Thursday, December 2, 2021

As gas prices rise, Americans take a closer look at electric cars

Persistently high prices for gasoline are frustrating many Americans and causing a political headache for President Joe Biden’s administration, but they are helping the country in the process of transitioning to more widespread use of vehicles that run on renewable energy. Can accelerate – especially lightning.

Experts say when fuel prices rise so does sales of electric vehicles or EVs, though they cautioned that it’s difficult to draw a straight line from prices at the pump to car purchases.

Genevieve Cullen, president of the Electric Drive Transportation Association, a trade group representing manufacturers of electric vehicles, said, “People buy electric cars for a variety of reasons, so they are not entirely dependent on gas prices, but it certainly does. strengthening it.”

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An estimated 468,000 new EVs were sold in the US from the beginning of the year to September, according to data collected by Atlas Public Policy, a group that monitors the market for EVs. This represents an increase of 45% compared to the 323,000 EVs sold during the entirety of 2020.

As of September 2021 alone, US consumers bought 57,000 new electric vehicles. This was 63% higher than the 35,000 sold in September of 2020, and a 90% increase over the 30,000 sold in September 2019.

FILES – In this file photo taken on August 13, 2021, cars charge at the Tesla Super Charging Station in Arlington, Virginia.

Gas prices make EVs attractive

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of one kilowatt hour of electricity in the United States increased from 13.5 cents in October 2020 to 14.2 cents in October 2021, a 5.2% increase. In contrast, the BLS found that the average cost of a gallon of gas increased from $2.23 in October 2020 to $3.48 in October 2021, a 56.1% increase.

“High gas prices are tough for Americans who drive gasoline vehicles,” said Luke Tonchell, the Natural Resources Defense Council’s director of clean vehicles and fuels. “The volatility in the global price of oil used to make gasoline is a continuing concern.

In the US, however, the structure of the electricity market prevents prices from rising rapidly.

“Electricity prices are regulated, and therefore fairly stable,” Tonchal said. “An EV driver can expect to pay as much as a quarter or less per mile [someone] Driving a gasoline vehicle. ,

US EV sales expected to grow further

While sales of electric vehicles are growing rapidly, the numbers start from a low baseline. As recently as five years ago, EV sales accounted for less than 1% of new vehicles sold in the US, a figure expected to be around 4% this year, and real growth is on the horizon.

LMC Automotive, which tracks vehicle sales and forecasts the future of the market, projects that by 2030, EVs, including electric cars and plug-in hybrid cars that can run on both electricity and gasoline, will become new vehicles. Will make up 34.2% of sales. in the United States.

This transition will continue, as the federal government increasingly means craft policies to bring the country in line with President Biden’s promise, most recently at the United Nations climate conference, to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. was reduced to almost half of their 2005 level.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced this summer that it would structure emissions guidelines for cars powered by internal combustion engines to “accelerate the transition of the light-duty vehicle fleet toward a zero-emissions future.”

“When the US EPA sets emissions standards that zero pollution from vehicles, we’re going to see the car market accelerate the transition to EVs,” Tonchal said. “Ultimately we need to address the climate crisis, and that will result in affordable mobility.”

Another factor is the continued rollout of the network of charging stations across the country. The Department of Energy currently lists over 52,000 stations in the country, with over 100,000 outlets. The infrastructure bill that President Biden recently signed into law includes $7.5 billion with the aim of increasing that number by a factor of 10 within the next decade.

Broad future for renewable energy

There is also reason to believe that the increased electrification of the transportation system will help the adoption of renewable energy in other aspects of day-to-day life as well. This is because, as car battery technology continues to improve, it will make it easier and cheaper to store the energy generated from wind and solar power sources.

“The electrification of transportation is the key to growing renewable energy in the power sector,” said Cullen of the Electric Drive Transportation Association. “Because batteries are one of the few effective and portable ways to store electricity. They will enable utilities and other power generators to manage demand so you can save on excess wind or solar.”

“Battery storage is the way there. Electricity transport, this mobile electrical load, has the potential to be a grid asset,” he said.

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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