Electric Powered Vehicles

Brooke Beam, PhD

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator

Ohio State University Extension, Highland County

October 8, 2019


I thoroughly enjoy technology. It’s no secret that I like to learn about technology and innovations. Perhaps the most advanced technology I use is the car I drive, a fully electric Chevy Bolt. I have been driving this vehicle for over a year and a half, but recently I have been asked several questions about the experience by community members.

Although electric cars are powered by a variety of electric sources, including natural gas, coal, and nuclear power, the United States Department of Energy estimates the production of pounds of CO2 required to power an electric vehicle is over 7,000 pounds less than a gasoline vehicle would produce from direct emissions through the tailpipe and through evaporation in the vehicle’s fuel system.

An electric car drives the same way a gasoline or diesel-powered vehicle does. The only exception is that it is silent and recharges via charging stations. In larger cities, many charging stations are free or have a small fee associated with plugging in. When traveling, there are several apps that can locate charging stations and can tell you before you drive to their location whether or not they are in use by another EV driver. Most electric vehicle (EV) drivers in rural areas use level 2 chargers at their home. Although the electricity rates depend on location, there has not been a noticeable change in the electric bill due to charging my EV.

There are a few power-saving techniques that can be used to lengthen the mileage of an EV. For instance, using air conditioning, the heater, windshield wipers, and the headlights are all systems that will reduce the available distance to be traveled in a charge. On nice days, rolling the windows down and turning off the air conditioning and heating system can lengthen the available distance to be traveled by 50 miles or more. On one nice spring day, I drove to the OSU South Centers in Piketon and only used 9 miles of energy because I was able to recapture energy when descending the hills and curves in the road. Unlike a conventional vehicle, EVs have the ability to regenerate some power when braking or descending slopes. Even when using air conditioning or heat, I have enough of a travel distance with my EV that I can drive from Hillsboro to Columbus and back on a single charge.

Overall, I have found the experience of driving an EV to be enjoyable. The car is built for efficiency, not necessarily storage capacity or inclement weather. During the winter months when it is snowing, the EV is not the most practical of vehicles as it does not have four-wheel-drive. The production of EVs is anticipated to increase in the future. We will continue to see more EVs and EV charging stations in the United States, which will make the charging network easier.

For more information about OSU Extension programming, contact the Highland County Extension office at 937-393-1918 or visit highland.osu.edu.


Upcoming Programs:

Beef Quality Assurance and Transport Quality Assurance trainings will be held on Monday, October 28, 2019, in Xenia. BQA will start at 5:00 P.M. and BQA transport will be held at 6:30 P.M. The cost for BQA training is $10.00 per person. Transport BQA is free to attend. Contact the Greene County Extension Office at 9370372-9971 or email corboy.3@osu.edu by October 24 to register.

Safety First For An Illuminated Holiday

Brooke Beam, PhD

Ohio State University Extension, Highland County

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator


November 20, 2018


Deck the halls with strands of lights, let your holidays be merry and bright! Now that we have enjoyed Thanksgiving, thousands of individuals in the United States will begin to decorate their homes for the holidays in December. Holiday decorations can brighten the bleak December landscape, but safety precautions should be taken into consideration so you can avoid a holiday disaster.

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) 86 percent of Americans decorate their homes for a winter holiday1. The National Fire Protection Association estimated fire departments in the United States responded to 840 home structure fires that began with holiday decorations, and an additional 200 home structure fires that began with Christmas trees annually. In fact, 19 percent of decoration-related fires occur in December, and 24 percent of decoration-related fires in December occur in the living or family room3.

