Cruising around your city, you may have noticed more electric cars on the road as well as more electric vehicle (EV) charging stations popping up—at the mall, at the movie theater, at your apartment complex, at work and more places! In New York, the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Charge NY initiative aims to install more than 2,500 new public and workplace electric vehicle charging stations by 2018.
There’s a reason why businesses and municipalities are investing in electric vehicle charging stations, and it’s because electric vehicles are a reality of our transportation future and, as a result, becoming more popular than ever.
Here are four reasons why electric cars and charging stations are our transportation future:
No 1: More people are buying electric cars
In 2008, the electric vehicle was launched for mass-market in the U.S., but electric cars aren’t just catching on here—they are having a global effect. Last year, industry experts predicted that the number of electric cars on the road globally would surpass two million by the end of 2016, leading some news outlets to proclaim “the electric car revolution is finally underway.” As with many things, it often takes a few early-adopters before things start to catch on with the general public. It’s estimated that electric cars will account for approximately 35 percent of all car sales globally by 2040.
No. 2: The federal government is making EVs more affordable
A lot of people may be deterred from an electric car because of the upfront cost. Many electric vehicles cost between $30,000 and $40,000, with Tesla’s running upwards of $100,000 or more. However, thanks to federal tax credits, owning an electric car is more economical than ever before. Depending on the type of vehicle and the capacity of its battery pack, you may be eligible for up to $7,500 in federal tax credits from the U.S. Department of Energy. There are other non-monetary incentives to owning an electric vehicle. In some states, such as California, EV owners can take advantage of HOV lane access regardless of how many people are in the car. And in general, electricity costs less than gasoline, which results in additional savings over the long-term.
No. 3: States are jumping in on the tax credits
In addition to the federal tax credit, many States are offering their own tax credit. For instance, the NYSERDA program and Charge NY initiative is offering electric car buyers the Drive Clean Rebate of up to $2,000 for new purchases. Combine that with the federal tax credit, and you could get an electric car for only $20,000! “With more than 30 electric car models to choose from, an ever-expanding fueling network of over 1,600 public charging stations across New York State, and a point-of-sale rebate on your new car purchase, there’s no better time than now to go electric,” according to NYSERDA.
No. 4: More people are environmentally conscious
More and more people are thinking twice about their environmental impact, especially Millennials and Generation X, and these numbers are supported by electric vehicle demographics, as well. More than half (55 percent) of all electric vehicle buyers are between the ages of 36 and 55. Millennials, specifically, look to do business with environmentally conscious companies and may start buying more electric cars in the next few years. In one 2014 study, 66 percent of respondents said they would be willing to pay extra for sustainable contributions.
The reasons why people buy an electric vehicle vary—some may want to take advantage of tax credits, or some may be hyper-aware of their carbon footprint, and some just don’t want to be stopping at the gas station every couple of weeks—but there’s no denying that electric vehicles are becoming more popular. As electric cars continue to grow in popularity, it will be imperative that businesses and municipalities keep up with demand and provide convenient-to-use electric vehicle charging stations, as well.