A study shows that US households could slash their transport costs by shifting to electric vehicles. Around 90% of vehicle-owning US households can reduce costs and also greenhouse gas emissions. Drivers in California, Washington, and New York are yet to see the greatest reduction in transport costs. This would be due to cleaner power grids and low electricity prices in comparison to gasoline prices.
US households are highly dependent on private vehicles, with over 80% of journeys taken via personal cars. These journeys are not only bad for the environment and public health, but they are also expensive: around 67% of US households are currently considered to have medium-to-high travel costs, spending greater than 2% of their annual income on transportation. Joshua Newell, the co-author of the study and Professor of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan, says, “As the need for decarbonization becomes increasingly urgent, it is crucial that we identify where and how we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, starting with assessing the long-term affordability of electric vehicles. Our results show that not only are electric cars better at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but in most cases, they are cheaper to run too.”
The study evaluates the cost-effectiveness of switching to electric vehicles in comparison to new gasoline-fuelled vehicles, for different regions across the United States. The results show that 71% of US drivers could halve their transport bills by going electric. In comparison, just 0.02% of drivers would see the same reduction in fuel costs by switching to newer, gasoline-fuelled cars. Moreover, the team found that adopting an electric vehicle would more than double the number of US households with low transport costs, spending less than 2% of their annual income on transport fuels. Nationwide, this equates to over 80% of vehicle-owning households.
The lead author of the study, Jesse Vega-Perkins said, “Our research contributes to the topic of energy justice, ensuring participation in the energy system is equitable, affordable, and accessible for all. We are hopeful that this study will inform people about where significant, affordable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions can be made. For the majority of people, the ongoing fuel cost of electric vehicles will be even lower than adopting newer, more efficient gasoline vehicles. However, the prominent differences across the nation emphasize the need for a regional approach to electric vehicle transitions.” There is huge potential for electric vehicles and the study shows the same. In the coming years, the ease and disadvantages will be known.