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High gas prices power electric car sales in Idaho

ASHTON, Idaho (KIFI) - Electric vehicles are becoming more popular in the Gem State.

According to AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde, more and more people are considering buying an electric car due to the high price of gas.

"Our research found that 25% of Americans are thinking about buying an electric vehicle for their next purchase," Conde said. "77% of that group thought that the high price of fuel was the main motivation to do that."

Idaho Power recently joined the National Electric Highway Coalition (NEHC), a collaboration of more than 60 electric utilities, to support charging infrastructure. Idaho currently has 108 public charging stations and EVs might be even more appealing as the infrastructure is put in place.

However electric vehicles are not without drawbacks.

Fall River Electric has been tracking the performance of a Tesla for several months. Fall River Electric Vehicle expert A.J. Balls says EVs have some performance issues in the cold Idaho weather.

"When it gets to about zero degrees, we're seeing the effects of 50% of the range is decreased. So if you have a charge for 300 miles, in reality, you can only go 150, 160 miles," Balls said.

Conde says most people in the state are still experimenting with electric vehicles. But for most cases, an EV can perform most commutes just as well.

“In reality, most daily commutes are typically less than 40 miles – well within the capacity of an electric vehicle that will generally have a range of anywhere from 100 to 350 miles. EVs(electric vehicles) can help cut back on everyday expenses, and with proper planning, they can also be a viable option for longer road trips," Conde said.

To participate in Idaho Transportation's EV survey, click here.

Article Topic Follows: Gas Prices
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Seth Ratliff

Seth is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.

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