A Bessemer business is moving steadily toward an all-electric fleet of business vehicles.

Freedom Heating and Cooling is a family-owned company founded in 2003 that serves the Birmingham area and has clients across central Alabama. Owner Don Johnson said maintenance costs have dropped significantly as he has added electric vehicles.

Over the past few years, Johnson has been an advocate of electric vehicles as his company has bought Chevrolet Volts and Nissan Leafs. Eight of Freedom’s 25 vehicles now on the road are electric. Johnson’s most recent purchase was a Nissan Leaf and his only maintenance has been repairing a flat tire.

“The electric vehicles have reduced our maintenance cost significantly,” Johnson said. “They have been very reliable.”

Since the addition of the EVs, Johnson has reduced service call expenses from $45 to $10 by strategically using every type of service vehicle in his fleet. He is constantly fielding questions from customers regarding, and refuting, claims that EVs have performance problems.

Johnson hopes the Freedom Heating and Cooling fleet is 50 percent electric in 2015.

“My employees that drive electric vehicles are constantly telling me that they are the same as any other vehicle,” Johnson said. “We drive them on the interstate to service calls and they perform just as good if not better than any other car.”

Alabama Power offers a $750 cash back after purchasing a qualified plug-in electric vehicle (see Alabama Power Rep for details). Rate rider PEV is available to all customers and allows them to charge vehicles at a discounted rate during off-peak hours of 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

For more information, talk to a Marketing representative or call the Alabama Power Energy Line at 1-800-990-APCO (2726).

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