LITTLE ROCK, Ark – As gas prices continue to soar, more Arkansans are turning to charging stations as a source of fuel.
The Arkansas State Department of Finance and Administration reported a 43 percent increase in sales of electric vehicles from Jan. 2022 – May of 2022.
“At the beginning of the year, we had right at about 2,000 people driving fully electric vehicles and then we ran the numbers for the end of May, and we were up to 3,000,” said Scott Hardin with the Dept. of Finance and Administration.
Hardin says the increase can be chalked up to one thing.
“I think we can boil it down to one thing and that is gas prices,” said Hardin.
Friday, Arkansas once again saw a record for gas prices coming in at $4.50 per gallon of unleaded gas.
“People look at gas prices and it’s painful to pull up to the pump,” said Hardin.
Hardin says many are turning to an alternative to help off-set some of those costs.
Amara Yancey bought an electric vehicle last month as gas prices neared $4 a gallon.
“We were paying over $300 a month in gas,” said Yancey.
Yancey says her and her husband hit a tipping point and decided to trade in their SUV for an electric vehicle.
Yancey says the car doesn’t need any gas and is relatively cheap to keep charged.
“Our increase to electric bill has only been about $17,” said Yancey.
Wayne Clark says he bough his hybrid about three years ago, working in Little Rock and living in Conway.
“I was really thinking about the commute and saving gas then,” said Clark.
Gas prices per gallon are now dollars more than when Clark first bought his car. He says it ended up being a good investment.
“I’m saving several hundred dollars a month,” said Clark.
The cost to buy an electric vehicle isn’t cheap. Some run anywhere from $28,000 to $100,000. Still some Arkansas say it’s worth it in the end.
“The bottom-line question is how much does it hurt to pay at the pump every time? And does it hurt enough to make that really significant investment in an electric vehicle,” said Hardin.
Hardin says sales for Hybrids in Arkansas have also increased. At the beginning of the year, the state recorded 22,000 drivers with EV’s, in May he says that number was close to 28,000.