Jeff Masters Weather Blog

Can EVs meet the needs of rural drivers? Increasingly, the answer is yes. » Yale Climate Connections

Vermont has more miles of dirt roads than paved roads, and driving in winter can be treacherous.

“In Vermont, we see a lot of consumer interest in all-wheel-drive vehicles and vehicles that they feel confident can handle the various driving conditions you might find in a rural place with dirt roads,” says Nick Neverisky of VEIC.

The nonprofit implements an energy-saving program called Efficiency Vermont.

His team surveyed vehicle owners in the state. Three out of four said the ability to handle dirt roads and winter driving conditions is key. And a vehicle’s safety and reliability ranked as higher priorities than fuel efficiency or environmental impact.

So Neverisky says it’s important for electric vehicle companies and proponents to explain that many electric vehicle models can meet the needs of rural drivers.

“We see an increasing number of all-wheel-drive vehicles available,” he says. “And we’ve seen an increasing number of vehicles that do have the range that even in a rural environment can get people where they need to go.”

So Neverisky says electric vehicles are a viable choice, even in Vermont. Consumers just need to understand that EVs can do more than reduce the use of fossil fuels.

“Yes, we know they have environmental benefits and that’s great, but they have so many other benefits and I’d really like to see those brought to the forefront,” he says.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media

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