Buying a car? Go electric!

Are you considering buying a car? This is a great time to consider your electric options!

a man looking into an engine of a new electric vehicle

Before we even get started, though, we have to ask you a tough question. Depending on where you live, do you really need a car? At Oregon Environmental Council we know that we won’t reach our climate and equity goals if we don’t reduce the number of cars on the road or how many miles they are driving, so we will always encourage you to take the time to think about whether you can meet at least some of your transportation needs without a car. (Hint: electric bikes can make a terrific car substitute!) If you really need a car, read on!

Why buy (or lease) electric?

  1. Fatten up your wallet. Operating an electric car saves you money! Because electric cars don’t have internal combustion engines, there’s a lot less maintenance necessary, and you never have to buy gas again.
  2. Clear the air. Electric cars have no tailpipe emissions, sparing you and your community exposure to air toxics. Given the enormous impacts of air toxics on human health, that’s a big deal.
  3. Look to the future. Transportation is responsible for about 40% of Oregon’s greenhouse gas pollution. When you have to drive, make it electric and reduce that impact. Electric cars in Oregon on average emit only ⅓ the climate pollution as gas-powered cars. (And in some places, it’s even lower!)
  4. Greener every day. Living in Oregon, you use electricity that comes from about 50% emissions-free energy. Over time, thanks to state standards like the 100% Clean Energy for All bill OEC just helped pass, Oregon’s electricity mix is getting greener, and will be emissions-free in the coming years.
  5. Shhh. Electric cars are quieter, because there’s no internal combustion engine. Driving a car propelled by continual tiny explosions, as it turns out, is pretty loud.
  6. Fit your life. If your idea of the electric car was set a decade ago, it’s time to look again. Every year we see new models of electric cars, and there’s an option to fit almost any household’s needs. Find the right EV for you.
  7. Get some money back. When you’re looking at your options, remember that there are rebates and tax credits available at the state and federal level. This means that you’ll be able to get back some of the money you paid for your car (and if you buy your car from a dealer, you may be able to get a rebate at the time of purchase). Oregon even has an additional “Charge Ahead” rebate available for low- and moderate-income households. (OEC was proud to advocate for the successful passage of rebates in 2017 and again in 2021.)

If it’s time to replace your car (and you’re sure you really do need a car), it’s time to go electric!

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