True Cost of Electric Vehicles Is More Expensive Than Expected

Monday, November 6 2023 by Madison Cates | Wealth of Geeks

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Wealth of Geeks

In 2021, a staggering $22 billion in government aid concealed the real price of electric vehicles (EVs) making them appear $50,000 more affordable than they genuinely are.

As the world speeds toward a cleaner and more sustainable future, EVs are heralded as the eco-friendly and cost-effective solution to traditional gas-guzzlers. But, beneath the sleek exteriors and whisper-quiet motors lies a startling truth.

The Electric Evolution

In recent years, the EV market has experienced exponential growth, with electric cars emerging as the future of transportation. This shift is driven by a collective determination to reduce carbon emissions and curtail the impact of climate change. Governments, industries, and consumers worldwide are uniting behind a common goal: greener, cleaner transportation.

The primary reason behind this transition is the growing realization of the environmental consequences of traditional internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs).

Gasoline and diesel cars, while long-reigning kings of the road, emit harmful pollutants, contributing to air pollution and climate change. The urgency to curb these emissions and pave the way for a more sustainable future is driving the global shift toward EVs.

One of the cornerstones of this transition is the perception that EVs offer a cost-effective alternative to ICEVs. Advocates have long touted the reduced maintenance and fuel costs of electric cars as a key advantage.

The rationale here is that EVs, with their electric motors’ simplicity and cheaper electricity-based fuel, are expected to be easier on the pocket in the long run.

A study conducted by the Argonne National Laboratory estimated that although the upfront cost of an average EV is approximately $22,000 more than its ICEV counterpart, the lower costs of fuel, insurance, and maintenance over a 15-year period may make the lifetime expenses of owning an EV only $8,047 more than an ICEV.

This analysis seemed to support the notion that EVs were not only eco-friendly but also economically competitive, thereby luring consumers into making the switch.

However, the fascinating twist in this narrative lies in the often-overlooked details obscured beneath the surface of these seemingly favorable economics.

New Study’s Findings: Unmasking the Real Costs

The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s mission was to unveil the genuine costs of electric vehicle ownership—costs that often remain shrouded in layers of subsidies, regulatory credits, and hidden expenses.

So, what did this groundbreaking study uncover? One of the most striking findings was the revelation of how nearly $22 billion in federal and state subsidies and regulatory credits masked the retail price of EVs in 2021.

This substantial sum suppressed the sticker price of electric vehicles by an average of nearly $50,000, making them appear significantly cheaper on the showroom floor. The implications of this financial boost were manifold, deeply affecting the perceptions and choices of consumers.

A Closer Look at Subsidies and Tax Credits

One of the central discoveries of the study is the impact of both direct and indirect subsidies on the prices of electric vehicles.

Direct Subsidies

Direct subsidies come in the form of tax credits and direct monetary support from the government. Prominent among these is the $7,500 federal tax credit for EVs, which was recently extended and modified by the Inflation Reduction Act in 2022.

Several states also offer incentives, resulting in an average handout of almost $1,500 for every EV sold in 2021.

Plus, substantial federal, state, and utility subsidies exist for charging infrastructure, amounting to over $1,300 per EV.

Indirect Subsidies

Indirect subsidies are equally vital and include avoided state and federal fuel taxes, a significant factor given that fuel taxes typically fund road construction and maintenance.

The analysis highlights that owing to the greater weight of EVs compared to their internal combustion engine vehicle (ICEV) counterparts, EV owners should be paying more in fuel taxes.

Yet, many states are only beginning to address this disparity, with the federal government doing little to bridge the gap. EVs also impose additional costs on the electric grid due to factors like generation, transmission, distribution, and overhead costs for utilities, which are crucial to the grid’s stability. The study uncovers that these embedded costs are not fully covered by EV owners.

Revealing the True Cost of Charging

A particular eye-opener is the actual cost of charging an electric vehicle. EV advocates have long argued that the cost of electricity is equivalent to $1.21 per gallon of gasoline. However, these claims tend to downplay several critical aspects, including the costs of charging equipment and charging losses over the long term. On average, these factors add $1.38 per gallon, equivalent to the cost of electricity.

When all these hidden subsidies and charges are factored in, the financial reality for an EV owner becomes much starker.

The study finds that, even with an optimistic assumption of EVs being driven for ten years and covering 120,000 miles, these subsidies and the average extra expenses incurred by EV owners for charging and electricity losses equate to a startling $53,267 over the lifetime of the vehicle.

In essence, the argument that electricity is a cost-effective transportation fuel compared to gasoline begins to unravel.

Market Response and Industry Impact

In the face of enticing federal and state incentives designed to promote EV adoption, consumers are not flocking to showrooms as expected.

In fact, dealerships find themselves grappling with an increasing number of unsold EVs. These vehicles, touted as the future of transportation, remain parked on lots, largely due to their higher cost of ownership.

This lukewarm reception from the majority of Americans highlights the stark contrast between market expectations and consumer realities.

The Case of Ford

The impact of high costs extends beyond consumers to major industry players. For example, the Ford Motor Company is grappling with substantial financial losses on each EV sold, an issue that mirrors the larger problem in the EV industry.

The company’s losses, exceeding $70,000 on each EV, underscore the stark challenges of making electric vehicles economically viable despite massive investments and incentives.

Bridging the Perception Gap

The revelations from the new study conducted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation cast a discerning light on the economic realities surrounding EVs.

How can we reconcile the ideal of cleaner transportation with the financial realities of consumers and manufacturers? What shifts in policy, technology, and market dynamics are necessary to bridge the perception gap and pave the way for a more sustainable and affordable electric vehicle landscape?

These questions invite us to contemplate the evolving landscape of transportation and the steps required to transform perceptions into sustainable actions, bringing us closer to a cleaner, more cost-effective future.

© 2024 K-LOVE News

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