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FACT CHECK: Electric Vehicles Save Consumers $14,500 and avoid pollution

By East Peterson-Trujillo and Erika Thi Patterson

Electric vehicle opponents repeatedly claim EVs are bad for the planet and consumers, presenting misleading numbers without the proper context detailing how bad fossil fueled cars are for people and our climate. Here are the facts:

Consumers can save up to $14,500 on fuel by driving an electric vehicle.

  • Fuel savings for EV owners can amount to as much as $14,500 over 15 years. 
  • EVs also cut repair and maintenance costs by 50% over similar gas cars. 
  • For EV buyers, the IRS currently offers a $7,500 new EV tax credit and a $4,500 used EV tax credit. Some states and utilities also offer additional tax incentives on the purchase or charging of an EV.
  • Leasing an EV is up to $6,000 cheaper per year than leasing or buying a comparable gas-powered vehicle.

Electric vehicles emit far less pollution than combustion engine vehicles.

  • EVs do not produce tailpipe emissions, which means they don’t spew dangerous air pollution into our neighborhoods and communities. A switch to 100% zero-emission vehicles by 2035 could prevent almost 90,000 premature deaths due to air pollution by 2050. 
  • From cradle to grave, driving the average EV results in far lower emissions than driving the average combustion engine vehicle. As more renewables power our grid, those emissions will continue to decrease.
  • Mining for critical battery materials can generate emissions that harm the environment, as well as the rights and health of fenceline communities. As automakers transition to  producing more and more zero-emission vehicles, we’re calling on them to build fossil-free supply chains

There are more than 50,000 public EV chargers in the U.S., and more coming every day.

  • There are 51,000 public charging stations in the U.S., and the number grows larger each day.
  • The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program has allocated $5 billion in funding to help build a coast-to-coast network of direct current (DC) fast chargers. This will electrify more than 75,000 miles of the national highway system. 
  • Seven major automakers also plan to build a fast, reliable, and easy-to-use network of 30,000 electric vehicle chargers nationwide.

Home EV charging is easy and a fully charged battery lasts most Americans a whole week.

  • Most EV drivers in the U.S. charge at home or at work. 
  • Federal tax credits can cover 30% of the installation price of an EV charging outlet (up to $1,000) at your home. There may be additional state- and city-level incentives for charger installation as well.
  • Only 5% of trips in the U.S. are longer than 30 miles. 
  • The average range of an EV sold in 2022 in the U.S. was 291 miles. That range is more than adequate for most Americans’ day-to-day travel, which averages 37 miles per day.
  • For longer trips, charging infrastructure increases each day, and there will soon be a charging station every 50 miles on highways across the U.S.

EVs can strengthen the resilience of our power grid.

  • EVs make the power grid stronger and more reliable by serving as backup batteries and energy storage. One community in Massachusetts is already using its school bus batteries as mini power plants to supply energy to the grid during peak summer hours.
  • To meet our climate goals and phase out fossil fuels for light and heat, our electricity grid will need to expand and strengthen no matter what.
  • Most EV drivers charge overnight at home, when power demand is lowest. So most EV charging doesn’t overwhelm the grid. By plugging in overnight, EV owners often save money too.

Electric vehicles are safe.

  • Electric vehicles have the same safety mechanisms as gas cars—and newer models are equipped with advanced technology.
  • Gas cars are more likely to catch fire than EVs, and more likely to be recalled for fire risks.
  • EV batteries are heavier than comparable engines, and a heavier vehicle means more forceful impact if the vehicle crashes into something. So it’s important to use the right vehicle for one’s needs. Automakers market SUVs and pickups because they’re more profitable than cars, but most people don’t need a vehicle with a huge, heavy battery.