Commentary by Amanda Cross
Electric vehicles are hot right now. Federal legislation is incentivizing EV ownership, and the local government is making EVs easier to own. You might even know someone who recently got one: at the end of 2021, there were 919 EVs registered in Carmel, compared to just 193 in 2017.
Recent federal legislation, in the form of the Inflation Reduction Act, includes tax credits for EVs. To qualify, new EVs must have American-made batteries, which none of the automakers offer yet. However, if you’re in the market for a used car and you can find an EV under $25,000, you’re in luck. Pre-owned EVs that cost less than $25,000 can qualify for up to a $4,000 tax credit.
Closer to home, the Climate Action Plan the City of Carmel recently adopted includes plans to add EV charging stations in city-owned parking lots and garages. It also requires new commercial development to offer charging stations moving forward. Carmel already has 50 EV chargers within city limits, and more coming, potentially paid for by the Inflation Reduction Act and other federal funds.
People who are new to EVs can be intimidated about having to charge a car rather than fill up the tank. We’re all accustomed to visiting our local gas station, and learning something different can feel daunting. Any new car has new features to learn, and getting to know them can also be exciting. Charging EVs has become quite simple; my 93-year old neighbor charges hers without a problem!
If you’re worried about being able to find a charging station, there are resources to help. EVs have a range of 200 to 300 miles, so you have plenty of time to find a place to recharge. Check out the Plugshare website at plugshare.com to easily find nearby charging stations. Though the information is crowdsourced, the City of Carmel regularly checks to make sure that the entries in our town are accurate.
The positive impact EVs have on the environment is substantial because transportation is the biggest source of greenhouse gas in our area. The City of Carmel analyzed greenhouse gas sources and found that transportation accounts for 40 percent of them. If you want to make a big difference in the environment, getting an EV is a great option.
If you’d like to learn more about EVs, the City of Carmel is holding an EV Ride and Drive event from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 1 at the Indiana Design Center. You can find more information about this event at fb.me/e/1UP3khejt.
Amanda Cross is a volunteer with the Carmel Green Initiative.