Gas prices have had a tendency to rise and fall over the years, and they’re spiking again of late. Many EV advocates have noted that if gas prices rise enough, people will be compelled to buy an EV. However, in the past, when gas prices soared, there weren’t a whole lot of compelling electric cars on the market, but times have changed.
According to a report from our friends at Teslarati, US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg mentioned that people who buy an electric car will “never have to worry about gas prices again.” Still, gas prices aren’t that high right now. While they’re high enough that many folks are struggling, they’ve been higher in the past. If Buttigieg would work with President Biden to keep his promise of doing away with the massive gas and oil subsidies, then prices at the pump would surely skyrocket.
The Transportation Secretary noted that soon EV buyers will get to take advantage of a $12,500 discount when they buy an EV. However, few compelling EVs exist that would actually get such a credit. If passed as is, the full credit will only apply to union-made EVs.
According to Teslarati, there’s currently only one (sort of two) car in the US that would qualify for the full credit, the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, neither of which is currently in production. Fortunately, buyers of other EVs may get a $7,500 or an $8,000 credit. It’s certainly interesting that in its mission to save the climate, the Biden Administration is putting all of its eggs in one basket, banking on only Mary Barra and GM to be the leaders in EVs, though companies like Tesla, Ford, Hyundai, and Volkswagen have already done a much better job proving they’re up to the task.
Back to gas. A recent AAA report shows average gas prices in the US at $3.39, though they’re much higher in states like California. A year ago, the average was just over $2. Some folks argue that public fast-charging and Tesla Supercharging aren’t much cheaper than paying for gas. While that’s not necessarily true in many cases, most EV owners charge at home, which is much cheaper and exceptionally more convenient than driving to the gas station. Buttigieg went on to say via Teslarati:
“The people who stand to benefit most from owning an EV are often rural residents who have the most distances to drive, who burn the most gas, and underserved urban residents in areas where there are higher gas prices and lower-income. They would gain the most by having that vehicle. These are the very residents who have not always been connected to electric vehicles that are viewed as kind of a luxury item.”
With all of that said, even with the upcoming credit, EVs are still more expensive upfront than gas cars. It’s hard for people on a tight budget to afford the initial cost of an EV in the hope that it will save them money over the longer term.
The Transportation Secretary added that the goal is to make EVs more affordable, and the credit is a step in the right direction. However, since the full credit doesn’t apply to any currently available EVs in the US, the legislation is arguably flawed, at least until vehicles like the Ford F-150 Lightning come to market.