SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – The cost to refuel fluctuates just under $7 a gallon throughout California. Some people cough up $100 to fill their tank.
With little relief in sight, drivers are turning to another option: electric vehicles or EVs. Although about 3.5% of all sales are electric, according to AAA, that is an 80% jump from the previous year.
“More and more Americans are buying electricity… And for many reasons,” John Treanor said with AAA. “The pandemic and the shortage of microchips seemed to help with that. Some states are eliminating gas-powered vehicles in the future. Also very motivated and motivates large car companies to invest in electric. So for all those reasons and probably not wanting to pay that much for gas, people are starting to look electric.
The non-profit organization Coltura emphasizes the benefits of switching to electric vehicles. Their research suggests that the savings from switching to EVs are immediate, as electricity is on average half the price of gasoline.
“The economics of switching to an electric car are really good, even for the average driver. So in California, EV drivers spend about seven cents per mile on fuel, and for a gas car it’s more like 21 cents per mile,” said Janelle London, Coltura’s co-executive director.
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It might save you a lot of money at a gas station, but charging an electric car might not be that convenient depending on a few things. Although electric cars can be plugged into a standard 110-volt household outlet, charging can take a while. So you will have to look for a charging station nearby. There are 100,000 in the US
Many are free, but others cost about $20 or require a membership, and some are more powerful than others. A free charging station can take up to eight hours for a full charge, compared to a super-powered one that would take two hours.
But charging an EV can be made more convenient with lots of incentives, depending on where you live. For example, California utilities offer a 30-35% discount for low-income customers, who may also qualify for a free home-installed charger under the “New Clean Cars for All” program.
And while it may still be cheaper to buy a gas guzzler right now, there are a ton of stackable tax rebates and subsidies at the federal, state, and local levels to cut costs by up to $12,000. Drivers can also save on maintenance because EVs have about 20 parts versus 2,000 in a gas-powered car.
Drivers can save another $1,500 to get an old gasoline car out of the “Cash for Clunkers” program. Plus up to $5,000 off the cost of a used EV in some Bay Area cities.
Supply chain issues are arguably the biggest obstacle right now. And if you can find a new or used EV for sale, it could cost more than usual. In general, it’s something to consider for people who do a lot of mileage with their gas guzzler who travel far and wide.