Case Study 3: Need for a Second Car

Andrea used to take the bus to work in Ithaca while Victor drove to work in Cortland. They realized that they needed a second vehicle. The constant and regular conversations around electric vehicles (EVs) in Tompkins County clued Andrea in on their advantages while Victor, a car and technology enthusiast, has always been fascinated by EVs. The installation of an EV charger at his workplace was also an important impetus for driving electric. In a survey by the Department of Energy to assess their EV Everywhere Workplace Charging Challenge,  employees with workplace chargers were six times more likely to own an EV compared to the average worker.

Waiting for Better Batteries and Affordable EVs

As battery technologies improve and production volumes increase,  battery prices are expected to decrease. Scientists are actively researching ways to further improve battery performance and longevity. However, these advances may take another 5 – 10 years.

A 3-year lease of the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), the Honda Clarity made it possible for Andrea and Victor to experience driving electric while waiting for better batteries and more affordable EVs to come on the market.

Surprising Economy, Changed Driving Habits

Andrea and Victor found to their pleasant surprise that despite being a two-car household, the cost was about the same as when they had only one car, thanks to free workplace charging, more conservative driving habits (such as driving at optimal speeds, choosing routes with less challenging terrain), and using the gasoline car for the shorter work commute.

Contact

Lee Yoke Lee
4-H Urban Outreach Program Manager (West Village) & Environmental Educator
YL2365@cornell.edu
(607) 272-2292, ext. 192 (Voicemail 277)

Last updated April 28, 2020