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Image courtesy of Carolyn Fortuna/CleanTechnica.

Clean Transport

Buy An EV & Fulfill Your New Year’s Resolutions

Will you pledge to reduce your carbon footprint and to be a good global citizen when you make your New Year’s resolutions? Buying an EV can help you achieve those goals.

New Year’s resolutions can be wonderful additions to our lives. When we make and commit to setting goals, we form habits that make us feel happier, healthier, and more connected to those around us.

As the New Year begins, we acknowledge that many of our patterns and actions cause environmental damage, and we pledge to make amends through new and revitalized lifestyle choices. These worthy goals are grounded in ways to heal and secure our planet. We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path.

An efficacious way to do so is to switch to an electric vehicle (EV) — it accomplishes many of our New Year’s resolutions, such as our dedication to reduce our carbon footprint and to better use the Earth’s resources.

And, according to Consumer Reports, should you choose to purchase an EV, your savings may range between $6,000-$10,000 over your current vehicle.

Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions & Our New Year’s Resolutions

Driving an EV to address your New Year’s resolutions will definitely diminish transportation emissions — EVs go a long way toward obtaining a less carbon-intensive lifestyle. That’s because personal and commercial transportation is the US’ biggest contributor to greenhouse gases, at about 28% of the total.

The US EPA outlines that EVs produce an average of 3,700 pounds of CO2 equivalent emissions per year, compared to more than 11,400 pounds of average CO2 equivalent emissions from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. An EV emits way lower levels of greenhouse gases than the average new ICE vehicle since the former doesn’t produce tailpipe emissions.

When you drive an EV, you’re helping to make the cleaner air to breathe.

Are you concerned about the emissions that result from EV production? Some organizations go so far as to fund social accounts to offset emissions and account for CO2 produced when the cars were built. Yet, according to the Yale School of Environment, the more the electrical grid is decarbonized, the greater the advantage EVs have over conventional cars.

Lower Fuel Costs

Did you know your New Year’s resolutions can help you save money during the lifespan of the EV? EV drivers have up to $10,500 in reduced fuel costs over a 15-year time span compared to a gas vehicle.

The cost of charging electric vehicles varies depending on multiple factors, including electricity price, charging equipment type, installation cost, and number of miles driven. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Idaho National Laboratory studied data on EV use and charging to determine a weighted average cost of charging an EV. They found that the national average EV charging cost ranges from 8 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to 27 cents per kWh, with an average of 15 cents per kWh.

Fewer Maintenance Costs

Have you set some New Year’s resolutions to use your time more wisely? If you drive an EV, you won’t be spending long sessions in a depressing service department, waiting for oil changes and other minor repairs — an EV is a much simpler vehicle, thereby requiring fewer repairs.

Light-duty battery electric vehicles are generally cheaper to maintain than ICE vehicles. The estimated scheduled maintenance cost for a light-duty EV totals 6.1 cents per mile, while an ICE vehicle  totals 10.1 cents per mile. A recent report indicates that, after higher first year costs, EV service costs fall 30% below gas vehicle costs at the 3-year mark.

Efficient Energy Usage for New Year’s Resolutions

Want to have a 2022 in which your energy usage drops? EVs have a more efficient drivetrain than an ICE. The NRDC explains that electric motors convert over 85% of electrical energy into mechanical energy, or motion, compared to less than 40% for an ICE. These efficiencies are even lower after considering losses as heat in the drivetrain, which is the collection of components that translate the power created in an electric motor or combustion engine to the wheels.

EVs are much, much more energy efficient than gas-powered or diesel-powered cars. The most efficient cars on the market are all 100% battery-electric cars, and EV batteries can now last for over a decade in moderate climates.

Tax Credits Can Lower Purchase Price Bottom Line

As part of broad efforts to stop global heating and incentivize cleantech, the US government decided to try to renew the EV tax credit for manufacturers that sell more than 200,000 EVs. That legislation, which has several stipulations, is still pending, pursuant to passage of the Build Back Better act. Keep your fingers crossed: you might be able to save through federal tax credits of up to $7,500 after all. This site will give you an overview of what you can expect.

(Sigh. My new Tesla Model Y doesn’t seem at this writing as if it will be eligible for federal tax credits.)

Some state and local governments may offer additional incentives, too.

Various Charging Options, AKA No More Range Anxiety

EVs typically have a smaller carbon footprint than ICE vehicles, even when accounting for the electricity used for charging. Plus, technology innovations have extended the range of a single charge greatly over the first EV iterations.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory says that more than 80% of EV charging is done at home. Residential charging equipment can often be installed in your garage or carport. Public EV charging is another option, with more and more chargers becoming available in communities and on roadways across the US. That’s because policymakers, businesses, and consumers have recognized the importance of EV chargers and are now asking for them.

Electrify America, the nation’s largest public network of ultra-fast EV charging stations, is one such option. The company plans to have more than 1,800 fast-charging stations and 10,000 individual chargers installed in the US and Canada by 2026. Available now as part of the Volkswagen settlement, lots of highways and urban areas now offer charging. The great part is that they’re situated in safe, well-lit areas with nearby activities like restaurants, grocery stores, retailers, malls, convenience stores, and banks, so you can complete your errands while charging.

To Electrify Everything Is Central to Our New Year’s Resolutions

A major part of your New Year’s resolution is likely shifting your energy usage away from all fossil fuels, which begins by replacing home appliances, heating systems, landscaping equipment, and vehicles with electric versions powered by clean electricity. The idea to electrifying everything is definitely taking hold.

There are many examples around the world of the transition to electrifying everything. Many European cities have established zero emissions zones in the center of the city where only EVs will be permitted; it’s a policy initiative that will encourage more people to buy EVs. General Motors seems to have been paying attention to the importance of electrifying everything, as it has just announced a plan to expand electrification to many areas other than its core business of manufacturing vehicles.

Yes, public and private sector organizations need to collaborate for green energy solutions, increase power availability from zero emissions sources, create viable transmission networks to deliver energy reliably and economically, and assuage concerns about moving to a fully electric transportation sector. But you can do your part by making your New Year’s resolution to switch to an EV. You’ll be glad you did.

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Written By

Carolyn Fortuna (they, them), Ph.D., is a writer, researcher, and educator with a lifelong dedication to ecojustice. Carolyn has won awards from the Anti-Defamation League, The International Literacy Association, and The Leavy Foundation. Carolyn is a small-time investor in Tesla. Please follow Carolyn on Twitter and Facebook.


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