While holiday decorations can be dangerous, following several simple safety guidelines can help you prevent fires and electrical safety issues. Safety guidelines for holiday lighting include:

  1. Use outlets that are protected with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs)
  2. Extension cords should be rated for the intended use (indoor or outdoor) and should not be run through doorways or windows
  3. In order to avoid blowing fuses, you should not connect more than three strands of lights together
  4. Avoid power lines when decorating outdoors
  5. Light strands should be used in accordance with their rating for indoor or outdoor use
  6. Attach lights in a manner that does not impact the protective coatings on the wire
  7. Check strands of lights for broken bulbs, exposed wire, or other defects to the strands
  8. Do not use light strands for weight bearing or for hanging ornaments
  9. Make sure to store light strands neatly after use to avoid tangling
  10. Avoid hanging lights in or around standing water or areas of high moisture
  11. Use ladder safety techniques to avoid falls when hanging lights
  12. Keep all fresh-cut trees and greenery watered to prevent them from drying out

While you are making your holiday decorations and checking them twice, think about your energy use and how you could become more efficient in your power consumption this holiday season. According to the Dayton Power and Light Company (DP&L), light emitting diode (LED) lights use 70 percent less energy in comparison to incandescent lights, and LEDs last longer as well. “LEDs stay cool to the touch” which reduces the risk of fires and the bulbs are more resistant to breakage because they are made from epoxy instead of glass, according to DP&L2. They also estimate that the cost of lighting a six-foot Christmas tree for 12 hours a day, for 40 days, to be $0.27 with LED C-9 lights or $10 with incandescent C-9 lights. Even using mini-lights the LED lights use less electricity, with LEDs costing $0.82 versus incandescent costing $2.74 for the same time period of usage.

Another way to become more efficient is to use timers so your lights are on only when you want them to be on. By limiting the amount of time your decorations are illuminated will save you additional money in energy costs. Inexpensive, manual timers or more advanced app-controlled outlet timers are available for both indoor and outdoor use. App-controlled timers can also assist with turning lights on or off when you are away celebrating the holidays with family and friends.

In conclusion, holiday lighting can pose a safety danger when safety guidelines are disregarded. Incorporating the safety tips mentioned above to ensure the proper use and function of holiday decorations can prevent your holiday season from becoming bah humbug this year. Spread good cheer throughout the neighborhood by incorporating safety tips mentioned above and by using creativity in your decorations this holiday season.  For more information on lighting safety or energy efficiency, contact the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918.



  1. Electrical Safety Foundation International. (2015). ESFI 2013 Holiday Survey. Retrieved from https://www.esfi.org/resource/esfi-2013-holiday-survey-343
  2. Dayton Power and Light Company. (2018). Enjoy the season and stay safe. Retrieved fromhttps://www.dpandl.com/education/safety-tips/holiday-safety/
  3. National Fire Protection Association. (2017). Home Christmas Tree Fires. Fact Sheet. Retrieved from: https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/News-and-Research/Fire-statistics-and-reports/Fact-sheets/ChristmasTreeFactSheet.ashx?la=en


Upcoming Events:

 The next Highland County Monthly Extension Program will be held on December 10, 2018, at 10:00 A.M. at the Ponderosa Steakhouse in Hillsboro, Ohio. Gary Ludwig from the USDA APHIS Wildlife Services will be speaking on managing Black Vulture Predation.  Please RSVP and plan to attend.


A fifth Beef Quality Assurance Training will be held at Union Stockyards on Tuesday, January 22, 2018, at 6:30 P.M. Please RSVP to the Highland County Extension Office at 937-393-1918.


Fertilizer and Pesticide Recertifications: 

February 19, 2019

Ponderosa Banquet Center, 545 S. High Street, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133

5:00 pm to 6:00 pm Fertilizer Recertification – Private and Commercial

6:30 pm Pesticide Recertification (Core, 1, 2,3, 4, 5, 6) Private Applicators Only


March 4, 2018

Ponderosa Banquet Center, 545 S. High Street, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133

10:00 am to 11:00 am Fertilizer Recertification – Private and Commercial

11:30 am Pesticide Recertification (Core, 1, 2,3, 4, 5, 6) Private Applicators Only

Registration details will come in the mail from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Registration for OSU Extension Pesticide and Fertilizer and your renewal application for ODA Pesticide/Fertilizer must both be completed. Meals will be included at each recertification training at Ponderosa.