ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) — Electric vehicles are looking more enticing as gas prices soar to more than $5 a gallon, leaving drivers looking for alternatives to paying at the pump.
Wasilla resident Kimberly Sloane is among a growing group of Alaskans switching to electric cars by purchasing a Chevy Bolt in 2019.
“I’m so far ahead it’s unbelievable,” Sloane said. “I have solar panels on my house…my electric bill this month was around $10 and it charges my car every day.”
According to the Chugach Electric Association, the average cost of charging an electric vehicle is one-third of filling a normal gas tank. The electric utility has tracked the number of electric vehicles registered in Alaska since 2018, when there were just over 400 cars in the state and at the end of 2021 there were just over 1 200 cars.
Many electric drivers recognize that one downside is range anxiety, which stems from the lack of availability of charging stations on U.S. roads. To help meet the need, local and federal incentives hope to add charging stations across the country as the bipartisan infrastructure bill aims to build a network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers.
“Part of this effort to relieve what is called range anxiety is to install more charging stations throughout the Railbelt,” Chugach spokeswoman Julie Hasquet said.
In Anchorage, Chugach worked alongside the Alaska Energy Authority to provide more charging options, with the latest appearing outside the local IBEW 1547 office in downtown. The station was built with $7,500 provided by Chugach to cover initial costs.
The energy association said it no longer offered cash up front as an incentive to install a charging station and instead offered an invoice credit to incentivize the construction of charging stations. recharge.
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