Adonai Colon gets charged up about his new electric vehicle.
“This is the most fun I’ve ever had driving a car,” said Colon, a business developer for Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions in Charlotte, N.C. Like his 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5 SUV, he can go on and on:
Sleek. Roomy. Quiet. Rides smoothly. Great range. Quick charging. Two screens of technology. Zero to 60 in five seconds. Drives itself on the highway. Scolds him if he wanders out of his lane or shows drowsy reactions.
Oh, and this: He did the math.
When he was considering new wheels, he wondered whether he could afford an EV. He did lots of homework, studied many models, factored in his lifestyle. Most important: He wanted something that would charge quickly and had good range – some of his clients are in places like Hickory, two hours away.
He fell for the IONIQ. It gets 300 miles to the charge, which takes as little as 18 minutes. It had a $50,000 sticker price, but that came down fast.
- It came with a federal tax credit of $7,500 to encourage sales of EVs.
- Hyundai threw in two years of free charging. (Even if he were paying, a full battery fill-up would run $14 compared with about $40 for a tank of gas.)
- Demand for used cars was so high that he got a $10,000 trade-in for his 2012 Mazda 5 despite its 100,000 miles.
- And resale value? “I can actually get more money for this car than I spent,” Colon said. “Demand for these is just huge.”
He also likes the clean energy aspect. No exhaust, no oil changes, smaller carbon footprint.
If you’re considering an EV
EVs save an average of $1,000 a year in fuel costs. Find out how much you would save with Duke Energy’s EV savings calculator.
Duke Energy’s own fleet is steadily moving toward EVs. By 2030, the company plans to convert all of its 4,000 light-duty vehicles and half its 6,000 combined fleet of medium-duty, heavy-duty and off-road vehicles to EVs, plug-in hybrids or other zero-carbon alternatives.
That is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 60,000 metric tons per year, reduce petroleum consumption by 10 million gallons annually and significantly cut emissions of nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds and particulate matter.
Already, Duke Energy offers credits to homeowners and businesses in various states for upgrading their electrical systems for EV charging. In North Carolina, for example, Duke Energy is helping cities install nearly 300 public charging stations, including in multifamily dwellings and traditionally underserved communities. The company has installed almost 600 in Florida.
Colon said a phone app tells him the nearest fast charging stations while he’s traveling but recognizes more are needed. Still, he said, there is a delightful aspect to charging stations – community. EV drivers circulate and talk with others about their cars and the features. “It’s like a car meet-up,” he said.
Another hurdle is the availability of EVs. Some dealers were charging more than the manufacturer’s suggested price. He had to hunt for one selling at list price. He found it in New Jersey, and he flew up to get it.
He was quickly rewarded by the fact people are fascinated by electric rides. A toll-taker on the New Jersey Turnpike wanted him to pause to tell about the new Hyundai.
“I was, like, I have to move,” he said. “This thing is a real head-turner.”