Electric Vehicles Widening Poverty Gap


The sticker price of an electric vehicle is about $40,000 but with federal and state tax credits, the price goes down $30,000. With the current state of the economy, many normal folk would not even be able to afford a new conventional internal combustion engine powered car, let alone be able to purchase these green cars.

Many families are deeply in the red. Even with their conventional cars, many people are burdened with pump gas prices, taxes and even insurance fees. While these are issues for each car owner, with an electric vehicle, much of the pumped gas prices are transferred into other costs such as battery maintenance, electric charger and increased electricity costs for the family.

Even with all the supposed benefits that electric cars provide the environment and the support of the government, the electric vehicle is just hammering the divide between the rich and the poor.

In order to bridge this gap, the current policies regarding electric vehicle use needs to be modified. Under the current system, only the haves are able to avail of the tax credits for electric cars. A good way to make average income families be able to afford plug-ins is to modify the blanket tax incentive plan and make it into a fuel efficiency tax credit related to income. This is done via submission of the annual income and to provide tax credits for having a vehicle that is energy efficient.

Another way to make electric vehicles within the reach of average income families would be a trade in incentive plan. Similar to what some European countries are implementing, trading in your conventional engine car would earn credits to help in the purchase of the electric vehicle as the main mode of family transportation. This can greatly lower the overall cost of the electric vehicle.

Without these two basic changes to the current system of incentives and benefits, only the haves would be able to avail and benefit them. Only the individuals with the money would be able to afford electric cars. Thus the much-ballyhooed benefits would not be achieved, as there are more have-nots than the haves in the world.