Gasoline and diesel cars have long been kings of the road. Now electric vehicles are touted as eco-friendly, cost-effective options to gas-guzzlers. But beneath the sleek exteriors and quiet motors lie hidden costs.
Cost-counting applies to many decisions in life. Jesus encourages the practice for building, for battle, and for discipleship. He prepares us for the high cost of following Him. (Luke 14:26-33) And while cars don’t have eternal importance like faith does, the wisdom principle applies.
A promise of reduced upkeep and lower fuel costs over those of internal combustion engine vehicles sounds financially enticing. But a fall 2023 study from the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) debunks parts of the electric vehicle (EV) storyline. It reveals costs buried in layers of subsidies, credits, and other expenses. These mask the real price of EVs.
TPPF says nearly $22 billion in government kickbacks lower the sticker price of an EV by nearly $50,000 on average! The study concludes these artificially lower prices greatly influence consumer choices and cost taxpayers more hard-earned money.
FAKE PRICES, HIDDEN COSTS
One subsidy is a $7,500 federal tax credit: Buy an EV; get a tax break. Several states offer further incentives. EV buyers can even get money to help pay for charging stations and other equipment necessary to run an EV.
EV owners also perceive EV prices as lower because they don’t pay fuel taxes.
Without those funds from EV owners, road construction and maintenance costs skyrocket—but only for non-EV owners, who end up paying even higher fuel taxes.
Hidden costs involve the various costs of charging an electric vehicle, including equipment and paying for electricity the car can’t use, a phenomenon called charging loss.
The TPPF study estimates the hidden costs of an EV driven for 10 years equals $53,267 over the life of the vehicle. According to the study, a truly cost-effective electric “fuel” simply doesn’t exist.
The auto industry shoulders the initial burden of government giveaways. For example, Ford Motor Company currently loses over $70,000 on each EV sold. That money comes from somewhere. Guess where? People not buying EVs. They pay more for gas cars so the government can support EV makers and allow them to lower prices.
If that sounds like a vicious cycle, it is.
Some people claim EVs are the future of transportation. But the EV industry must find ways to build clean and affordable automobiles—without putting government dollars in the driver’s seat and leaving traditional car drivers in the dust.
Why? Sometimes great ideas don’t pan out in practice. Counting the cost before taking action is a wise strategy.