The first time I filled a car with gas, I was 19 years old and had already had my license for over two years. I ended up spilling gasoline all over myself. When I drove off – with only a half tank and the windows down because the smell of the gas on my clothes was so pungent – I couldn’t help but think about how easy it is to simply plug a car in and let it charge on its own. 

I’ve been spoiled by EVs. For the past 10 years, my family has only driven electric cars, and I love it; they’re great for the environment, they drive smoothly, accelerate super fast, and I’ve been able to avoid volatile gas prices (and the actual gas-filling process too). 

As a huge sustainability advocate, I most definitely endorse widespread zero emission transportation. Most people do, too – EV sales have gone up considerably over the last decade and support for EVs has been found to be relatively bipartisan.

What, then, is stopping us from fully switching to electric? Predictably, it comes down to mainly one thing: money. The typical EV buyer was found to have an annual household income of over $100,000 (my family being no exception), and electric vehicles have been manufactured and marketed to fit this demographic. However, this accounts for only 30% of households. How do we account for those who can’t afford to buy a new electric vehicle? The switch to electric requires broadening the market, but to do that, EVs must become more affordable. Fortunately, that is not as difficult to achieve as it may seem. Here’s why:

The Long Term Cost

Though it may not seem so, having an electric car proves to actually be quite economical – it just takes time. Since EVs do not require gas, owners find that they spend around 60% less to fuel their vehicle. This is extremely helpful when considering the volatility of gas prices in the last few months. Battery components for EVs also have eight to ten year warranties, depending on the state, meaning there is little to worry about concerning the battery. Finally, electric vehicles do not have as many parts as a combustion engine or need oil changes, so they require far less maintenance than gasoline powered cars. Typically, they only require tire rotations and windshield wiper replacements. Because EV owners do not have to worry about fuel and maintenance costs, they find that they end up conserving more money than if driving a gas-powered car – enough to make up for the initial high price of the vehicle.

The Initial Cost

While it is true that in the long-term, having an electric vehicle can save a lot of money, much of the apprehension towards electric vehicles stems from the initial cost of them. It’s true: the upfront price of an electric vehicle is significantly higher than that of gas-powered vehicles. It was found that the average sticker price of an electric car was about $10,000 to $19,000 higher than the average gasoline-powered vehicle. Fortunately, the federal government provides an EV tax credit of up to $7,500 for several EV models. Having a tax credit can greatly ease the financial burden of buying an electric vehicle. Not only that, but as the technology develops, battery prices will continue to drop significantly. It may be only a few years until electric cars and gas-powered cars are the same price.

Other Options

Of course, no one wants to wait a few years for prices to drop significantly, and thankfully, buying a new electric vehicle is not the only option. Since electric vehicles have been on the market for over a decade now, older generations of long-range, lower-cost EVs (such as the Chevrolet Bolt or the Tesla Model 3) are becoming increasingly available to buy second-hand, which can save a lot of money. 

If the price point of purchasing an EV is too high, leasing is an option. While ‘range anxiety’ is typically a negative aspect of EVs, their shorter range could be seen as an advantage when it comes to leasing one. Since drivers tend to use them for shorter distances, it’s easier to avoid hitting that mileage limit on the lease. By the time the lease is over, you would have saved considerably by not paying for gas or maintenance.

Charging Stations

Perhaps the biggest obstacle facing electric vehicles  is the availability of charging stations. Currently, most EV owners do have the option to install their own charging station in their homes. But for those who live in more urbanized areas or are not homeowners, this is not possible. While there are many public charging stations, they tend to mostly be clustered in areas of higher income areas (a result of low numbers of EV drivers in lower income communities). Fortunately, this is becoming less of an issue. As EVs become more popular, the number of stations are expanding in public places, specifically in dense residential areas and frequently traveled places. Not only that, but the U.S. is investing $7.5 billion dollars under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which would help build a national network of electric vehicle charging stations in the years to come. 


There is still a lot of work that must be done to make electric vehicles more accessible, and the responsibility should not just be on manufacturers or the government. It is true that electric vehicles are rapidly developing and becoming more affordable, but it will still take years for them to become truly accessible if we allow it to happen organically. Times are changing, and EVs are changing with them, but the fastest way to become electric is to act now because in my opinion, everyone deserves an EV.