Driving Electric in Vermont: Owner Insights, Charging Infrastructure, and Incentives

So you‘re considering an electric vehicle (EV) and wondering what ownership is really like in Vermont. Well, you‘ve come to the right place! As an experienced data analyst and long-time resident, I‘ve crunched the numbers and talked to EV drivers across the state to give you the unvarnished truth. Buckle up, because this is your insider‘s guide to driving electric in the Green Mountain State.

Surging Sales Support State Emissions Goals

Let‘s start with the 30,000 foot view. EV registrations jumped 51% last year to over 7,500 vehicles. Non-profit Drive Electric Vermont projects we‘ll have over 27,000 battery and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles on Vermont roads by 2025. This trend supports the state‘s ambitious goal to reduce transportation emissions 26% below 2005 levels in the next 3 years.

So why are your neighbors going electric? Lower operating costs are the #1 reason – electricity is four times cheaper per mile than gas, even on Vermont‘s higher electric rates. Combine that with incentives up to $9,000 and EV buyers will recoup their initial investment faster than you‘d think. But more on that later!

Charging Options to Fit Your Lifestyle

“I can charge easily at home and top off around town when I‘m running errands. Range anxiety went away after the first month!" – Melissa R., BEV owner since 2019

Like Melissa found, having ample charging choices is critical to making an EV work seamlessly with your lifestyle. Let‘s break down your options…

Home charging allows you to ‘refuel‘ overnight while you sleep at the lowest cost. Nearly all EVs come standard with an emergency 120V cordset for household outlet charging. While slow, this simple plug-in method works in a pinch. Installation of a 240V, WiFi-enabled Level 2 smart charger cuts charge times to as little as 2-5 hours while still maximizing off-peak electricity rates.

Approximate Home Charging Time by Charger Type

EV ModelBattery Size120V (15A)240V Level 2 (32A)
Tesla Model 350-82 kWh33-53 hrs4-7 hrs
Ford Mustang Mach-E68-98 kWh45-65 hrs6-9 hrs
Chevy Bolt60 kWh40 hrs5 hrs

Public charging stations allow you to top off while running errands around town or enable longer distance trips. Vermont leads the nation with over 358 public charging ports, equal to ~1 port for every 900 residents. Fast charging stations located in population hubs can add 60-80 miles of range in just 20-30 minutes!

Apps like PlugShare pinpoint station locations, show real-time availability, price rates, and more. While costs are higher than home charging, public stations serve as a flexible backup option for EV owners.

Between home, workplace, and public charging, most Vermont destinations are within reach. Strategic fast charging stops enable you to take your EV on extended trips without range anxiety or hassle.

Affordable Fuel Costs Beat Gas

“I‘m saving $150 per month charging my EV versus my old gas car. Being all-electric is way cheaper per mile even with Vermont‘s higher electric rates” – Lucas T., Tesla Model 3 owner

It‘s true – based on an average electric rate of $0.21 per kWh, fueling an EV in Vermont costs just $0.03 to $0.05 per mile. Compare that to the average gas vehicle at $0.12 per mile and the savings add up quickly. Based on 12,000 miles per year, an EV driver would spend only $360 to $600 annually on ‘fuel‘.

Just look at what it costs to charge three of Vermont‘s most popular EVs:

Home Charging Cost Comparison

EV ModelBattery SizeAnnual ‘Fuel‘ CostSavings vs. Gas Vehicle
Tesla Model 362 kWh$478$1,512
Ford Mustang Mach-E98 kWh$744$1,246
Chevy Bolt60 kWh$462$1,528

Calculations based on 12,000 mi/year, gas vehicle 25 mpg combined rating at $3.50/gallon average VT gas price

While paying by session at direct current (DC) fast charging stations can get pricey at $0.35 per minute, Level 2 public stations charge just $1 per hour. Compared to paying $50+ for a full tank of gas, these occasional public charging stops are still affordable for EV drivers.

Just How Quickly Will You Recoup Your Investment?

“Taking advantage of all the Vermont purchase incentives and tax credits meant my EV will basically pay for itself in 5 years.” – Hannah G.,Used Tesla Model S Owner

While electric cars still come with a sticker price premium over gas vehicles, Vermont offers some of the most generous electric vehicle incentives nationwide to help offset the initial cost. Let‘s break down the savings:

Vermont State Electric Vehicle Incentives

IncentiveElectric Vehicle Credit ValueEligibility Requirements
Plug-in Vehicle Purchase IncentiveUp to $4,000New PHEV/BEV purchase, income limits apply
Used Plug-in Vehicle Incentive$1,000Used PHEV/BEV purchase
Workplace Charging Station IncentiveUp to 100% of equipment costs, $2.5k per portPublicly accessible stations at workplaces

Your local power company likely provides additional rebates, bill credits, discounted rates and incentives up to $5,000 combined for residential customers who drive electric. See DrivingElectricVT.com for the full details based on your utility provider.

Between purchase incentives, employer perks like premium parking, HOV lane access, reduced maintenance, and far lower electricity fuel costs, most EV drivers achieve payback on their EV investment within 5 years. If you sell before then, the higher resale value puts more money back in your pocket as well.

The Road Ahead Looks Bright

The incentives and early adopter enthusiasm indicate electric transportation is here to stay in Vermont. In fact, newly passed federal regulations from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program will funnel $52 million over 5 years to expand our fast charging network. Pratt & Whitney just announced plans for an electric airplane engine manufacturing plant expected to bring 200 jobs while positioning Vermont on the cutting edge of the electrified aviation industry.

So what does this all mean for you as you consider an EV purchase here in Vermont? You can feel confident that between the personal savings, public charging availability, utility incentives, and positive momentum, driving electric provides a smart investment into the future. Reach out now to check your eligibility for discounts that lower the costs even further. I hope this insider‘s take helps you evaluate if and when making the switch makes sense for your household!

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