The Baltimore Sun’s recent editorial, “Affordable electric vehicles must be a national priority” (Sept. 2), was generally supportive of the transition to electric vehicles, but it got one thing wrong: It perpetuated the myth that affordable EVs are not currently available.
The editorial cites the $90,000 price tag of the luxury Tesla S to show electric vehicles are too expensive. A bit of internet research quickly demonstrates that more affordable EVs are available right now.
The average price of a new car in the United States is about $43,600, and 56% of US households have two or more cars. The Hyundai Kona, Nissan Leaf, Ioniq EV, and Volkswagen ID.4 are all currently available for under $43,000 and also still eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit, bringing the price down to about $35,000 after taxes. The Tesla Model 3 and Chevy Bolt also sell for less than $43,000, but they are no longer eligible for the tax credit because so many of them have already been sold.
Electricity is a far cheaper fuel than gasoline now and it is likely to stay that way. Annual maintenance costs for EVs are about 40% less than for internal combustion engines which means substantial annual savings for owners. Some auto dealers may discourage consumers from buying EVs because of the loss of servicing revenue.
If every two-car household in the United States bought an electric vehicle to replace one of its cars, the volume of EVs produced would explode and EV prices would fall accordingly. Leading the public to think EVs are too expensive undermines demand for EVs just when manufacturers are gearing up to sell them in large numbers and quickly gain economies of scale that bring down the prices.
Maris St. Cyr, Baltimore
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