Electric vehicles (EVs) are the next, inevitable, stage of public and private transportation worldwide. Bloomberg News recently reported that the U.S. has reached a sales “tipping point,” where electric car sales are 5%, or greater, of all new car sales. The U.S. market is the 18th country to do so.
Electric vehicles are not “the future” and this is not science fiction. They are here, now, and will be the dominant form of transportation soon. Far-fetched? Pull out that smart phone from your purse or pocket that you didn’t own 10 years ago to look it up.
Alachua County has nearly 1,400 registered EVs as of July. This is up from 1,066 registered the previous year. With the recent passage of the federal Inflation Reduction Act, which includes EV subsidies, that number will surely rise rapidly in the next several years.
There are many reasons for this EV transition, some of which are briefly summarized below. The bottom line is that they are less expensive (lifetime costs), cleaner, more technically advanced and often safer, and rely on locally produced, more reliable fuel sources than the internal combustion engines they are replacing.
Want to see one in person and find out more? You are in luck!
The League of Women Voters of Alachua County, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and National Drive Electric Week invite you to join us for an electric vehicle demonstration (showroom only, no driving) event on Saturday, Nov. 19! We will have private and fleet vehicles on display at the public parking lot located immediately west of the GRU Administration Building and immediately north of the Rosa Parks Transfer Station (southwest corner of Southeast Fourth Avenue and Southeast Fourth Street).
Why consider an EV?
Many thanks to Plug In America, a National Drive Electric Week presenter, for their public information materials cited below. It is a great online source for more information on electric vehicles.
Plug-in electric vehicles are now viable for many lifestyles and budgets. With 50 models now commercially available, over 2 million Americans have switched to driving electric.
On average, the cost of fueling a car with electricity is 60% less than gasoline, roughly the same as paying $1.16/gallon, thanks to EVs’ performance efficiency and the lower cost of electricity. Electricity prices are also far more stable than gasoline prices, allowing drivers to avoid the risk of future price spikes.
Despite continued improvement, too many people in the U.S. live where the air is unhealthy for them to breathe. EVs have no tailpipe and therefore no emissions — imagine how clean the air could be around you with everyone driving an EV!
More from the League of Women Voters:
Most EV drivers charge their vehicles at home, which means EVs never require a trip to the gas station and your hands will never smell like toxic petrochemicals. EVs have far fewer moving parts than gasoline cars.
There’s no engine, transmission, spark plugs, valves, fuel tank, tailpipe, distributor, starter, clutch, muffler or catalytic converter. There are no oil changes. There are a lot fewer things to break down so maintenance costs are much lower.
EVs powered by the grid currently produce 54% less (lifetime) carbon pollution than gasoline cars, which could grow to 71 percent by 2050 as our power supply gets cleaner. Even better, installing solar panels on your roof drops your car’s carbon pollution close to zero.
Wouldn’t you rather get your fuel from your roof than ship it on tankers from halfway around the world?
Our addiction to imported oil has huge national security implications. The U.S. spends nearly a half-billion dollars on foreign oil every day, primarily for transportation. Every time you fill up your car, you’re sending a check to foreign countries to pay for their oil. Why not send your money to the local electric utility or neighborhood solar installer instead?
Plug-in vehicles offer a quiet, smooth and powerful ride. An electric motor provides full torque from a standstill and completely changes the experience of getting onto a fast-moving highway.
I'm interested! Where do I start?
Your first step is to come on out to the Nov. 19 Drive Electric Week event at the GRU public parking lot, just west of the GRU Administration Building, just north of the Rosa Parks Transfer Station (southwest corner of Southeast Fourth Avenue and Southeast Fourth Street) between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. After that, start your research to find the new or used EV of your dreams!
Wes Wheeler is on the Natural Resources Committee of the League of Women Voters of Alachua County and Janice Garry is group president.
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This article originally appeared on The Gainesville Sun: League of Women Voters: See, touch, learn about electric vehicles