Driving through eastern Idaho, chances are you've notice that our gas prices are sky high. Eastern Idaho's gas prices are still 10 cents above the national average. But what if there was an alternative method to using gas? It may look like your typical Chevrolet sedan, but there's a twist. Pop open what looks to be the gas tank, and instead you'll find a plug.
That's right, you're looking at one of the four city of Idaho Falls' electrical cars.
The city of Idaho Falls has teamed up with Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project to help improve electric cars for the future. Charging the battery for different time durations, and even using solar energy to charge the batteries instead of using the town's power are just some of the tests that will be run on these four cars.
In addition, Idaho Falls' Chevy Volts are participating with the Idaho National Laboratory's Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity to examine how freezing temperatures affect the life of the electrical car's battery.
It's an action Mayor Jared Fuhriman and the city of Idaho Falls are trying to push.
One of the major concerns for many, however, is will the cost of electricity rise if more electric cars take to the road?
Mark Reed, superintendent of Idaho Falls Power, believes that the testing will lead that answer. "Yes, to an extent, when you're charging more vehicles it will take more power, so part of what were studying here is to be more efficient with our power usage and to incorporate this technology into the regional power portfolio," said Reed.
By taking the time to learn how to minimize the impact of Idaho Falls' power supply and rates, Idaho Falls can help pave the way for a zero-emissions vehicle to take on the roads in the future.
If you would like to see the city's new electric cars, there will be a free screening of the "Revenge of the Electric Car" and a panel discussion at 6:30 tonight at the Colonial Theater in downtown Idaho Falls.