The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Opinion | Make the Switch: Plug instead of pump

Electric vehicles are overall healthier to use for yourself and the planet. They can also save you a lot of money in the future.
Larry Phan
A Chevy Volt is shown being charged at a HyVee parking lot in Iowa City on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021

Let the electric vehicle revolution begin.

Despite their mixed public reception, electric vehicles are cleaner for the Earth and cheaper in the long run. Electric vehicles, or EVs, should be mandated across Iowa and eventually the country, completely replacing gas cars so that we can better serve ourselves and the planet.

Some may claim that EVs are not truly better for the environment, but the Environmental Protection Agency debunks this myth.

According to the agency’s website, “greenhouse gas emissions associated with an electric vehicle over its lifetime are typically lower than those from an average gasoline-powered vehicle, even when accounting for manufacturing.”

While EVs release some emissions because of their batteries, they are an overall better option than traditional gas-powered vehicles. EVs are better for the planet, and recycling their batteries also helps with that.

EVs are known to not pollute the air as much as a gasoline vehicle would. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, a medium-sized electric vehicle produces around 65 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions over its lifetime than a gas-powered car.

Further, EVs can also travel four times farther than gas-powered vehicles on the same amount of energy, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Those who are against EVs may say that The cost is a major point of hesitation. While EVs can be very expensive to purchase, in the long run, an EV will be significantly cheaper.

According to Cleantechnica, the automotive pricing and research company Kelley Blue Book recently compared the cost of a new Tesla Model 3 — an EV — to an Audi TT, which is a similarly built gas-powered car. After five years of owning the vehicle, the Tesla averaged $39,547 in collective expenses, while the Audi had a five-year cost of about $63,075. These costs included gas, insurance, maintenance, and other expenses.

Gas expenses are a core issue with traditional vehicles, which overall largely increase the cost of owning a car. According to the Department of Energy, an EV can save you around $800 to $1,000 annually due to charging instead of pumping gas.

Another argument that those against EVs may bring up is that there is nowhere to charge electric vehicles, but this is also a myth. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Electric vehicles can be plugged into the same type of outlet as your toaster.” The agency said that there are over 51,000 EV charging stations in the U.S. available to the public.

If EVs are mandated, then there would be no debate on where you could charge them. They would be everywhere, akin to the current abundance of gas stations. EVs are still quite expensive to buy, but if they were made as common as gas-powered vehicles, they would become more affordable to buy and use for everyone.

Electric vehicles should be mandated in the state of Iowa and eventually everywhere else in the nation so that we can better help the planet and save on many costs. They are overall cheaper in the long run, quieter on roads, and lower the number of emissions we expel in comparison to traditional vehicles.

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About the Contributor
Larry Phan, Photojournalist/Videographer
Email: [email protected] Larry Phan is a Photographer and Videographer at The Daily Iowan. He is a fifth-year undergraduate student at the University of Iowa, majoring in civil engineering with a minor in arts.