Will the wave of electric vehicles hit South Dakota? They are “not entirely practical,” says car dealership owner

Iverson, owner of Iverson Auto, is getting behind the electric car movement. But he said electric cars have a long way to go for drivers in the Mitchell area to “feasibly” turn to electric vehicles.

“Until someone comes up with a much more efficient way to do it, it’s not completely practical,” he said.

From the cold winter that drains batteries to the lack of recharging stations, Iverson said EV infrastructure was not “in place” for many in South Dakotas to switch from gasoline vehicles to electric vehicles, and let it be a “practice”. “transition.

Until electric vehicle manufacturers can produce cars that have a longer range that can withstand the cold and the price bracket competes with gasoline-powered vehicles, Iverson said gasoline-powered autos will remain the main target. predominant mode of transport in the region for “a very long time”.

“I don’t think we’ll ever see gasoline-powered cars completely replaced by electric vehicles in our lifetime,” he said. “It’s easier to charge a small electric car than a big truck, for example. And we’re in the heavy truck market here.

As more and more electric vehicle charging stations have sprung up in cities across the state over the past decade, including Mitchell, Iverson said it would take a massive increase in charging stations to manage a gradual transition to electric vehicles.

President Joe Biden’s recently enacted $ 1,000 billion infrastructure bill aims to change that by setting aside $ 5 billion for states to help build up to 500,000 charging stations across the country.

At present, Mitchell has six Tesla charging stations in the western part of the city which are intended to be used for Tesla vehicles. While more charging stations are expected to appear statewide now that Biden’s infrastructure bill is enacted, Iverson predicts a slight increase in sales of electric vehicles.

US Senator Mike Rounds is worried about plans to roll out more electric vehicle charging stations. Rounds said it is not clear who will own and operate the stations. Regardless of how they are deployed, Rounds has indicated that he strongly opposes the federal government running any of them.

“Should the federal government build its own gas stations, or is that where the private entities should have a coordinated effort to ensure that all stations installed are the same,” Rounds said. “I have no problem coordinating the creation of these stations, but I’m not sure we should call the construction of these stations a federal responsibility. “

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Although Rounds supports taking action to reduce greenhouse gas and carbon emissions in order to protect the environment, he said the country’s transport energy system is still “heavily” dependent on fossil fuels and electricity. natural gas.

While the country has seen a big shift to electric vehicles, it is concerned about its potential impact on the country’s electricity grid.

“Electricity is not in itself the end result of electric vehicles. It is just a conduit to another source of energy, and until we have come to an agreement on how we are going to generate enough electricity for our homes, our businesses and our needs. transportation, suddenly everyone will switch to electric cars will not work, ”Rounds said. in an interview with Mitchell Republic.

South Dakota Junior U.S. Senator Mike Rounds speaks Tuesday August 17 at the 2021 Dakotafest in Mitchell, South Dakota (Christopher Vondracek / Forum News Service)

South Dakota Junior U.S. Senator Mike Rounds speaks Tuesday August 17 at the 2021 Dakotafest in Mitchell, South Dakota (Christopher Vondracek / Forum News Service)

The rounds highlighted renewable energy sources like ethanol as a more “realistic” and “profitable” transition away from traditional gasoline vehicles.

Another hurdle that Rounds says needs to be overcome in order for more South Dakota to switch to electricity is battery life in extremely cold weather. Some electric vehicles have a range of around 150 miles. But 20-degree weather can cut battery life to 88 miles, according to AAA study.

Compare that to a gasoline-powered vehicle that can travel around 300 miles before running on an empty tank, it makes buying an EV less attractive. Additionally, the time it takes to charge an electric car can be up to around 30 minutes or more.

Considering that gasoline-powered vehicles can be refueled quickly at a gas pump, Rounds said it adds another caveat for some drivers considering a transition to electric vehicles. Speed ​​also affects the battery life of an electric vehicle, which Rounds said would make it “very difficult” for a South Dakota commuting or traveling around the state.

Despite the effectiveness of electric vehicles in colder countries, a growing number of Americans have made the transition to electric cars. According to the International Energy Agency, in 2020, nearly 1.8 million electric vehicles were registered in the United States, three times more than in 2016.

On the less expensive side, electric vehicles range between $ 35,000 and $ 40,000. The average cost of electric cars in 2021 was around $ 51,000, according to automotive research firm Kelly Blue Book. For gasoline-powered cars, the average price in 2021 is just over $ 42,000, or about $ 9,000 less than a new electric vehicle. The average price of a midsize sedan is even lower, hovering around $ 30,000, almost $ 20,000 less than an EV.

But Iverson pointed out that the U.S. government is pushing electric vehicle owners with tax credits as an approach that will help offset the higher costs of electric cars and encourage more drivers to move away from gasoline-powered cars.

For example, the new Jeep Wranglers EV at Iverson Auto come with a tax credit of $ 7,500.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a Tesla, Prius or Hybrid Wrangler, they’re all eligible for a $ 7,500 tax credit,” he said. “You can redeem them in two ways, one being similar to a discount. When you pay say $ 55,000 for an electric vehicle, you end up getting some of that back when you file your taxes at the end of the year.

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