Many drivers dread long commutes to work or school and back each day. With rising fuel prices and the environmental impact of carbon emissions from vehicles, racking up miles behind the wheel every day is also costly. Electric and hybrid vehicles offer a practical solution for daily commuters.
Here are some of the reasons you should consider switching to an electric vehicle.
Electric vehicle sales are trending upward
More people are embracing sustainable automotive technology. According to Argonne National Library data, U.S. sales of hybrid vehicles increased 38.2% from October 2020 to October 2021. Plus, combined U.S. sales of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery-electric vehicles rose 45.9% during the same time frame. Data from the Research and Markets Electric Vehicle Outlook Report for 2021 and Beyond projects that electric vehicles will account for 48% of new car sales in 2030. If you swap to an electric vehicle, you’re following these trends.
Gas prices have skyrocketed over the past year. According to the AAA, the price-per-gallon hit a record high in October 2021 — with the national average the highest it’s been since 2014.
Driving a hybrid or fully electric vehicle significantly cuts fuel costs. A 2020 Consumer Reports study shows that “owning an electric vehicle will save the typical driver $6,000 to $10,000 over the life of the vehicle compared to owning a comparable gas-powered vehicle.”
Electric vehicles get better fuel economy than gas-powered automobiles. For example, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Top 10 Fuel Economy Vehicles are electric vehicles. The first vehicle on the list is a 2022 Lucid Air G Touring AWD with 19-inch wheels that gets a combined EPA city/highway rating of 131 mpg. Another comparison shows that a 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated combined city/highway fuel economy rating of 52 mpg, while a conventional four-cylinder, automatic 2020 Toyota Corolla has a combined estimate of 34 mpg.
Fewer carbon emissions
Transportation produced the largest amount of carbon emissions in the U.S. in 2019. Driving an electric vehicle lowers carbon emissions, helping protect the planet.
A 2021 International Council on Clean Transportation white paper shows that registered battery electric vehicles currently produce 60-68% less greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. during their life cycle than traditional gas-powered cars. By comparison, hybrid electric vehicles generate 20% fewer emissions than gas-powered cars, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles emit 42-46% less.
Overall, lowering carbon emissions in as many ways as possible, including driving an electric vehicle, combats the harsh effects of climate change in the U.S. and worldwide. Generating less pollution also improves air quality — and breathing cleaner air is better for your health.
Multiple parts in gas-powered engines can fail over time. Electric motors have fewer moving parts and don’t require traditional vehicle maintenance such as oil changes, new spark plugs or fuel filter replacements. Plus, electric vehicles use regenerative braking. This means that brake pads can last twice as long on an electric vehicle as compared to a traditional vehicle, per Napa Auto Parts.
Car buyers can receive up to $7,500 in federal tax credits for buying an all-electric or plug-in hybrid automobile. The credit amount varies with the battery capacity of the vehicle you purchase. Electric vehicle tax credits might also be available at some state and local levels.
Because electric cars weigh less than conventional cars, they accelerate faster. Consumer Reports attests that electric vehicles “deliver power from an instant stop,” are “smooth and quiet” while operating, “glide effortlessly” and handle well. All these factors translate to better vehicle performance and a car that’s fun to drive.
With all these benefits, you might want to take an electric vehicle out for a test drive and consider trading in your gas-powered car for an electric car in your next purchase.
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