More PA motorists make the switch to electric vehicles

Danielle Smith – Keystone State News Connection

A Pennsylvania environmental group is touting electric vehicles as both cost-effective for drivers and a means to address climate change.

Keystone State motorists appear to be embracing the transition to EVs, with registrations surging 82% last year, to nearly 43,000.

Elizabeth Gore, senior vice president of political affairs for the Environmental Defense Fund, said car companies have made billions of dollars in commitments to help drive down EV prices. Her group estimated Pennsylvania EV owners could save more than $25,000 over the life of the vehicle, along with lower fuel costs.

“There are tax credits that were part of the Biden clean energy plan,” Gore explained. “Those can be point-of-sale rebates. This drives the price down even farther. And so, families can stop worrying about the price of gas, and they can experience lower maintenance costs.”

Gore emphasized the Inflation Reduction Act included substantial tax rebates for buying an electric car or passenger truck, as much as $7,500 for a new vehicle, and $4,000 for a used one.

Gore argued adopting the EPA’s stronger clean car standards would help reduce pollution even more. She noted transportation is a major contributor to climate pollution, and Pennsylvania’s efforts to electrify transportation would also curb emissions.

“The EPA standards can help further accelerate the transition that’s already underway,” Gore stressed. “By encouraging even more investment in electric vehicles and their manufacture, and charging stations, all of these efforts work together to drive more electric vehicles to the roads.”

Lois Heckman, owner of two electric vehicles, a Pocono Mountains resident, said she has owned electric vehicles for more than five years. She explained the decision was motivated by a desire for a better, cleaner environment.

“We have two electric cars now and we couldn’t be happier,” Heckman added. “We charge it in our own garage, and it hasn’t really seriously raised our electric bill at all. And there’s no maintenance, like, you don’t even realize that when you buy one. The only thing that you ever need on an electric car is tires and my husband just said, ‘And the wiper blades!'”

The Pennsylvania EV Mobility Plan recommended the state’s Department of Transportation support installing at least 5,000 new EV charging ports at 2,000 sites by 2028.

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