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Benefits of Electric Vehicles
Benefits of Electric Vehicles
Easier on the environment and your wallet.

Why electric vehicles? For all kinds of reasons, from financial to environmental. Jump to each section below to find out more.

Saving you money
Because they use electricity for all or part of their power, electric vehicles are less costly to run. With a pure battery EV, you can save up to 75 percent per year on a fuel versus a gas-powered car. Charge up at night and save even more with our Time of Use rate.

Miles per year Fuel efficiency Annual
fuel use
Average fuel price Annual fuel cost Cents per mile
Gas 12,000 30 miles per gallon 400 gallons $3.50/gal $1,400 11.5¢
EV 12,000 4 miles per kWh 3,000 kWhs 10¢/kWh $300 2.5¢
Charge up at night and save with our Time of Use rate
EV & TOU 12,000 4 miles per kWh 3,000 kWhs 7¢/kWh $210 1.75¢

Battery electric vehicles also benefit from not having a transmission or combustion engine — eliminating oil changes, fuel filters, emissions testing and other costly maintenance. A simplified drive train and braking system means greater reliability and fewer potential repairs, too.

An electric vehicle’s most expensive maintenance item is likely to be the battery, which has a limited lifespan. Unless this changes, every electric vehicle will eventually need a new battery pack, but not necessarily by the first owner. While the cost of batteries varies, it will likely be several thousand dollars.

However, rapid developments in battery technology are expected to extend battery life and lower costs. And people are already driving today’s battery packs much farther — as much as double the listed lifespan — than previously expected. Finally, vehicle manufacturers also may offer battery leasing and/or lengthy battery warranties that will enhance the cost-effectiveness of electric vehicles.

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Tax credits and incentives
The IRS allows a tax credit for qualified battery-electric vehicles of between $2500 and $7500, depending on the vehicle type. A similar credit is available for two or three-wheeled and low-speed electric vehicles. To claim the credit, complete IRS Form 8834 (PDF) and attach it to your Form 1040.

The State of Oregon no longer allows tax credits for alternative fueled vehicles but does offer a tax credit for charging equipment.

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Better for the environment
About one-third of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation — and 60 percent of that is from personal vehicle use.

Electric vehicles significantly reduce carbon emissions, even when using electricity generated primarily from coal. In the Northwest, our generation mix relies less on coal and more on a variety of sources. And by pairing an electric vehicle with one of PGE’s renewable power programs, you can reduce your environmental footprint even more. Electric vehicles also:

  • Help the nation transition to renewable energy
  • Reduce use of oil, transmission fluid and other hazardous fluids
  • Cut noise pollution

The Union of Concerned Scientist’s report “State of Charge” (PDF) shows that you would need to purchase a gasoline vehicle getting at least 73 miles per gallon to get global warming emissions as low as an electric vehicle powered from the grid in the Northwest. This number includes the production and fuel transportation emissions as well (a well-to-wheels comparison.) If you are using renewable power, the equivalent MPG would need to be 500 mpg for Solar and 3,900 mpg for wind to match EVs’ green benefits.

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Energy independence
When we keep our energy dollars here, we keep jobs here. Electric vehicles and charging stations are good for Oregon’s economy.

Oregon doesn’t have any producing oil wells. When you fill up with gasoline, much of the money you pay leaves our state, and keeps going right out of our country. Electricity can transmitted over long distances, but most of what we use is made locally. So your fuel dollars can stay a lot closer to home when you charge up your car with electricity.

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Future benefits
When connected to the “smart grid” of the future, electric batteries have the potential to benefit both consumers and the overall electrical grid. By feeding electricity back to the grid during peak demand, electric vehicles could help keep overall electricity costs lower by reducing the need for PGE to build supplemental power sources. Your charged vehicle could also potentially serve as an emergency generator for your home or business in the event of an outage.

Used batteries are another powerful source of energy for the community. Once their useful life in a vehicle ends, batteries still have some usefulness in them. When combined, these batteries can take on a second life as an uninterrupted power supply for PGE customers during an outage. They can also be used to store renewable power and reduce the impacts of intermittent wind, for example.

For more about the potential benefits of electric vehicles, and a primer on how they work, visit EV World.

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