Eau Claire (WQOW)- A new study by Xcel Energy shows switching to electric vehicles can result in big savings. The study monitored vehicles in communities across three states, including 10 here in Wisconsin.
It found those communities could save a combined total of nearly $2.5 million, and save more than 45,000 gallons of fuel per year by switching 184 vehicles over to all electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
Brian Elwood of Xcel Energy said it costs much less to use an electric vehicle than a traditional gasoline one. He said making the switch could save the equivalent of 55 cents per gallon, and said electric vehicles cost less to maintain.
"The results are very encouraging," Elwood said. "We definitely think the future is an electric vehicle future."
Eau Claire Associate Planner Ned Noel said the study looked at 20 city vehicles in Eau Claire. It found the city could save more than $100,000 from switching just five of those vehicles alone over the course of an estimated ten years of operation.
"This year we're looking at possibly one vehicle, and then ramping up over the years," Noel said. "Each year, it's really decided on our existing needs for each vehicle that needs to be replaced, and so we'll add those vehicles when they make sense."
He said making the switch is part of the city's Electric Vehicle Roadmap plan. The plan sets a goal of 15% electric vehicles by 2030, meaning the city would have to switch over 50 to 60 of its 400 vehicles in the next 10 years.
Noel said reduced carbon emissions from making the switch are an important part of reaching the city's goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.