Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said earlier today during an interview on MSNBC that those who purchase electric vehicles will “never have to worry about gas prices again,” as fees at the pump have continued to rise over the past year.
Buttigieg said to Jonathan Capehart on “The Sunday Show” on MSNBC that electric vehicle owners are essentially going to have a “$12,500 discount” on the cost of a vehicle. Although, that only occurs if a consumer ends up purchasing a Chevrolet Bolt EV, as that is currently the only vehicle to qualify for the entire tax credit under President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan. The plan incentivizes the purchase of EVs. The base amount of the credit remains at $7,500 but increases by $4,500 if the EV is made in the U.S. by Unionized labor. Another $500 will be added if the battery used in the vehicle was manufactured in the United States, according to the language in the Bill. It recently passed the House and moves to the Senate.
Most EV owners will still receive the $7,500 credit, regardless of what they buy. Tesla’s vehicles will only qualify for this amount plus the additional $500 for a U.S.-manufactured battery.
However, Buttigieg is right about the lack of worry for gas prices if drivers transition to EVs. According to AAA, the current cost of a regular gallon of unleaded gasoline is $3.39. This is a $1.27 increase compared to prices a year ago, when a gallon of the same gas was $2.12.
EVs completely take gas out of the equation while providing more affordable charging options, and even charge-from-home convenience. “The people who stand to benefit most from owning an EV are often rural residents who have the most distances to drive, who burn the most gas, and underserved urban residents in areas where there are higher gas prices and lower-income,” Buttigieg said during the interview. “They would gain the most by having that vehicle. These are the very residents who have not always been connected to electric vehicles that are viewed as kind of a luxury item.”
Price parity is an issue that all EV makers have dealt with for the duration of the electric movement. Currently, the widely-accepted value of $100 per kWh is what most analysts believe will bring EVs to comparable prices of gas-powered cars. Bloomberg New Energy Finance said battery prices fell to an average of $137 per kWh in 2020, and this year’s semiconductor shortage has only increased prices of vehicles across the board. “If we can make the electric vehicle less expensive for everybody, more people can take advantage, and we’ll be selling more American-made EVs, which means in time they’ll become less expensive to make and to buy for everybody,” the Transportation Secretary said.
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