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EV vs gas: Here’s what to consider

(Photo Chargepoint)

With the automotive industry focusing on producing more electric vehicles, electrification appears to be on a path to someday become the new norm.  Government mandates, such as California’s that will require sales of all new passenger vehicles to be zero emission by 2035, are helping steer the industry toward EVs.

Environmental impacts are the main drivers of electrification in the industry.  According to an article by the solar energy company Energysage, in the United States natural gas provides the cleanest source of electricity and is considered to be the cleanest fossil fuel. Natural gas produces 50 to 60 percent less carbon dioxide than coal.

The highest selling automotive manufacturer of EVs is Tesla. However, the market has become more crowded with EVs being rolled out by Chevrolet, Ford, Kia, Hyundai, Toyota, Volkswagen, Porsche and others.

Affordability remains a hindrance for some potential EV buyers. The average price of an EV in the U.S. is $54,000, according to Business Insider. The average price of a gas powered vehicle came in at $47,148, according to Kelley Blue Book. Federal tax credits are available as an incentive and to help alleviate some of the upfront costs of purchasing an EV. The tax credits are up to $7,500 for specific new EV models and $4,000 for used EVs. The new Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 includes stipulations to qualify to get a tax credit for an EV, such as income requirements and battery requirements as of Jan. 1, 2023. The tax credit will be capped at $150,000 in income for a single filing taxpayer and $300,000 in income for joint filers. Battery requirements need to be at a minimum at 40 percent materials sourced in North America or a U.S. trading partner to be eligible for the tax credit.   

Vehicle maintenance costs is another factor to consider. According to AAA, the average maintenance cost per year for an EV is $250 less compared to a gas powered vehicle. However, there are some similar parts that need to be maintained regardless if it’s an EV or gas powered vehicle, such as tires, brake pads, brake rotors, suspension, and interior electronics. Even if the vehicle still has a warranty from its own manufacturer, those parts are typically not included in the powertrain warranty.  

It hasn’t been all smooth riding for the EV charging station infrastructure. Some EV drivers are unable to charge their vehicles at their home. Living in an apartment complex that isn’t equipped with a station or somewhere where an EV cannot be plugged in can present obstacles. There have been ongoing issues with charging stations from third-party companies not working properly. EV owners who want to go on long distance trips need to plan carefully and make sure charging station networks are working properly.

“If you have at-home charging (in your garage, in your driveway, in your condo/apartment complex) and you don’t take a lot of trips beyond the range of your EV, you’re fine. Unfortunately, this is only a reality for people who have shorter commutes and who don’t usually take trips further than their car’s range,” Kristen Lee, deputy editor of The Drive,  said in an email to the Seminole Tribune. The Drive is an online publication that focuses on the automotive industry. Lee added that improvements in battery technology over time will increase range and decrease charging time. 

Tribal member Calvin Tiger is in the Education Department’s Emerging Leaders Program.

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Calvin Tiger
Calvin Tiger is an intern/reporter for the Seminole Tribune. He has worked with the Seminole Tribe of Florida since 2013. He has a passion for automotive journalism. Send him an email at calvintiger@semtribe.com or call him at (954) 985-5701, ext. 10739.
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