HomeEducationSustainability EducationGCC 3011/5011: Pathways to Renewable EnergyElectric vehicles: How this fuel car alternative won’t ignite climate change or your wallet

Electric vehicles: How this fuel car alternative won’t ignite climate change or your wallet

By Carter Andresen

Electric vehicles are becoming all the rage in our world where the effects of climate change are becoming more noticeable by the day, and people are trying to do their part to attempt to prevent irreversible damage to the planet we know and love. However, factors like price are holding many people back from taking the leap into the dynamic world of electric vehicles. What people don’t realize is that you do not need to break the bank to obtain an electric vehicle and do your part in combating climate change. 

Although many big companies like Tesla present many great options for electric cars, these are the types of companies that make the whole electric car business seem unaffordable to many people. For example, the cheapest Tesla, the Tesla Model 3, has a base price of nearly $48,000.This is a high asking price when a person could just as easily go purchase a car that is a fraction of the price but also has a far more detrimental effect on the environment. However, Tesla is not the only electric vehicle company on the market. Many other car companies, such as Nissan, Chevrolet, and Mazda, offer other great options that are at least $10,000 cheaper than Tesla’s base model 3. For example, the 2022 Nissan Leaf rings in at a total cost of $27,400, nearly half the price of Tesla’s cheapest option. Although these cars do not necessarily offer the same quality and efficiency as Tesla, they more than do the trick and will still help you to combat climate issues that will dramatically effect our lives in the near future at a fraction of the cost.

Another aspect of electric vehicles that people don’t really consider when talking about the price is how much money in savings is available for owners. Across many states, electric vehicle owners have saved $88 billion and counting. To break this down further, it is estimated that electric vehicle drivers save over 60% on fueling and around $949 per year on maintenance fees if owners follow the automaker’s recommendations. This is a significant amount of savings that an individual can earn, and could easily help bridge the gap created by price difference between electric and non-electric vehicles within a matter of years. 

After hearing about different options for electric vehicles that are not overly expensive and can save you over a thousand dollars a year, why don’t more people jump at the chance to own one? The answer to that question may lie in the fact that there are many areas in the United States where electric vehicles just aren’t widely available. However, there is some data to suggest that this does not have to be the case. Take Minnesota for example, who only sells about half of the 40 or so models of electric vehicles that are sold in the US. However, Minnesota recently put a new standard into action called “Clean Cars Minnesota.”  Standards similar to this that have been implemented in other states have caused drastic increases in electric vehicle sales, leading to a tenfold increase in overall sales across the country.3 What does this mean for car buyers in Minnesota? Well, given the data, it hopefully means that the market for electric cars will increase drastically, leading to more options for us as Minnesotans to switch over to cleaner, and ultimately cheaper, vehicle options. 

Not only will electric vehicles help us to avoid burning our planet that we know and love, but as this short reading hopefully showed, they also will not burn a hole in your wallet. Decreased maintenance and fueling costs provide compelling benefits for owners to make the switch from traditional cars to electric ones. If that isn’t enough of a reason in itself, new standards that have been put in place will continue to drive the increase in availability of these cars, making them cheaper overall. It really does seem that all signs point toward a future with electric vehicles, so why not take the leap now and become part of the movement to help save the world one vehicle at a time? 

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