WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week the national average price for a gallon of gas broke records, toppling an almost 14 year high, forcing U.S. consumers to spend a growing portion of their budgets on fuel. As consumers across the country continue to feel the impacts of a volatile oil market, many are looking for relief. An electric vehicle may be the answer.
According to a new Consumer Reports analysis based on today’s national average gas ($4.31/gallon) and electricity prices ($0.14/kWh), EV owners could save between $1,800 and $2,600 in operating and maintenance costs for every 15,000 miles they drive (the average distance newer vehicles are driven in a year in the U.S.), compared to drivers of gas-powered vehicles.
CR also finds that electric car and SUV drivers will save money in overall operating and maintenance costs as long as gasoline prices are above 50 cents per gallon. These new findings are based on the same approach used in a previous Consumer Reports analysis of electric vehicle ownership costs from 2020.
*O&M includes fuel, repair, and maintenance expenses on a per mile basis
Chris Harto, CR’s senior transportation policy analyst says, “What’s happening right now just punctuates the need for strong standards for cars that are more fuel-efficient across the board, and that help protect Americans from volatile gas prices. We need standards that drive long term shifts in the market and cause automakers to actually deliver efficient hybrid and electric vehicles in greater volumes.”
Though transportation electrification offers a way out, the transition is a continual process that will take decades to fully complete. The U.S. is playing catch-up, in large part due to the rollback of clean car standards by the previous administration, tapping the brakes on investment in cleaner technologies, while the rest of the world was rapidly moving forward. Even with the country now accelerating in the right direction, the U.S. is significantly behind Europe and China because of their consistent policy support, which gave them a head start.
Quinta Warren, associate director of sustainability policy at CR, says “As we’ve seen for the last half a century, it will take strong policy to ensure consumers have the choices they need to protect their wallets. That is why it remains so important for the Biden administration to set a next round of standards so new vehicles cut greenhouse gas emissions at least 60% by 2030 and the new vehicle fleet is about half EVs by then – saving consumers trillions of dollars. If we can get there, we may finally reach a tipping-point, a paradigm shift, where the auto industry truly transforms in the best interest of consumers, the climate and the companies alike.”