Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Written by Joel Rhodes
Over the last few years, Sugarbush has installed electric vehicle charging equipment for our guests to use. You probably have noticed the 13 charging stations at Lincoln Peak, and maybe you have wondered what driving an electric car is like. For more than a year now, I’ve been driving a Chevy Bolt EV (yes, it’s electric) and enjoy sharing my experience as much as I love driving it.
Why drive electric? EVs are fun, fast, and efficient. Electric motors provide instant torque allowing quick acceleration. Equally fun is the regenerative braking system. When you slow down or travel downhill, the motor recharges the battery without using the brakes and extends range. EVs are perfectly suited for the roads around Sugarbush and the Mad River Valley given their instant power heading up the hill and recharging on the way back down.
Another reason to drive electric is the low cost to operate and maintain. Charging the car is like paying $1.50 per gallon of gas except, instead of visiting a gas station, I just plug in at home. Almost no maintenance is required. All EVs have fewer moving parts, no oil changes, no spark plugs, and no transmissions. My only maintenance expenses have been changing the snow and summer tires and adding washer fluid. Speaking of snow tires, I confidently drove all winter long and the battery’s weight gives the car a stable, low center of gravity.
My favorite reason for driving an EV? There are no tailpipe emissions. Green Mountain Power, our local electric utility, supplies 90% carbon-free energy and recently set a target of supplying 100% carbon-free energy by 2025 and 100% renewable energy by 2030. As electricity gets cleaner locally and nationally, driving an EV is a significant means of reducing your impact of transportation on climate change.
More EV charging stations are coming to Sugarbush this winter, making it even easier for EV drivers like myself. We are installing several level 2 charging stations at Mt. Ellen which will be free to use for all EVs. We want to make traveling to and from the resort with an EV accessible and easy, and there are more public charging stations in the region to make driving long distances possible.
Even if you aren’t in the market for a new car just yet, I would recommend test driving one. National Drive Electric Week is coming up in September, and you can find a test drive of one of the 40+ models of EVs at www.driveelectricweek.org. In the meantime, remember to carpool, hop on the bus, and turn off your engine when idling. We can all do our part to keep winters cool and snowy.