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Federal Leadership

Report: Electric vehicles are far cheaper to drive than gas-powered vehicles

July 13, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, the Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA) released a new report showing that electric vehicles (EVs) are delivering vast cost savings to drivers. This report includes data that illustrates the cost-per-mile trends for both EVs and gas-powered vehicles since the beginning of the year. This report’s publication comes as the July Consumer Price Index (CPI) is released.

“Because of inflation and Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, gas prices have continued to surge to their highest rates since AAA started tracking them. American families are losing money at the pump to a commodity that is increasingly unpredictable and unaffordable.” said Joe Britton, the Executive Director of ZETA. “Our analysis shows that American EV drivers are saving thousands of dollars on vehicle operating costs because electricity is cheaper, more stable, and produced locally. EVs aren’t just better for the environment and public health—they are also better for Americans’ wallets.” 

A poll commissioned by ZETA earlier this year found that 71% of American drivers are considering an electric vehicle for their next car. The United States’ domestic EV industry is growing, but American-made EVs sales still make up just a fraction of all auto sales. 

“If Congress fails to enact policies to ensure our domestic industry can meet Americans’ rising demand for EVs, we will miss a massive opportunity to create good-paying jobs here at home,” said Britton. “By expanding EV tax credits, Congress can send a clear market signal that consumer demand will be sustained, enabling  American manufacturers to scale up production.”

“Our foreign competitors are racing to build their clean transportation sectors. If we fail to act, millions of Americans will once again turn to foreign imports, just like they did in the early 1980s and again in the mid-2000s. But if we make the right policy choices today, the domestic EV industry will be a true American success story that creates millions of jobs, drives down costs, and contributes to avoiding trillions in health and environmental impacts,” said Britton.

Here are some key facts from the report: 

  • Gas prices are inherently volatile—and they always will be. EVs, on the other hand, operate independently of global oil markets, so their operating costs are not subject to the same fossil fuel price shocks, disruptions, and supply shortages. Instead, EVs run on electricity, which is cheaper than gasoline, is price-stable, and is domestically produced from increasingly renewable and local resources.
  • EVs are far cheaper to drive than gas-powered vehicles. Nationally, gas-powered vehicles are 3-5 times more expensive  to drive per mile than EVs. In several states (including Arizona, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia), EVs can be driven at just 15-20% of the cost of gas-powered cars per mile. In addition to examining this month’s data, this ZETA report also looks back at the past seven months, and the data confirms that over time, EVs are markedly cheaper to drive per mile—and experience far greater price stability—than gas-powered vehicles.
  • The total cost of EVs is lower than that of gas-powered vehicles. In many cases, EVs are already comparable in price to similar new gas-powered models. And in addition to their fuel cost savings, EVs require less maintenance than gas-powered vehicles, too. EVs can save drivers between $1,800 and $2,600 on operating and maintenance costs per year, according to Consumer Reports
  • EVs will cost even less to buy if Congress passes strong EV tax credits. The proposed EV tax credit expansion in the clean energy tax plan will further reduce EV sticker prices, making it cost less to both buy and drive an EV. Furthermore, EV tax credits will help ensure that Americans can buy American-made EVs (rather than imports produced by our foreign competitors), which will create millions of good-paying American jobs and help the United States win the global clean transportation race. If we don’t invest now, the U.S. will concede this race to our foreign competitors, hurting all Americans.

Find the entire analysis here

About ZETA

The Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA) is a federal coalition focused on advocating for 100% EV sales by 2030. ZETA is committed to enacting policies that drive EV adoption, create hundreds of thousands of jobs, secure American global EV manufacturing leadership, drastically improve public health, and significantly reduce carbon pollution.

Policy Platform

Learn about our six-part strategy for electrification.

About ZETA

National policies to support 100% electric vehicle sales.

The Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA) is a federal coalition focused on advocating for 100% EV sales. Enacting policies that drive EV adoption will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, secure American global EV manufacturing dominance, drastically improve public health, and significantly reduce carbon pollution.