Yes. EV battery costs have been steadily falling, and are expected to keep falling. Electric vehicle prices are largely determined by the cost of the battery and because of this ongoing reduction, financial analysts predict that the purchase price of new EVs will be the same as (or less than) comparable gas cars by 2025, even without incentives and subsidies. Some predict price parity will come as early as 2020 or 2022.That’s assuming the batteries continue to be lithium ion. Technology breakthroughs in lithium iron oxide and solid state batteries could mean even lower prices.
Also, phasing out gasoline vehicles in other countries will ultimately drive EV costs down. Many countries, including India, France and Great Britain, are banning gasoline vehicles by 2030 or 2040. China plans to lead the electric vehicle revolution. In response, most automakers are already committing to electrify their fleets. As automakers increase production to serve the growing global demand for EVs, they’ll gain economies of scale. This will enable them to lower their prices to compete for market share.
Already today, electricity is cheaper than gasoline – In California, average fuel savings are $752/year with electricity instead of gasoline; it costs around half as much to fuel an EV. Even assuming you pay extra to charge at public charging stations 20% of the time (such as when traveling longer distances), fuel costs are still less than for gasoline.
California utilities offer a 30% to 35% discount on electricity rates for low income customers, reducing the price of fueling an EV even further.
Electricity will continue to be cheaper than gasoline. Electricity is highly regulated and locally generated from a variety of sources. Electricity prices have been largely stable (around $1 per gallon equivalent), and are forecast to remain so, especially since renewable sources, which are the majority of new electricity generation coming online, are cheaper than existing fossil fuel sources.
Yes. Many electric vehicles already have enough range (100 to 230 miles) to meet everyday needs of most people. Every night while you sleep, your car is plugged in and “topped up” to full charge. 68% of commutes in the US are less than 15 miles each way, and 89% are less than 35 miles. For the occasions when you need to travel a long distance in a day, fast charging stations already exist on some major corridors, and more are coming, including 350kw chargers than can provide 20 miles of range per minute.
If you regularly travel long distances in a single day, you may want to get an electric vehicle with a longer range. Currently, the longest range all-electric vehicles such as the Chevy Bolt EV get 238 to 300+ miles per charge, depending on driving conditions and technique. EVs are in the works that will get up to 400 miles per charge, and Tesla’s new Roadster boasts a 600-mile range. As battery technology improves and batteries become more efficient, electric vehicles may come out with even longer ranges – although you may not need them as fast-charging stations pop up around the country.
Yes.There’s only one way to fuel gas cars: by pumping gasoline at a gas station. Electric vehicles, in contrast, can fuel wherever there’s either 1) electricity; or 2) sunshine and solar panels to capture it, like a solar canopy.
Unlike gas cars, electric vehicles can fuel (recharge with electricity) at home every night. According to a study from the Union of Concerned Scientists, today 56% of US households have access to home charging. 68% of commutes in the US are less than 15 miles each way, and 89% are less than 35 miles. Accordingly, 80% of electric vehicle charging is done at home — public charging stations are used only on long road trips.
Home charging is spreading to multi-family housing, too. States and cities are incorporating EV charging infrastructure requirements into their residential building codes. California’s Green Building Standards Code contains measures to ensure new multi-family developments are ready for EV charging infrastructure. Atlanta and San Francisco have passed “EV readiness” ordinances for new multi-unit developments. The city of Palo Alto requires that every unit of a new multi-family development have its own charger.
On average, our cars are parked and not in use 95% of the time. During that time, EVs can be fueling as long as there’s an electrical outlet nearby. This doesn’t require building new fueling stations; electricity is already everywhere. A growing number of employers are providing workplace EV charging for their employees. Supermarkets and warehouse stores are installing EV charging in their parking lots. The city of London is even adding electrical chargers on its street lights.
One area in which EV charging will likely need to follow the gas station model is long distance travel. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 6.8 fast chargers would be needed for every 1,000 EVs. This infrastructure is already being developed. The West Coast Electric Highway has hundreds of fast charging stations, enabling easy EV travel from Southern California to British Columbia. And seven other Western states are developing highway charging infrastructure along their major corridors. As part of VW’s settlement of its fraudulent diesel emissions scheme, Volkswagen will spend $2 billion on additional charging infrastructure in the US, including 240 fast-charging stations along highway corridors. Governor Brown recently issued an Executive Order calling for the state to add 250,000 new electric vehicle charging stations.
Shell Oil is adding EV charging at its gas stations, and planning for 20% of its fuel revenues to come from EV charging stations and low carbon fuels by 2025. If other oil companies follow suit, we may not need to build many new EV charging stations at all.
Yes. Moving to clean vehicles will enable millions of people (2.5 million in Southern California alone), mostly communities of color, who live near roadways, to breathe cleaner air. It will help disadvantaged communities especially avoid the health impacts of gas car emissions, including asthma, heart and lung disease, dementia and cancers, and related educational, financial, and quality-of-life detriments.
And driving electric vehicles instead of gasoline ones will expand options for low income residents to lower their vehicle fuel costs via discounted electricity rates and discounted solar panels and solar for affordable housing (vs gasoline, which costs the same for everyone).
Yes. They will be able to comply, especially give the 20+ year lead-time, just like they have with other regulations that improved the health and safety aspects of our vehicles, like regulations around unleaded gasoline, catalytic converters, seat belts and air bags. They will have to manufacture clean cars anyway to satisfy the demand created by China, India, France, Germany, Great Britain, Norway and other countries. For U.S. automakers to stay competitive, it will be critical for them to come out with a wide array of clean cars. A gasoline vehicle phaseout will ensure that they have a market for these vehicles in the U.S. as well.