Charged Up EV Newsletter- December 2016

Charged Up: news about electric vehicles in Kansas City

//// Free Charging Extended on the KCP&L Clean Charge Network

Charging has been free on the KCP&L Clean Charge Network since its debut in January 2015, but free charging is set to expire at the end of 2016.

While an EV is already up to three times cheaper than a gas-powered car to drive, free is even better. So, we’re excited to announce KCP&L has secured a grant to extend free charging!

Free charging will continue to be available at KCP&L Clean Charge Network charging stations in Kansas and Missouri. The grant is expected to cover the costs of electricity at stations until Summer 2017, and perhaps longer.

After the grant expires, KCP&L will work with individual site hosts to prolong free charging. Site hosts will have the option to cover the cost of electricity to keep public charging free.

“We encourage electric car owners to share their appreciation with charging station hosts,” said Jeffrey Beeson of KCP&L’s corporate communications group. “If you’ve patronized a store, coffee shop or restaurant because they host a charging station, let them know.”

With free public charging, electric car drivers in the Kansas City region already have an advantage. But even without that benefit, a new study from MIT demonstrates low-emission cars are a better bet when operating and maintenance costs are factored into the price of the car.

The researchers developed a web-based app called CarbonCounter that plots the financial and environmental impact of 125 vehicles, both electric- and gas-powered. By changing variables such as mileage, fuel type and average driving distance, visitors can evaluate where each vehicle falls on life cycle greenhouse gas emissions versus price.

Those who already drive electric will likely find their individual results affirming. For drivers of gas-powered vehicles, it could provide the surprising news that they don’t have to pay more for a low-carbon-emitting vehicle.

////  Meet an EV Driver: Kellie Beargie

For Kellie Beargie, driving electric has proved a very economical choice.

She relies on public charging, which means she generally doesn’t pay to charge up in Kansas City — thanks to the free charging available on the KCP&L Clean Charge Network.

“I haven’t needed to install a home charger yet, especially when the public charging stations are convenient and free,” she said.

Kellie takes her electric vehicle everywhere — on errands, to the gym, to the airport and to visit her parents in Shawnee.

“I’m fortunate to be able to charge at work,” she said. “I also charge on the Clean Charge Network here and there, whenever I am out and about.”

Her 2012 Ford Focus Electric is such a good fit for her needs, it’s surprising to learn she initially visited a dealership in search of a gas-powered car. “I wanted something with good gas mileage and low overall miles, so had every intention of buying a late model gas Focus,” she said. The cars she had eyed online had sold, and she test drove a few others but came away unimpressed.

“Then I saw the specs on this bright blue jelly bean of a car, which boasted excellent MPG. I realized it was a fully electric car and was just blown away,” she said. “I hadn’t researched electric cars at all, but I knew of Tesla. My husband and I saw it as an opportunity to be early adopters of this amazing new technology. I drove it off the lot that day and haven’t regretted a single moment.”

Kellie has found the transition to driving electric easy and rewarding. She’s learned to stop stomping on the accelerator and brakes to help conserve battery — and found a peaceful side effect.

“I enjoy my drives now, even if I send up at my destination a few moments later,” she said. “It doesn’t impact my schedule but it certainly impacts my mindset!

Interested in being profiled for our next issue? We’d love to hear from you.

////  Upcoming EVents and Activities

For a limited time, get a special group buy price on a Nissan LEAF — $10,000 off the sales price, plus up to $7,500 additional off in federal tax incentives.

Nissan LEAF Group Buy Special Offer
There’s never been a better time to consider an electric car. For a limited time, get a special group buy price on a Nissan LEAF — $10,000 off the sales price, plus up to $7,500 additional off in federal tax incentives. That translates into getting a brand new LEAF for about 50 percent off!

Take advantage of this opportunity at participating Kansas City metro Nissan dealers through the end of the year. Learn more about the program and participating dealers here.

Thanks to the 1,000+ public charging stations in the KCP&L Clean Charge Network, Kansas City is a hotspot for driving electric. Electric car owners have the freedom to travel throughout the city with ease.

We’re always looking for places to spread the word about EVs. Have a suggestion for where we might go next? Let us know.

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