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More people researching electric vehicles amid soaring gas prices

Published: Mar. 27, 2022 at 5:54 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - With rising gas prices, more people are looking into electric vehicles, or EVs, which run on a battery instead of using gasoline.

Destiny Wolf first bought an EV in 2018 because, “the fact that you can, you know, drive across the state for pennies per mile.”

“It’s nice to be able to just pull into my garage at night, plug in, it charges while I sleep and I never have to stop at a gas station,” said Wolf.

Electric vehicles run with energy from the electric grid by plugging in to a charging station for anywhere between 30 minutes and a few hours depending on the size of the battery.

An EV can go on average 250 miles on one charge, and a Tesla can go closer to 350 miles.

North Dakota has been slow to adopt EV technology and has the fewest registered fully electric vehicles of any state at 266.

However, groups like Drive Electric North Dakota have been working to bring more support and awareness.

There are only two charging stations is Bismarck and Mandan, but there are 58 more public charging stations around the state.

“I think North Dakota is not like the EV desert, which is one of the terms that they used in the past,” said Jason Bohrer of Drive Electric North Dakota. “We have significant charging infrastructure now to be able to cope with somebody who’s driving across country.”

The downsides of electric vehicles include that they can be more expensive than a traditional car to buy, although there are tax credits available.

In addition, the battery can lose charge quicker during the harsh North Dakota winters. However, local EV owners, like Wolf, say they have no plans to return to a gasoline vehicle.

“We actually just added a second EV to our family and that was actually even before gas prices started to spike,” said Wolf. “So we’re extremely happy with the performance and with the reliability.”

With North Dakota’s electric rates at 23 percent below the national average, driving an electric vehicle would cost about $405 a year to charge.

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