Some great electric vehicle (EV) news has come out of Jacksonville, Florida. According to News4Jax, which cited the U.S. Department of Energy, there were 58,160 electric vehicles registered in Florida as of December 2020. Some key facts from the article and video include:
- Charging up an EV costs around the same as half a gallon of gasoline for an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle (a normal gas-powered car).
- In Florida, federal statistics show that a gallon of gas costs an average of $2.83 but to charge an average EV costs around $1.08.
- Employment in EV manufacturing grew by 6% despite the pandemic.
The article pointed out that in Florida, the annual emissions of carbon dioxide per vehicle is over 11,000 pounds, but for an EV that number goes down to less than 5,000 pounds annually. Although we know this in general, the data cited in the article proves a great talking point for advocates in Florida who want to see more EVs on the roads.
In 2016, Plugless Power noted that driving EVs is an average of $60 cheaper than driving a gas car per month — in all 50 US states. This doesn’t include the lower maintenance cost, lack of oil changes, and time saved in states that allow EV owners to use the carpool lane. It also doesn’t include time saved charging at home rather than out at a gas station. That $60 translates to $3,600 over a 5-year period. Updated figures for gas and electricity costs would change the results slightly, but not a whole lot.
The 2021 Clean Jobs America’s Stats On EVs and Clean Energy Jobs
According to the 2021 Clean Jobs Report, which looked at the previous year (2020), clean vehicle manufacturing jobs defied the overall energy sector job loss patterns and grew by nearly 3%. This was due to automakers shifting to cleaner and more efficient electric cars, trucks, and buses. Employment in the field of EVs and hybrid EVs grew over 6% and over 12,000 new jobs were added in 2020, which was the largest increase of any clean energy category.
The report also noted that policies could create massive boosts to jobs and the economy. Two such policies mentioned were President Joe Biden’s climate strategy and the American Jobs Plan. The latter includes major investments and policy changes that would boost renewable energy, clean vehicles, and energy efficiency. The report stated that investing hundreds of billions of dollars into grid modernization, energy efficiency, and EV charging networks would create the backbone of a cleaner, more resilient economy.
How Covid-19 Affected Clean Energy Jobs
According to the report, data indicated that clean energy jobs were more resilient and recovered more quickly from the pandemic than the overall economy. An analysis of unemployment data by E2 and its partners showed that by June of last year, over 620,000 clean energy workers lost their jobs since the pandemic started spreading widely three months earlier.
However, by the end of 2020, over half of those jobs lost between March and May had been regained, which made the number of clean energy jobs lost since the pandemic started around 307,000. A breakdown of the type of clean energy jobs added is as follows:
- Wind energy added around 2,000 jobs.
- Clean storage companies added around 1,400 jobs.
- EV and clean vehicle manufacturing added around 12,200 jobs.
- 6,200 were added in hybrid EV manufacturing.
- 6,000 were added in fully electric vehicle manufacturing.
The report noted that the growth in these areas was mostly due to the positive policy changes in many states that were focusing on expanding clean energy and clean vehicles. The market signal sent by Joe Biden and other presidential candidates during the 2020 election also helped. Another boost came from increasing demand for EVs and manufacturers gearing up to meet that demand — such as Tesla’s announcement of Giga Texas and its Battery Day event.
According to the report, the fastest-growing sub-sector dated 2017–2020 for clean energy employment was plug-in hybrids, followed by clean storage, hybrid EVs, and battery EVs.
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