An electric vehicle at a Tesla charging station
Electric vehicles let motorists bypass the gas station and charge up at work, home or out in the community. Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Most electric vehicles are so economical that the savings, compared to a gas powered car, pay for the price in five to 10 years for the average driver.

Five dollars or more a gallon pumped by you at an unhealthy gas station. Annual oil changes and tune ups. Often more expensive insurance and DMV fees. Petroleum powered vehicles are not only the foremost atmospheric polluters — “smokers,” the name not affectionately given to petroleum powered engines in the apocalyptic 1995 movie “Waterworld” — but are also expensive and a bother to fuel and maintain.

The EV revolution is progressing rapidly. The price of electric vehicles is coming down and the battery range is going up. There is minimal annual maintenance: no oil, antifreeze, pistons, carburetors, gas tanks or any of those malfunction-prone elements. Just a permanently lubricated electric motor that goes around without combustion or much friction. The EV even recharges when decelerating, resulting in less wear on the brakes. The insurance and DMV fees are often less, not to mention the EV being able to use the HOV lane and preferred parking.

Instead of stopping at that polluting gas station, when you park your car at home or work, just plug in to your 110- or 220-volt outlet to top off your charge while you work or sleep. Often that electricity is paid for by employers. For trips, the charging networks along most major highways are proliferating with banks of superchargers at major interchanges that take 40 minutes or less, while you enjoy a snack.

With every major auto manufacturer and many newcomers producing electrics, the worldwide shift to an all-electric transportation system is occurring. That means gas powered cars will have reduced resale value as the price of fuel continues to go up and maintenance costs increase as fewer locations provide service. EVs last about 12 years before the batteries need to be recycled.

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres reports that his intergovernmental panel on climate — made up of Nobel laureates and world-class, independent scientists — found that if we don’t bring climate change under control by the early 2030s, the worst impacts of global warming may become irreversible.

When you can drive an electric vehicle for a fraction of the cost of a smoker, and can fight the accelerating climate change, why would you not do so? Your pocketbook and our children’s future depend on it.

Rod Diridon, Sr. is a member of the SV Ethics Roundtable, past chair of the National Research Council’s Transit Cooperative Research Board and national Council of University Transportation Centers, and retired executive director emeritus of the Mineta Transportation Institute. 

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