COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- From parades to festivals to car shows, Clean Fuels Ohio (CFO) has introduced Ohioans to the wide range of electric vehicles (EVs) now on the market. In most locations, they have found an audience willing to listen and learn – perhaps at a higher rate than in many other parts of the country.
"We've been able to meet and talk with Ohioans in these informal settings, and most people have been eager to see the latest vehicles and learn more about the technology," said Cynthia Maves, CFO director of grant administration. "Ohio ranks sixth in the country in electric vehicle sales, according to a study by Edmunds. While our high ranking generally surprises people, they admit to seeing more EVs on the road, and they want to learn more."
Drive Electric Ohio is an initiative of CFO to introduce Ohioans to the range of EVs available and promote the adoption of vehicles by consumers and fleets. Statistically, Ohio drivers can easily incorporate EVs into their lives. As many as 80% of Ohioans drive 50 miles or less a day, making the range of most EVs well within their standard driving habits. Automakers today are offering a wider choice of electric vehicles to Ohio families, most in one of two categories (either of which fitting easily into the majority of Ohioans' driving habits):
- In an All-Electric Vehicle there is no gasoline engine. The vehicle uses a battery to store the energy that powers the motor. EVs are charged by plugging the vehicle into an electric power source. The Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S are examples of these vehicles.
- A Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle uses both gasoline-powered and electric-powered systems to operate the vehicle. The vehicle can be plugged into an electric power source to charge the battery, and runs on gasoline once the electric battery is depleted. So there is no range anxiety with these vehicles. The Chevrolet Volt and Ford C-MAX Energi are examples of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
During the summer and fall of 2013, Drive Electric Ohio displays have been located at seven festivals in the Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Dayton areas, with a potential reach of more than 1.2 million consumers in those regions. At most of the appearances, the display has included one or more electric vehicles.
"We chose specific events because of their potential attendance, the demographic of consumers and the existing electric vehicle charging stations of that region," Maves said. "Spreading awareness has been our primary goal for this program. We make them aware of the federal tax credits that are available for electric vehicle purchase, and where tax credits are ending (such as the tax credit for residential car charging stations, which ends Dec. 31). We also show them the many models of electric vehicles that are available in Ohio. So whether people are looking into a new car in the next few days, or planning a year into the future, these events are a great place to start the conversation."
Having EVs at the events offers even more opportunity for conversation. "We have a great relationship with local dealerships and EV owners across the state," said Charlene Brenner, CFO grants coordinator. "They are often just as eager as we are to show people just what EVs can do. It's great to get these cars off the lots and give consumers a close-up look at them. We've found that Ohioans really love Teslas, and especially the entry we had in the Circleville Pumpkin Festival parade."
The increase in electric vehicle purchasing by Ohio consumers is not only a green decision, it contributes to continued economic development and job creation. The addition of 1,000 EVs in Ohio results in $1,320,000 net economic impact per year, which translates to 20 additional jobs per year paying $508,000 in wages. In addition, the switch to EVs from gasoline-powered vehicles results in spending less on fuel and maintenance, which is often converted to more local spending in other areas.
"We've been thrilled by the reception we've received, everywhere we've gone," said Maves. "We've had a diverse group of visitors, all of whom are really interested in the technology and the vehicles. And they have learned that no matter how you drive or the type of car you like, there's an EV available for you."
About Clean Fuels Ohio: Clean Fuels Ohio (CFO) is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the use of cleaner, domestic fuels and efficient vehicles to the transportation industry, community leaders and Ohio citizens. CFO provides technical support for transportation professionals, advocates for sustainable transportation energy policies and serves as a resource clearinghouse for fleets, policy makers and the public. Headquartered in Columbus, CFO works extensively around the state in collaboration with local partners. For more information visit www.CleanFuelsOhio.org or www.DriveElectricOhio.org.
SOURCE Clean Fuels Ohio