SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — An EV Expo Tuesday evening gave people in Sioux Falls the chance to take an electric vehicle on a test drive. Local dealerships say sales of EVs are starting to gain traction as a hedge against high gas prices.
Andrew Ness with Luxury Auto Mall was so impressed with the ride of an electric vehicle, he bought one for himself in March.
“It’s quiet. It just glides down the road,” Ness said.
Ness says EV sales have been steady since the spring.
“As a dealership, we’ve sold probably 25 of them. Fifteen Mercedes Benz and of course, Cadillac has sold several of the Lynx and BMW has sold several of their models as well,” Ness said.
Depending on the make and model, EVs can cover roughly 250 to 300 miles on a single charge. But in the sprawling prairies of South Dakota, some drivers here will have to overcome what’s known as “range anxiety.”
“In the beginning, I was a little bit scared or hesitant myself. As I’ve been driving my vehicle, I’ve found that day-to-day driving, I use nowhere near the total range of my vehicle, in fact, not even close,” Ness said.
Part of South Dakotans’ reluctance in buying into the technology of electric vehicles is the availability of charging stations. But more and more stations like these will be turning up across the state.
“In South Dakota, there is a plan to get more DC fast-charging infrastructure out there. That will happen in the next two or three years. One of the big things that’s happening now is Tesla is opening up their DC fast-charging network to other models,” Sioux Valley Energy Beneficial Electrification Manager Ben Pierson said.
Pierson says EV technology improvements allowing drivers to go farther on a charge should lead the way for more South Dakotans to go electric in the future.
While EVs are more expensive than gas-powered cars, the overall cost starts to balance out when you factor in money saved on gasoline.