Home Energy Solutions: Saving on Gas with an Electric Car

CLF’ers Elena Mihaly and Tom Irwin show that an electric car is the perfect commuting solution for New Englanders.

Bethany Kwoka | @bkwoka

“I like this car because of the gas money it saves me,” says CLF Staff Attorney Elena Mihaly about her plug-in electric hybrid car. Elena lives on a dirt road in Vermont and commutes 40 miles each way to to the CLF office in Montpelier. To save on gas and reduce her carbon footprint, she’s leasing an electric car for three years. “The maintenance is also a lot less than my old car. I’ve had old clunkers for most of my driving career, and it’s nice to have a newer car that is quieter and smoother and uses less gas.”

Her coworker Tom Irwin, CLF’s New Hampshire State Director, also relies on an electric car, though his commute is much shorter. Tom lives in Concord, and his office is only a few minutes away. For Tom, it was all about having a car that relied as little as possible on gasoline, a dirty fuel that pollutes our air and damages our climate.

It’s Easy to Use a Plug-In Electric Hybrid

Because her car is a plug-in electric hybrid, Elena does fill it up with gas. This allows her to make the 80-mile round-trip commute – and other long drives – without worrying about finding a charging port away from home. (That said, electric car charging stations are peppered throughout Vermont and New England — with more in the works.)

In terms of making sure her car is charged, Elena likens it to a cell phone.

“When I come home I plug it into the wall in our carport,” she says. “We just have an outlet. It looks like any other outlet in our garage. When I wake up in the morning it’s charged and I leave for the day.”

For Tom, too, charging up is as easy as plugging the car into a wall socket in his garage each night. It’s simple. And it saves Elena and Tom money.

It’s Also Easy to Buy or Lease an Electric Car

For Elena, another important factor in her choice of electric car was the flexibility of leasing instead of buying. “It’s a cool option to be able to lease a new technology car like this, just for three years,” she says. This means she can benefit from an electric car for the next few years, and upgrade as the technology improves.

If leasing a car isn’t your style, you can always follow Tom’s lead. Tom went the route of buying a used electric vehicle. All he had to do was a quick search online. There were several used models available right in Concord that he was able to test drive before deciding to buy.

Either way, an electric car is easy to use, will save you money on gas, and will reduce your climate-damaging emissions.

CLF does not endorse any specific make or model of electric vehicles. Instead, we support everyone test driving a few to find the one that’s right for them.

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