Opinion: Affordable electric vehicles on the horizon for all Americans
On the automotive industry’s fast highway of evolution and innovation, all signs are pointing to the affordability of electric vehicles for all Americans.
As the cost of battery manufacturing goes down and more electric vehicles enter the market, we can expect new electric vehicles to become easier on the wallet. In fact, all major cost forecasts show electric vehicles becoming as affordable as gasoline vehicles within the next five to 10 years.
Many electric vehicles cost about the same as other new cars. The average cost of a new car is now $37,285. This is in the same range as the cost of new electric cars like the Hyundai Kona Electric, Chevrolet Bolt EV or Nissan LEAF — all of which range from $29,990 to $44,900 MSRP, depending on features and trim.
As car costs have gone up over the years, many people have found themselves opting for a more affordable used vehicle. This is where many people may find themselves ready to sit in the driver’s seat of an electric car. A used electric vehicle will provide cost savings because, in addition to a cheaper price tag, EVs have lower fuel, maintenance and repair costs. With the cost of electricity-per-mile about half the cost of gasoline on average, a used electric car could become a great option for lower-income Michiganians.
Our legislators are working proactively to ensure electric vehicles continue down the road to affordability. U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, along with Congressman Dan Kildee, D-Flint Township, introduced the Driving America Forward Act in April. This bipartisan legislation would expand the electric vehicle and hydrogen fuel cell tax credits. These continued credits serve as a bridge as we accelerate toward electric vehicle cost-parity. I encourage the rest of Michigan’s congressional delegation to join in supporting the expansion of EV tax credits this fall.
EV sales have been steadily increasing and we don’t see new and used car buyers hitting the brakes anytime soon. All signs point to electric vehicles becoming more affordable in the coming years as battery costs decline and more used electric cars enter the market.
Charles Griffith is the climate and energy program director at the Ecology Center, and coordinates Charge Up Midwest, a partnership aimed at increasing electric vehicle deployment in the region.