Event recording: Ask an EV Owner

August 26, 2021

One of our favorite event formats is simply getting real EV owners on a panel to answer real questions! This time around we covered questions around initial concerns about going electric, EV road trips, the used EV buying experience, range anxiety and more. Share this recording with someone who could use some real talk from real owners.

Ready to commit to making your next car electric? Sign the Going Electric pledge.


New comic: America’s EV Love Story

August 18, 2021

From time to time, we like to tell stories in the form of comics. This one is all about a “love story” that has pretty much gone untold—but is more important today than ever before. Check out the preview below, and head here for the full comic.

Head here to finish reading!


Heed the alarm bell. Here are five ways you can.

August 11, 2021

The U.N. released their latest climate report on Monday—and, not surprisingly, it is alarming news. The U.N. Secretary General summarized it as “a code red for humanity.”

This is the moment—this decade-long window of opportunity—in which we find ourselves, like it or not. While other actors (read: the fossil fuel industry) bear the greatest blame, this is the moment you—as an individual, parent, community member, employee, citizen, constituent, and member of the human race—find yourself in. What should you do? What can you do? Is it too late? Is it all up to the government?

Thankfully, it’s not too late—the report makes that clear. There is a safer future within our grasp. As climate scientist Allison Crimmins (who heads up the U.S.’s own national climate reports) said on Monday, “Every additional bit of warming is going to lead to additional impacts that affect…all of the things we care about in the U.S. And on the flip side of that, every action counts to avoid those impacts. So every bit of temperature, every tenth of a degree that we can avoid is going to be better. Every single action matters. Every year matters.”

So what we do now matters a great deal.  The good news is that we have the solutions in hand and can seize this opportunity to transform our energy system, our economy, and our future.

It is our moral responsibility, our privilege, and our opportunity to act.

“Every bit of temperature, every tenth of a degree that we can avoid is going to be better. Every single action matters. Every year matters.”

So let’s talk about action. Here’s a helpful chart (h/t researcher Steve Westlake) showing all the different forms of “human agency”—and individuals fit into every category:

Charts like this help make it clear that your efforts, your decisions, and your voice all matter. To put it more simply: your energy matters. So let’s dig into some concrete actions you can take. Here are five to consider:

Five worthwhile actions you can take

  1. Put pressure on your local, state, and federal elected officials: With the $3.5T budget reconciliation package on the table on Capitol Hill, the window of opportunity is now, the cost of inaction is unacceptable, and the economics are on the side of clean, renewable energy. Be a clean energy voter/constituent and show your support for impactful policies that match the scale of the crisis facing us. Don’t like to be political? Unfortunately, we need rapid, massive system-level change, so it’s time to get involved in the system. The most important opportunity we have is with the upcoming budget reconciliation package. As journalist David Roberts puts it, “this is America’s last chance at serious nationwide climate action for a decade.” More to come on this, stay tuned.
  2. Take significant action at home; then evangelize: Two of the most high-impact steps you can take right now are going solar and driving electric. Explore whether rooftop solar is right for your home; if you rent or live in an apartment, explore community solar here or here. In the market for a car? Check out the new and used EV markets. Not in the market? Pledge to make your next vehicle an EV. Already joined the solar and EV revolution? SPREAD. THE. WORD.  Help your family, friends and neighbors go solar or buy electric, and advocate for clean energy on your city buildings and schools.
  3. Dig into the action underway in your city, state or region: What climate commitments have been made? How is energy generated in your state? What is the deal with your utility’s clean energy offerings? What’s the deal with FERC? Write letters to your local papers, to city council, and join local and state clean energy and environmental groups to learn more about how to engage and put pressure on your utility, your city council, your school board, etc.
  4. Put your dollars to work: Our financial system has a massive role to play in accelerating a clean energy future. Tell your bank to divest; tell your stock broker you want ESG funds, tell your university to divest (or thank them if they have already), and don’t support businesses that funnel money to politicians that aren’t helping address the crisis.
  5. Show your support visually: Get your hands on t-shirts, flags, signs, banners, and stickers—and get your friends on board too. The behavioral science shows that your sphere of influence is greater than you might realize; social pressure, cues, and expectations matter.

