Picture this: November 2018, you are a junior in high school and have been driving around confidently for a little over a year now. However, you are really looking forward to this Thanksgiving because you know your Great Uncle Tom will be there with his pride and joy, his brand new Tesla Model 3, and he might even let you drive it. You work up the nerve to ask him the question, assuring yourself that you are a great driver and nothing would ever happen to his car with you behind the wheel; after all it can drive itself. To your surprise he is receptive to the request, and you get behind the wheel, adjust the seat and press on the gas. The first thing you notice is how the windshield seems limitless. Tom is spewing out facts and stories about the car, but you just stare in awe at the large touchscreen in the center. He shows you all the cool gadgets and you sit back and relax for the minute it’s in autopilot mode. After a ten minute drive around the backroads you get back to the house and spread the good word of the Tesla Model 3 to your younger cousins.
Tom was the first electric car advocate that I met, and not only has he influenced many family members to make the switch to electric, but he has opened my world to the clean energy transition. Good news is a future where electric vehicles (EVs) become the new normal might be closer than we thought.
Here are some reasons why you should consider switching to electric:
1. Federal Tax Incentives
- The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) offers tax credits of up to $7,500 on new EVs and up to $4,000 on used EVs
- In January 2024, you won't have to wait until tax season to pocket the incentive, as you will be able to receive the full benefit as a point-of-sale rebate at the dealership
2. Manufacturer and Utility Incentives
- Many electric vehicle brands cover the standard installation of a Level 2 (240-volt) charging outlet at purchasers' homes
- Duke Energy's EV Charger Prep Credit program will provide even further savings with a one-time credit of up to $1,133 to help cover certain costs that might be incurred during the installation of the charger
3. Fuel and Maintenance Savings
- Electric vehicle drivers are saving as much as $1,600 on fuel and maintenance costs annually.
- No oil changes. No transmission flushes. No trips to the gas station.
- Never even having to replace your vehicle's brake pads, thanks to one-pedal-driving technology.
4. Climate Justice, Green Jobs, and Public Health
- On top of reduced carbon emissions, the air quality will improve, which has a cascading effect on public health
- EVs do not produce any tailpipe emissions: pollutants such as carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and nitrogen oxides, which can cause high blood pressure, worsen emphysema, and trigger asthma attacks, become a thing of the past
- For context, a California public health study published in February of 2023 found that every "20 zero-emissions vehicles per 1,000 people in a given zip code led to a 3.2% drop in the rate of emergency room visits due to asthma."
- Since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in 2022, companies in the electric vehicle industry have announced plans to invest upwards of $14B dollars and create more than 14,000 jobs across the Piedmont region of North Carolina alone
- In the first half of 2023, the total number of electric vehicles in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County grew by nearly 30%--a rate of over 6 EVs per 1,000 residents to date
Become a part of the growing EV movement and learn more this Saturday, November 11, from 8-10 a.m. at SECCA for Electric Cars and Coffee! Come learn more and take a look at how your current ride compares! RSVP here.