packs and often need 240V charging to get a full recharge overnight.
What do I need if I want a Level 2 EVSE in your home?
You’ll need to have a dedicated 208/240VAC circuit available and purchase and install EVSE equipment with a J-1772 connector. Consult a qualified electrician to ensure a safe 208/240VAC circuit and Level 2 EVSE installation.
Where can I find public charging?
Find a location near you plus more details on public charging stations (EVSE) at Plug Share.
What's the difference between Level 1, 2, and 3 charging?
For a synopsis, see Plug In America.
How much more efficient is Level 2 over Level 1 charging?
Research indicates that Level 2 charging is about 2.3 percent more efficient than Level 1 when more than 2 kWh is used and 12.8 percent more efficient when less than 2 kWh is used.