A central sales pitch for electric vehicles is the more affordable fuel cost, but a calculation of the true charging cost finds it’s nearly five times more expensive than the ‘good old-fashioned’ gas pump.
While a gallon of gas in America costs roughly $3.43 today, the true cost of fueling an electric vehicle (EV) is equal to $17.33 per gallon, according to a new analysis from the Texas Public Policy Foundation. The calculation encompasses all parts of the EV powering process, not just the explicit price to the owner – the only price marketed publicly.
On the surface, an EV owner pays $1.21 per gallon equivalent to charge their vehicle. However, the cost of fueling an EV comes from many different wallets including the EV owner, taxpayers, utility ratepayers, and owners of gasoline vehicles. The analysis uncovers the many different costs behind the scenes that total over $17 per gallon, including charging equipment and charging losses to the EV owner, indirect subsidies in the form of avoided fuel taxes and fees (a cost to taxpayers), electric grid generation, transmission, distribution, and overhead costs for utilities (a cost to utility ratepayers), and finally, regulatory mandates like fuel economy standards, EPA greenhouse gas credits, and zero-emission mandates (a cost to gas vehicle owners).
The calculation does not include the hundreds of billions of dollars provided through the Inflation Reduction Act. The TPPF graph below shows every hidden cost to power an EV.
“This analysis shows that electricity is a long way from becoming a cost-effective transportation fuel compared to gasoline,” the study notes. “The lesson to be learned from this study is that markets, not government, drive innovation and efficiency.”
The study refers to the uninterested response from the majority of Americans who cannot shoulder the higher cost despite massive incentives. Toyota cut its 2023 EV global sales forecast by nearly 40% this week. Just last week, Honda and General Motors revealed they are ending a $5 billion plan to develop lower-cost EVs together just one year after announcing the endeavor.
Bob Lutz, former executive at General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, admits that “the American public is not ready for the broad adoption of electric vehicles,” estimating maybe 10%-12% of people actually want an electric vehicle.
“The stark reality for proponents of EVs and for the dreamers in the federal government, who are using fuel economy regulations to force manufacturers to produce ever more EVs, is that the true cost of an EV is in no way close to a comparable [internal combustion engine vehicle].”
Yet our federal government is not letting up on the desire to control the free market with imaginary funds. The Treasury Department has provided clear cash incentives in order for the Biden administration to achieve its 2030 target, which aims for EVs to make up 50% of all new car sales.
While the federal government distorts numbers in an attempt to control the EV economy, the American people have bigger priorities like providing food for their families. Enough of the political agenda, we need responsible leaders who understand the true concerns of middle-class Americans.
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