‘We’re right at that spot where it’s about to take off’: This might be the time for EVs

Sep 27, 2022, 6:30 PM | Updated: 7:23 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — There’s a lot of excitement surrounding electric vehicles these days, and more of them on Utah roads. Rocky Mountain Power hosted an electric vehicle car show Tuesday to show off the latest options.

EVs are changing and becoming a choice for more drivers.

It’s National Drive Electric Week, and with recently announced federal tax incentives, and expanding charging infrastructure, more Utahns are driving electric, saving money, and polluting less.

“We’re at the beginning of the change,” said James Campbell, the innovation and sustainability director for Rocky Mountain Power. He said we’re at the threshold of rapid adoption of electronic vehicles. “We’re right at that spot where it’s about to take off,” he said.

The surge in gas prices has many more people thinking electric.

“The fuel is cheaper, and you don’t have the operating costs,” Campbell said. “So, those things have finally come together now where the transition is beginning.”

The environmental benefits make a big difference on the Wasatch Front where our tail pipes collectively are the greatest polluter.

“Electric vehicles are definitely a really important part of the big picture strategy for cleaning up Utah’s air,” said Ashley Miller, Breathe Utah Executive Director.

Campbell said the performance and expanded capabilities are catching the consumers attention. “Part of that buzz is the fact that the technology is finally there,” he said.

David Eckels with Merge Electric Fleet Solutions let KSL’s Jed Boal drive his Ford F150 Lightning all electric pick up. The things that you really notice are how smooth, how quiet, and how responsive the vehicle is throughout the drive. It’s an $80,000 electric truck for a person who wants a real truck with four-wheel drive.

“It hits all of the marks that people are looking for in a truck,” Miller said.

We tested the acceleration on a quiet road with no traffic. We discovered the acceleration from 0 to 60 mph was about as quick as you could ever expect from a pickup truck. The speed of a sports car with the functionality of a pickup.

“That’s really great for construction workers, and job sites and even how it’s running the power on the food trucks right now,” Miller said.

That’s right. An extension cord plugged into the Ford Lightning powered the food truck for the car show. Enough power for a worksite, or a campsite, without polluting the air.

“Before, you had maybe a more environmentally conscious person Look for an EV. Now, it’s kind of shifted to more of a performance and cost,” Campbell said.

EVs are still expensive.

More fast chargers for electric vehicles coming to Utah with $86 million investment

The average cost for any new vehicle is more than $45,000, and a couple of manufacturers sell compact EVs for under $35,000.

You’ll pay twice that for a Tesla, or the Lightning.

Rocky Mountain Power will work with UDOT to install 20 charging stations across the state next spring to improve vehicle range for everyone.

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‘We’re right at that spot where it’s about to take off’: This might be the time for EVs