How can low-income residents benefit from the same savings EV owners have?
Why the push for EVs, and how will low-income residents access them?
Climate change has been a concern among many for quite a long time. One of the most significant ways to help keep our environment clean is to move away from gasoline-powered vehicles and move toward green cars, like EVs. But, not everyone can afford the high price tags that they typically bring.
Low-income families have difficulty making ends meet for everyday needs, like food and healthcare. Purchasing an EV is pretty far from their reach with those buying electric cars today generally coming from a higher income bracket.
The Biden administration has repeatedly stated they want to see America have net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
They also want at least
half of all vehicle sales by 2030to have electric drivetrains instead of fuel-powered ones to combat the contaminants often released into the air from combustible engines.
While prices for electric vehicles haven't come down much, ways to help low-income families access them have increased. There are now a few different programs to boost electric car use for all.
Programs that allow low-income families access to EVs
USA Today, there are programs that make EVs for low-income families, people of color, and the elderly living on fixed incomes accessibility to buy one new or used. One such program is SiLVER, which stands for St. Louis Vehicle Electrification Rides for Seniors.
This group provides seniors with a ride in an electric vehicle to go wherever they need to and receive home food deliveries. The program has three Chevy Bolts and accompanying charging stations, which they offer for use in the surrounding community.
Another program, called the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, offers EVs for car-sharing. They allow those who can't afford the high gas prices to still get to medical appointments, grocery shopping, or other errands that they can't easily walk to.
So far, the group offers a 2019 Nissan Leaf S and a Nissan Leaf SV, which residents must sign up to use during specific times.
A local representative took this idea and presented it nationally. The EVs for All Act was introduced recently and proposed that electric vehicles be used for similar car-sharing programs across the country.
Everyone, regardless of income, should get access to an EV for their daily needs while still protecting the environment.
Will it likely catch on in all neighborhoods?
There's a good chance we could see these programs popping up everywhere due to all the benefits electric vehicles provide and the savings on fuel costs you'll get. They also operate relatively easily, which is a plus.
Like the programs mentioned, a person can sign up to use the car-sharing service by paying a $3 per hour fee or whatever cost the program determines. It also allows consumers to get to know about electric vehicles, how they run, how to charge them, etc., before actually spending good money on one.
With gas prices rising even higher, programs like these are likely to become more popular as more people want to save money, regardless of their income status.
Also, EVs are expected to come down in price as more people buy them, and some electric cars will likely show up on used car lots with price tags under $20,000 as time goes on.
Saving money on more than just fuel with EVs
With electric vehicles, insurance can cost more due to the
expensive parts they contain. Finding an affordable policy will help alleviate that, but it would take time to search through tons of companies to find it.
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