Talking Electric Vehicles

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Members considering EVs – but not yet buying them – talk about factors in their decision making

WEC members are thinking about electric vehicles. While some members have been driving EVs for years, many other members are giving thoughtful consideration to making the switch as EVs become mainstream. Last year, at the member cookout in September, conversations about EVs reflected individual decision-making, concern for the environment, and WEC’s role in supporting both its community and the environment we all share.

Stan Peak

Stan Peake, member from Williamstown, had given a lot of thought to electric vehicles. He was concerned about clearcutting and open pit mining in South America for lithium and rare earth minerals required by EV batteries. And, he pointed out, electricity is not 100% renewable everywhere. “Washington Electric is pretty much self-sufficient in their power. They’re pretty much environmentally green. Other states are not. Our concern is, there’s a cost.” At 80, he said, he has no taxable income to be eligible for federal tax credit incentives, and didn’t drive all that much. An electric vehicle, he said, didn’t appear to be the perfect fit.

At last year’s virtual Annual Meeting, Sandal Cate asked about electric vehicles. “I’m wondering what WEC’s vision is for helping individuals to acquire electric vehicles,” she said at the time, and noted the top questions she and Paul Cate were considering: Level II charger installation, increased demand on the grid, how to account for lifestyle factors. 

Stan Peak

At the member cookout in September 2022, Sandal Cate took an EV for a test drive and Paul Cate told Co-op Currents that their son and daughter-in-law had recently bought EVs and were urging them to do the same; the Cates were doing their research. “We’re trying to figure out whether we’re ready to do that yet,” Paul Cate said.

At present, the Cates are waiting for the right fit. “I’m still mulling it over,” explained Sandal Cate. She enjoys driving their Subaru Crosstrek, which has high clearance on snowy and muddy roads. They don’t drive much, but she’s concerned about range on longer drives to southern New England. 

What’s helpful, she said, are frequent and concrete updates about ever-changing EV options and incentives. Continue looking for those in the pages or digital edition of Co-op Currents and at