This is 'the Year of the Electric Car!'

Twenty eighteen has been called “the year of the electric vehicle” by many journalists, automotive experts and clean-energy professionals.

The recent debuts of several vehicles with outstanding performance, like the Chevrolet Bolt EV, Tesla Model 3, Nissan LEAF, Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivan, and the availability of dozens of other electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles makes 2018 a compelling time to drive electric.

Powering vehicles with electricity offers advantages not available in conventional internal combustion engine vehicles. Because electric motors react quickly, electric vehicles are very responsive and have very good torque, which gives them terrific acceleration and are smooth to operate. Electric vehicles also are quiet, fun to drive, and practical.

Electric vehicles produce fewer emissions that contribute to climate change and smog than conventional vehicles and can help to keep your community’s air cleaner, which offers health advantages.

“Air pollution poses a serious threat to our nation’s health,” says Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association. “Studies show that air pollution from transportation causes asthma attacks and contributes to premature death and lung cancer among many other health concerns. Clean transportation plays an important role in improving air quality and lung health.”

A fill-up of a mid-sized sedan’s 16-gallon tank of gas costs approximately $18.42 in harm due to health and climate impacts, according to a recent State of the Air report published by the American Lung Association.

Electric cars also are affordable and becoming cost neutral. They are simpler, mechanically, with fewer moving parts than vehicles with internal combustion engines and have the potential to be more reliable. With a pure-electric vehicle, you never have to buy gas. You don’t need an oil change, and often automakers provide 24-months of complimentary charging when you purchase a new vehicle.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles substantially extend gas-powered vehicles range and decrease the amount of money you need to spend on fuel. In addition, up to $7,500 is available in Federal Tax Incentives for electric vehicles and often automakers provide bonus cash or low annual percentage rates on loans.

Charging electric vehicles is simple and easy. Just like your smartphone, you can plug in your EV when you get home and have it ready for you to use the next morning. Since the electric grid is available almost anywhere, there are a variety of options for charging: at home, at work or on the road.

Another added benefit is that electric cars help America to reduce its dependence on foreign oil. Each year the U.S. uses nearly nine billion barrels of petroleum, two-thirds of which go toward transportation. Our country’s reliance on petroleum makes us vulnerable to price spikes and supply disruptions. EVs help reduce this threat because almost all U.S. electricity is produced from domestic sources, including coal, nuclear, natural gas, and renewable sources.

Finally, EVs are environmentally friendly. They reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change and smog, improving public health and reducing ecological damage. Charging your EV on renewable energy such as solar or wind minimizes these emissions even more.

We hope to see you at one of our Midwest EVOLVE-sponsored EV events in 2018!

Think Green! Drive Electric!

About the author: Joe Koenig is president of Make Ideas Reality, a public relations firm based in the Chicago area. Joe serves as the public relations manager for Midwest EVOLVE (Electric Vehicle Opportunities: Learning, eVents, Experience), a partnership between the American Lung Association and eight Midwestern Clean Cities coalitions in seven states. The purpose of the project is to educate consumers, as well as public and private fleets, about the performance and environmental advantages of electric vehicles. Joe also works with the Chicago Area Clean Cities Coalition and has expertise in cleantech and clean transportation. To learn more visit

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