Why electric cars?


by Hosam

Recently I started to notice one “cool” thing in the streets of Pittsburgh—electric cars are getting more common. You can easily notice four or five  electric cars on your daily commute from home, to work or school; not just on the streets, but also on the media. Ads for electric cars like Tesla Model S, Nissan Leaf, and Toyota Prius have started to compete with advertisements for gasoline cars. I remember watching an ad for BMW i3 during the Super Bowl 2015. So I started to ask myself, are the electric cars a new trend, or do people find benefits from driving these cars?  I realized that people drive electric cars because it is a smart way to save money.

One of the benefits of having an electric car is that the owner is eligible for a tax credit ranging from  $2,500 up to $7,500. The  IRS provides a list of  electric vehicles qualifying for tax credit on its website. Some insurance companies provide a 5% discount to electric cars owners as a way of showing their support to environmental movements. Saving on gas is the main point in the gasoline vs. electric argument; but how much do you  actually save with electric cars? The department of energy says that on average, it costs about half as much to drive an electric vehicle. In Pennsylvania, the current price of the regular gasoline costs $1.82 per gallon, and the electric gallon or eGallon costs $1.31, (eGallon, is the cost of fueling a vehicle with electricity compared to a similar vehicle that runs on gasoline). It is estimated that the U.S. spends $1 billion a day on foreign oil to fulfill the demand to power cars.

It is true, that  gas consumption depends highly on a car’s performance, but are electric cars better than cars  fueled by gas in terms of saving energy?  One of the leading names in the world of electric cars is Tesla. Their claim  is that you can get up to 28 miles of driving for every hour of charging. If  you are not using your car, you can just plug it in and charge it.Recommended charging is from midnight to 6 a.m. since some  utility companies drop o rates during that time. Electric cars owners now have a variety of options when it comes to charging their cars. There are 12,289 public electric stations that have 30,848 charging outlets in the United States. Pittsburgh has more than 60 public electric stations.

chart 2
Annual Vehicle Emissions, State Averages for PA – source: U.S. Department of energy.


Money is not the only thing to be  saved when driving an electric car.  Reducing the amount of carbon emissions due to the reduction in purchased gas is the true savings here… taking steps to save our environment.  The average annual emission per vehicle in Pennsylvania for a gasoline car is 11,658 pounds of  CO2 equivalent, compared to  4,681 pounds of CO2 equivalent from driving an electric car. So when you  are ready to purchase your next car, consider these perks: tax credit from the IRA, reduced insurance rates, cost savings from purchasing eGallons instead of gasoline, increased availability  of charging stations in the US and most importantly, reducing fossil fuel emissions in our atmosphere.

Purchasing an electric car is a smart decision and not just a cool thing to do.  Consider the perks to your wallet and our environment.







One Comment Add yours

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.