New Tool Helps Car Buyers Compare Electric-Drive and Traditional Vehicles

CHICAGO, Feb. 14, 2018 – Consumers seeking information about plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles can check out a new-vehicle purchase guidance tool created by Argonne National Laboratory. The tool was created as a part of an innovative clean-vehicle program recently launched in the Midwest.

The consumer tool, called EVolution: Choices for a Smarter Purchase, is designed to help car buyers make informed decisions when purchasing a new vehicle. It starts with consumers’ purchase considerations, such as purchase price, and compares the monetary and environmental benefits of various passenger electric-drive vehicles and equivalent conventionally fueled models.

“The new guidance tool helps consumers compare the cost of owning different electric-drive powertrain technologies, as well as the environmental impact of these vehicles,” said Yan Zhou, principal environmental transportation analyst for Argonne National Laboratory. “By entering your zip code, your results are customized to show local fuel and electricity prices, vehicle purchase price accounting for incentives, charging availability, and commute time to determine cost of ownership.

“The climate where you reside, based on the entered zip code, and your commute time help the tool factor how often you need to charge each type of plug-in electric vehicle,” Zhou said.

“A map showing public chargers by location and type is also provided to assess your potential charging availabilities. At the end of the six steps, you will know the differences in costs, emissions, and petroleum consumption between the various types of vehicles you are considering. There is an electric-drive powertrain to fit anyone’s driving needs.”

The EVolution website (http://evolution.es.anl.gov) connects to the Alternative Fuels Data Center, FuelEconomy.gov, U.S. Energy Information Administration websites, and others in one convenient platform to provide the most recent information about electric-drive and conventional powertrain types, public charging locations, and available incentives.

Argonne National Laboratory designed the research tool as a part of the seven-state Midwest EVOLVE project. Midwest EVOLVE (Electric Vehicle Opportunities: Learning, eVents, Experience) is a partnership between the American Lung Association and eight Clean Cities coalitions throughout the Midwest to educate consumers about the clean-air and performance advantages of plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles.

Midwest EVOLVE launched in early 2017 with more than 60 partners, including automakers, utilities, state agencies, municipalities, dealerships, and dealer associations. The project was announced at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show.

Consumers attending the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, which runs until Feb. 19, have a chance to test drive new all-electric and hybrid electric plug-in vehicles at the show and use the new EVolution tool. Vehicles available for the outdoor test-drives include the new 2018 Nissan LEAF, 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, and 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

The test-drives are hosted by Chicago Area Clean Cities, a nonprofit coalition focused on clean-transportation solutions for the six-county Chicago area, and are made possible via the Midwest EVOLVE program.

“If you’ve wondered what it’s like to drive an electric car, this is your chance to get behind the wheel,” said Samantha Bingham, coordinator, Chicago Area Clean Cities. “We’re offering free test-drives of some of the newest, best-performing plug-in electric vehicles. For many, this will be the first time they’ve had the chance to check out the great performance and environmental benefits of electric vehicles. We will have information about charging stations as well.”

The Midwestern Clean Cities coalitions are participating in more than 200 events, large and small, over a three-year period, in brand-neutral settings that will give drivers an opportunity to get behind the wheel of electric vehicles. Vehicles are being showcased at community events, auto shows, and ride-and-drives in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The first events were held in the spring of 2017.

At Midwest EVOLVE events consumers, government officials, fleet administrators, and dealership personnel have an opportunity to learn about the performance and environmental benefits of plug-in vehicles and about options for charging their vehicle.

Midwest EVOLVE is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), under Award Number DE-EE0007743. To learn more, visit www.midwestevolve.org or follow Midwest EVOLVE on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

 

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Joe Koenig
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