Moving the Decimal Point on the Price of Gas

When I was learning how to drive, back in the middle of the 1973 Arab oil embargo, with long lines and gas rationed on “odd/even” days, everyone was completely shocked when the price of gas rose from 39 cents to 53 cents. 

Today, gas is selling at an average of $4.72 per gallon here in Oregon. As the old Bob Dylan song said, “the times they are a’changing” and it may be time for many drivers to consider making a change that can save you a lot of money. If you need to replace your car, think electric.

Consider this: for a 25 mpg car, paying $4.72 per gallon, it works out to 18.8 cents a mile. That’s more than four times higher than the 4.4 cents average per mile cost for an electric vehicle (EV), based on an average electricity cost of 15 cents per kwh. 

Now bear in mind that some utilities in Oregon are significantly cheaper than that and if you charge your EV at night, some pricing plans cut that cost by two-thirds, bringing your per mile cost to 1.4 cents per mile – or more than ten times lower than the current cost of gas.

That’s like driving at pre-1973 embargo oil prices!

Those kinds of savings add up quickly. If you drive an EV a typical 15,000 miles per year, and charge it at night, your annual fuel cost is a measly $210 — a $2,610 savings versus driving a 25-mpg gas-powered vehicle.

It gets better though. For buying new EVs, moderate and low-income Oregonian households can save up to $15,000 in federal and state tax credits on most EV models. Or, if a new EV isn’t in your price range, you can still get a $2500 to $5000 state tax rebate on a used EV (late model EVs can be had for half the cost of new one). Learn how here.

That doesn’t even factor in the significant maintenance and repair costs you’ll save on because EVs don’t need oil changes and don’t have fuel pumps, carburetors or engine blocks that can need expensive valve or gasket repairs. 

Of course, there are more reasons to buy an EV than your pocketbook. They drastically reduce your carbon footprint and the amount of air pollution you are generating (and, in turn, breathe). And they’re delightfully quiet and fun to drive. (Watch for more OEC blogs soon sharing staff insights and tips on EV buying and driving.) 

The times are changing – and the future is electric and more affordable.

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