We’ll hand the mic back to climate scientist Allison Crimmins for a conclusion we’d be hard-pressed to improve upon: “I see the sort of transformations that are required to reach these numbers as something I’m excited for and look forward to. I think we can hit these sort of emission targets and transform our energy system, transform the way we use energy and the way we get around, our transportation, the way we run our homes. And I think we can do that while also making a safer, healthier, more just future…I don’t see these as restrictions that we are burdened with if we want to meet some sort of deadline. I see these as an exciting opportunity for a more perfect union, a better U.S. and a healthier life for everyone.”  

Your energy matters, your voice matters, your vote matters.



The $howdown: gas vs. electric

August 4, 2021

As the train of new electric vehicle models, news headlines, and technological innovations continues to pick up steam, it’s worth checking in on an important question: is it cheaper to go electric or gas-powered? If you look at sticker price alone, you’ll find that EVs are consistently more expensive than their gas-powered counterparts. But whether you’re buying an EV or a gas-powered car, the purchase price is only a portion of the total lifetime cost of owning that vehicle. To understand the full cost of owning any vehicle, you’ve got to consider the additional expenses, such as registrations and insurance, plus operating costs, such as fuel (or charging), maintenance and repairs. 

According to a recent study from Consumer Reports, owning an electric vehicle will actually save money over the life of the vehicle, which is great news for consumers (and for our collective future). And the savings can be substantial. In the study, Consumer Reports found that for the typical EV owner, the savings over the life of the EV would range from $6,000 to $10,000.

Owning an electric vehicle will actually save money over the life of the vehicle, which is great news for consumers and our collective future. And the savings can be substantial.

How does the math pan out? Here’s part of it: thanks to a range of federal and state tax credits and rebates currently available, when you buy a new EV, the actual purchase price can end up much lower if you take advantage of these incentives. For example, right now the federal electric vehicle tax credit can save buyers $7,500 off the price of many new vehicles. And depending on where you live, your state may also offer additional tax credits or rebates. Even some energy utility companies are offering discounts and other incentives to encourage more people to switch to EVs.

On top of this, EVs also save big on the long list of maintenance items that you no longer have to pay for, such as timing belts, fuel pumps, radiators, head gaskets, and those super fun oil changes—all only necessary for internal combustion engines. Consumer Reports says that EV owners spend half as much to repair and maintain their vehicles.

And “fueling” the vehicles is another huge source of savings. Charging an EV still comes with a cost, especially if you rely on public charging stations rather than charging at home, but according to the Consumer Reports (CR) analysis, the average EV driver will spend 60% less to power their vehicle than they would for a gas-powered car. CR reports that the average residential electricity rate in the U.S. is roughly 13 cents per kilowatt-hour, which translates into $1.16 per “eGallon,” which is the Department of Energy’s term for the electric equivalent of gasoline. This, of course, would vary based on where you live in the U.S. and the changing cost of gasoline, but with the average cost of a gallon of gasoline over $3.00, powering an EV costs less than a third the cost of fueling a gas-powered car.

Getting personal about it

If you’re considering an EV of your own, your ‘cost of ownership’ equation will vary depending on which EV you want to buy, where exactly you live, how much you pay for electricity, fuel costs in your area, whether you’d install a home charge or not, and of course, which incentives like tax credits are available to you.

EVs also save big on the long list of maintenance items that you no longer have to pay for, such as timing belts, fuel pumps, radiators, head gaskets, and those super fun oil changes.

Thankfully, there are some useful resources to help you dig into these factors. will help you sort through all of the different models of EVs and plug-in hybrids currently available. To find out what tax credits and rebates you may be able to get, put in your zipcode here to find out incentives available in your state. On the federal level, the current federal tax credits only apply to the first 200,000 units sold by each automaker, so you can check the latest numbers to determine if an EV qualifies for the tax credit. And this useful tool from the Department of Energy helps you compare the overall costs of multiple vehicles at once based on your own annual driving habits.

So, what’s the bottom line? Is it cheaper to drive a battery-powered electric vehicle or a gas-powered internal combustion engine? While there are a lot of inputs to plug into your personal calculation, EVs are now coming out ahead, especially in more affordable car types. Just as solar panels can make your home more valuable even with a higher up-front cost, the lifetime savings of owning an EV more than makes up for the higher sticker price. And as battery technology increases, costs come down, and more and more EVs hit the market, we can expect this trend to continue. This is great news for all of us interested in a healthier, safer, clean energy future.