News | January 19, 2023

Improved tech and savings draw consumers like Garry Floyd to EVs

How cost savings and an interest in technology led this Virginia resident to explore clean energy advancements 
©Robert Llewellyn

The 2023 Virginia General Assembly is underway, and already our state senators have defeated five bills aimed at repealing Clean Cars standards, which are a vital piece of the state’s efforts to curb carbon pollution and combat climate change.

As we work to ensure that repeal bills introduced in the House are also stopped, SELC is highlighting the many reasons Virginia drivers are excited about going electric.

Tell Virginia lawmakers to defend Clean Cars standards.

It’s been a rewarding nearly two years of EV ownership for Chesterfield resident Garry Floyd.  

We talked to Floyd for insights into why he’s calling his EV the “perfect vehicle,” and encouraging others to join the transition to clean energy and better tech by purchasing their own. 

What drives your passion for new technologies?  

The Floyd family’s Tesla is their primary ride. ©Robert Llewellyn

I love making things easier. As we progress, things should be improved on, and that includes vehicles, too. For driving, things had been the same for the past 20 or 25 years until these electric vehicles started coming out. The industry was stuck in its ways, so to say, and now a lot of new companies are coming out with new ideas, new technologies, and ways to improve how vehicles are used and made. That’s why I’m interested in it. 

We’re all using our smart phones, so being able to translate some of that newer technology into the vehicle you’re driving just seems like a good idea to me. 

You also had rooftop solar installed. How has that changed your electricity consumption and costs? 

We did get solar panels to help with some of our electricity bills. They save you money and help the environment, so why not? I got them installed in the summer during peak air conditioning season, but within a few months I started seeing the bills get lower. And I should start seeing more of a credit because we’re not using the AC or electricity as much now and I have gas heat. As the winter goes on, I should see even more savings. 

What research did you do before purchasing an electric car?

Garry Floyd encourages people interested in purchasing an EV to explore at home and public charging options. ©Robert Llewellyn

First, I went to the Tesla website where you custom design and order the vehicle. They provide details on every single feature.

There are lots of articles online but what was probably more helpful for me were the YouTube tutorials — a lot of people out there have Teslas and they’re always anxious to show them off. You’ll see countless 30- to 45-minute videos where they guide you step-by-step through every feature and how it works.  

When I was trying to decide, I watched the positive videos and also searched for the ones that pointed out any errors or issues. 

What advice do you have for those that are trying to decide whether they should get one? 

EVs are a good option for you if you want to help with the environment or save money. I would encourage people to look at their expenses and how much they spend on repairing their vehicles. With a lot of EVs, you don’t have to spend as much on maintenance because they don’t have engines. You can eliminate oil change fees and regular maintenance and repair fees from your expenses.  

It seems like a good option for anyone if what you’re paying for the vehicle makes sense with your budget. I would definitely recommend it. 

What do you think would push more people to purchase electric cars? 

A man charges a white electric car at a row of Tesla-brand electric car chargers.
EV owner Garry Floyd says better access to chargers would drive more consumers to go electric. ©Robert Llewellyn

The biggest obstacle is probably having access to chargers. Lowering the cost of some of the vehicles would, of course, entice more people to buy as well.

What can organizations like ours do to better educate people about EVs and rooftop solar? 

People want to know how much these things are going to cost. It would be helpful to promote the tax credits, deductions, and rebates available. There are sometimes payment plans. Educate on the costs and savings because that’s what it’s going to come down to. Once people are able to get those numbers in their heads, I think that will help them lean more toward options like electric vehicles and solar panels. 

Everybody in the world wants to help the environment, but their main priority is saving money. 

Anything else you want to add? 

The Tesla decision was probably my best decision. To me, it’s just the perfect vehicle.  

EVs are a key solution to climate change for Virginia.