It is exciting that the new infrastructure bill will do a lot of things for all of us. It is especially gratifying that we will begin to have access to more electric automobiles and less expensive transportation.

Three years ago, my husband and I decided we needed a second car. We wanted one that would fit into the space we had in our garage, so we carefully measured the garage. Then we began to search for a car that the space would accommodate. We measured a lot of cars and finally found the one. It was available as either a gasoline or an electric version and we decided on the electric version.

So, we got our used 2015 electric Smart car for less than $10,000, and I have seldom driven anything else since. The certification was a little more expensive because we would not be paying the gasoline tax and the state required a contribution toward highway maintenance. The car we purchased came with a 110 hookup so we could plug it in anywhere, but we put a 220 in our garage to be able to charge it faster.

When it became time to recertify the car, I checked with ODOT and learned that I could pay a lesser fee by signing up with a special program for electric cars. Now I pay three cents a mile for transportation in my electric car. Quite a savings, right?

Lately, while checking the electric vehicles on the market, it appears that prices are going down and now they are not far above the prices of gasoline-driven cars. That is, unless you feel you need something super big or fancy. The new infrastructure law will install thousands of charging stations along highways and throughout the country. Already, I am told that there are at least six public charging stations in Wallowa County.

Good things happen. The sooner more of us are using electric vehicles, the cleaner the air, the healthier life for everyone.

Evelyn Swart


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