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About Electric Vehicles

There are more electric vehicles (EVs) on the road every year, including in Alaska. There are two types of EVs that charge from the electric grid. Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) run solely on electricity stored in batteries, commonly with a range of 200-300 miles or more. Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) typically can run for a limited range (often 25-40 miles) on battery power before switching over to an internal combustion engine.

Charging takes place at three levels:

  • Level 1 at 120 volts adds about 3-5 miles of range per charging hour (3-4 kW)

  • Level 2 at 208 or 240 volts adds about 20-30 miles per charging hour (6-10 kW)

  • Level 3 at 480 volts and three phase power can substantially recharge an EV battery in 20-30 minutes (50-250+ kW), also called DC Fast Charging

Connectors come in different styles, with some proprietary to a particular manufacturer. For some Chugach programs intended to foster public charging, applicants must agree to install universal J1772 connectors.


EV Incentives

    Chugach is offering several electric vehicle related incentives to promote the use of EVs in Alaska. Individually the incentives are intended to help the utility’s members interested in owning and driving an EV and the businesses that would like to serve them. Collectively, the programs will help speed the transition to electric transportation, which benefits all members by reducing rates.

    Applicants may apply for more than one program for different installations, but an individual charger cannot receive funding from more than one Chugach program. An applicant may receive funding from other sources without affecting their eligibility under a Chugach program.

    Below are links to current and upcoming Chugach EV incentive programs. 

    Questions? Contact Sean Skaling at sean_skaling@chugachelectric.com or call (907) 762-4192.


    Benefits of Electrification

    Using electricity as a transportation fuel provides a number of benefits. First, “fueling” a vehicle with electricity is significantly less expensive than fueling with liquid fuels. Another is reduced transportation emissions such as carbon dioxide, which are reduced by 60-70 percent when charging with Chugach’s electricity. A third is that the use of kilowatt-hours for EV charging helps spread the fixed costs of a utility like Chugach across greater sales, which puts downward pressure on members’ electric rates.


    EVs in Alaska

    Every six months Chugach conducts a count of electric vehicles (both all-electric and plug-in hybrids) registered in Alaska. The number of registered EVs in Alaska and in the Municipality of Anchorage has risen steadily in recent years.

    Registered Electric Vehicles in Alaska June 2018 to June 2021

    The number of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) in Anchorage continues to grow steadily and has now surpassed the number of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs). There are a wide variety of BEVs and PHEVs registered in the Municipality of Anchorage (MOA). As of June 30, 2021 there were 12 makes and 18 models of BEVs in the MOA and 16 makes and 29 models of PHEVs, for a total of 47 different models of electric vehicles on Anchorage streets. The most common BEV brand in the MOA is Tesla which represents about three quarters of BEVs in Anchorage, followed by the Chevy with its Bolt model. The most common PHEV brand in the MOA is Chevrolet (Volt model) which represents about one quarter of the PHEVs, followed by Ford, BMW, Volvo and Toyota. The most common 2021 model year electric vehicle is the Tesla Model Y (BEV), followed by BMW X5 (PHEV).

    Registered Electric Vehicles in Municipality of Anchorage June 2018 to June 2021


    Cost of Charging an EV

    The *cost of charging an EV is about half the cost of fueling an internal combustion engine vehicle when fuel cost is $3.00 per gallon and electricity is $0.20 per kWh, which is Chugach's approximate residential rate. Put in dollar terms, if you drive 10,000 miles in a year, you would spend $1,390 using an average efficiency gasoline vehicle, as compared to $690 to power an average efficiency electric vehicle, saving $700 per year.

    *Assumes average electric vehicle efficiency of 2.9 miles per kWh and the average gasoline vehicle efficiency of 21.6 miles per gallon.


    Efficiency of EVs

    The primary reason for the low cost per mile is due to the efficiency of the electric drive system as compared to the relative inefficiency of an internal combustion engine. According to the US Department of Energy, approximately 16 to 25% of the energy in fuel is used to propel an internal combustion engine vehicle, whereas after regenerative braking, about 77 to 82% of the energy content of an electric vehicle powers the wheels.

    The US Department of Energy provides interactive graphics that provide energy requirements for different driving conditions.


    EV Emissions

    The emissions to power electric vehicles take place at the power plants where electricity if generated. Chugach has a generation portfolio comprised of units powered by natural gas, hydro and wind. An electric vehicle charged on the Chugach system is responsible for an estimated 62% less carbon dioxide than an average-efficiency gasoline-powered passenger vehicle. In addition, an EV emits no cold-start carbon monoxide and other pollutants.


    How to Charge at Home

    You can plug into any regular 120 volt outlet to recharge your vehicle overnight. This Level 1 charging is slow, but will add 3 to 5 miles of range per hour. Overnight it may be enough to cover your daily driving.

    Level 2 charging (240 volt) is faster, adding about 20 to 30 miles of range per hour. This can be accomplished by installing a 240 volt outlet close to your parking location and using a mobile connector, or by installing a Level 2 charger.

    From electric grid perspective, the best time to charge is overnight starting after 11 pm, when system demand is decreasing. Most vehicles can be programed to start charging at a specified hour, or to achieve a certain charging level by a certain time of day.


    Public Charging Stations

    There are now nine public charging stations with a total of 18 charging ports in the Municipality of Anchorage. Chugach provides or helped fund six of the nine stations. Availability of the stations is high.

    One of the most frequently used apps to find charging stations is called PlugShare. The app identifies the charger locations near you. It provides information including the type of charger, types and numbers of connectors, cost, nearby amenities, user comments, and photos. More detailed information is sometimes available for networked chargers. For example, the ChargePoint app provides more detail about their chargers, such as availability, queuing, and charge complete notifications, if enabled. 

    Below is the PlugShare.com map of publicly available charging stations in the Anchorage area. There are many more non-public charging stations intended for employees, fleets, or other private purposes.

    Public Charging Stations in the Municipality of Anchorage


    Charging at Chugach

    Chugach has installed a ChargePoint EV charging station which is available for public use in the parking lot at its headquarters at 5601 Electron Drive. While there is currently no charge to use it, drivers do need to first download the app or sign up for an account at chargepoint.com or dial the number on the charger. 

    How to charge an EV with ChargePoint

    Chugach charging station


    Wattson

    Chugach's EV is a 2017 Chevy Bolt, nicknamed Wattson. When fully charged it has a range of about 240 miles in the summer and a predicted range of 140 miles under worst-case scenario winter conditions (below zero temperatures, parked outdoors, short trips with defrosting and cabin warming each time). The actual winter range is longer when longer trips are taken. Like other electric vehicles, it accelerates quickly, regenerates energy when braking, is generally a very efficient vehicle with no tailpipe emissions, and it produces 60-70 percent less carbon dioxide emissions (from the power plant) than an equivalent gasoline vehicle. Chugach’s “fueling” costs are less than half the cost of an equivalent gasoline vehicle and maintenance costs are minimal.

    Wattson EV


    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT THE LINKS PROVIDED BELOW:

    Electric vehicles on the market

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