Why drive an EV?

Electric vehicles represent the future of smart, economical energy conservation. They’re the latest trend in cars and have become more and more popular. Going electric can be an improvement in your lifestyle that’s Earth-friendly, economical and fun!

Save Money

Electric vehicles are subsidized by the federal government, California and some local agencies. You can take up to a $7,500 tax credit on your federal income taxes for buying electric vehicles. And the State of California will reimburse you up to $5,000 for leasing or purchasing a pure electric; $1500 for a plug-in hybrid.

The cost per mile for electricity is typically 1/3 that of gasoline. As of June 2017, the national average for a gallon of gasoline is $2.32 compared to the equivalent electric gallon of about $0.80. In the future, gas prices may increase, making it even cheaper to go electric.

Save $5,920 over 36 months by leasing an electric vehicle: read HOW THE MATH ADDS UP on our Purchase or Lease? page.

Less Hassle

If you drive an electric car, you won’t have to make trips to the gas station ever again. No more gas-soiled hands! No more breathing toxic, benzene-laden gasoline fumes! Your home is your new “gas station,” so you never have to leave the house to “fuel” your car. There are also many charging stations available which allow you to charge your vehicle for free. The electric charging system infra- structure is rapidly expanding, which means it will become more convenient for you to charge your vehicle. California has more charging stations than any other state and is adding thousands of new ones every year.

Less Maintenance

Electric Vehicles require little mechanical upkeep. Many of them don’t need to be serviced until they’ve reached 10,000 or 15,000 miles. There are no conventional “tune-ups” for EVs. Check-ups include rotating the tires, replacing windshield wipers, checking coolants and brake fluids and diagnostically examining the batteries. Scheduled maintenance for EVs is less expensive because there’s not that much for the technicians to do. There are 10 times less moving parts in an EV than a gasoline-powered car. EVs have no transmission, spark plugs, valves, fuel tank, tailpipe, distributor, starter, clutch, muffler, or catalytic converter. In addition, an EV’s regenerative brakes help maintain its brake pads for a longer time.

Quieter and Fun to Drive

Electric motors are able to provide instant torque at 0 rpm, allowing you to have fast acceleration. EV motors produce significantly lower noise pollution for a near-silent drive, making the ride you take a much more pleasant experience. EV cabins are much quieter than fossil fuel car cabins. Because auto manufacturers consider EVs their most technologically-advanced products, significant attention is given to styling, cabin design and drivability for many brands, producing a far more enjoyable journey. Saying they’re fun to drive is an understatement.

Improving air quality

CO2 is produced during the manufacturing process of most electric vehicles. But once an EV is operative, it emits no CO2. Producing the electricity used to charge an EV can generate global warming emissions. Coal-fired plants create nearly 2x the amount of warming emissions emitted by natural gas-fired plants, however renewable sources like wind and solar power produce no emissions at all. California’s Carbon Law AB 32 – one of the most aggressive in the country – requires that the state’s greenhouse gas emissions return to 1990 levels by 2020. It has mandated in-state plant performance standards that will make it illegal for California utilities to get coal power from out-of-state plants after 2027. California is a hotbed for new solar and wind energy installations and has the most aggressive cleantech agenda in the country. It has passed a law that requires electricity providers to get 33% of their power from renewable sources by 2020. Just as significantly, California’s ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicle) Mandate requires automakers from the year 2025 forward to make 15.4% of their vehicles ZEVs.

The Sierra Club says: “According to a range of studies doing a ‘well to wheels’ analysis, an electric car leads to significantly less carbon dioxide pollution from electricity than the CO2 pollution from the oil of a conventional car with an internal combustion engine. In some areas, like many on the West Coast that rely largely on wind or hydro power, the emissions are significantly lower for EVs. And that's today. As we retire more coal plants and bring cleaner sources of power online, the emissions from electric vehicle charging drop even further. Additionally, in some areas, night-time charging will increase the opportunity to take advantage of wind power – another way to reduce emissions.”1

The Union of Concerned Scientist’s report, State of Charge: Electric Vehicles' Global Warming Emissions and Fuel-Cost Savings Across the United States 2, compares the global warming emissions from EVs with those from gasoline-powered vehicles and finds that:

  • Nationwide, EVs charged from the electricity grid produce lower global warming emissions than the average compact gasoline-powered vehicle (with a fuel economy of 27 miles per gallon)—even when the electricity is produced primarily from coal in regions with the “dirtiest” electricity grids.
  • In regions with the “cleanest” electricity grids, EVs produce lower global warming emissions than even the most fuel-efficient hybrids.
  • EVs charged entirely from renewable sources like wind and solar power produce virtually no global warming emissions.
  • Nearly half of Americans (45%) live in the “best” regions where EVs produce lower global warming emissions than even the most fuel-efficient gasoline hybrids on the market today (greater than 50 mpg).Another third (38%) live in “better” areas where EVs produce emissions comparable to the best gasoline hybrid vehicles (41 – 50 mpg).

Bottom line: charging an EV produces far fewer global warming pollutants than driving a gasoline car. In some of the country’s cleanest regions (parts of California, New York, and the Pacific Northwest), driving an EV is equivalent to getting 85 miles per gallon. By the end of their lives, gas-powered cars have spewed out almost twice as much global warming pollution as an equivalent electric car.

It’s not a theory, it’s a fact: you can feel confident knowing that driving an EV is contributing to a smaller CO2 footprint. The emergence of EVs has already resulted in far less climate pollution than their ICE counterparts. As EV production methods are optimized and disposal/recycling of batteries becomes more efficient, environmental benefits will magnify further. As electricity becomes cleaner, the difference between EVs and fossil-fuel cars will dramatically increase. As batteries become cheaper to produce, EVs will be less expensive to manufacture.

China, India, France, Germany, Norway and many other countries are considering banning the sale of gas vehicles and pushing Zero Emission Mobility to the limit over the next 10 to 15 years. Many OEMs (BMW is one of the leaders) have decided to offer pure electric versions of all their models in the immediate furture. Volvo has announced it will completely stop making gas-propelled vehicles and transition to producing pure electrics any hybrids. The EV Evolution / Revolution is in full swing.

1 September 2014 • Union of Concerned Scientists • State of Change • Electric cars produce lower global warming emissions than the average compact gasoline-powered vehicle • http://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicles/electric-vehicles/emissions-and-charging-costs-electric-cars#.WWkb84X93mE

2 June 2012 • Union of Concerned Scientists • State of Change • http://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/legacy/assets/documents/clean_vehicles/electric-car-global-warming-emissions-report.pdf