More consider switch to electric vehicles amidst high gas prices

An area man who bought a Tesla a few months ago says he is saving about $150. a month in gas
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 7:21 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - With gas prices on the rise, so are the number of electric vehicles on the roads. The latest data in Wisconsin shows there are more than 7,500 EVs registered as of July 2021. That’s up 22% from the previous year.

Tyler Tate lives in Wausau and he got his Tesla a few months ago. “I’ve always wanted one, it’s a dream car for me, then gas prices started going up so it seemed like the right time to do it.”

Tate said he’s been saving on gas ever since he made the switch. “I used to spend about $150 to $200 a month in gas before I had an electric car. With this, I spend probably 30 to 40 bucks a month,” explained Tate.

It’s a welcomed adjustment to his budget. Another adjustment, planning for longer trips. Tate said it’s not the hassle you might think. He just types in where he’s going on the car’s built-in screen.

“It will show you exactly where you’re going to need to charge. It’ll help you plan out meals around those times so that it’s more convenient,” said Tate.

Tate said some people worry about the range of the vehicle, but that’s never been a fear of his. “I have the lowest range of all the models and I haven’t had to worry about it,” said Tate.

As for daily driving, he usually charges it when he gets home. “I plug it back in before I go to bed and it takes care of itself,” said Tate.

Eric Craddock is a Master Technician for Firestone in Rib Mountain. He services EVs. Craddock said while the vehicles don’t require oil changes, it does still need some routine maintenance.

“It does use the generator to slow the vehicle down for regeneration, so those breaks don’t get used as often. So you definitely want to make sure those are in good working order so when you do need those they’re there to stop you,” said Craddock.

Craddock and the team have to stay educated on new technology and safety when working with EVs.

“We’ve got volt meters that have to go up over 3-4 hundred volts on a vehicle. You have to handle it, the safety equipment you have to have special rubber gloves so if you do come in contact with it you don’t get electrocuted,” said Craddock.

Craddock said he works on EVs more frequently now and thinks they’ll continue to see more in the future.

When it comes to winter in Wisconsin, Craddock said the battery will drain faster in the cold, just like you might notice with your cell phone. However, Tate said both of his parents have Tesla’s too and they don’t have issues with daily driving.

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