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Earth Day is a good time to try yet again to convince my fellow drivers to go electric. Get ready to be charged up with electric vehicle facts and experiences that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that electric cars should be in your future.

As I write this in mid-April the temperature in Los Angeles is 98 °F (36.67 °C). I lived here for decades and experienced increases in temperatures. Over six years ago, I gave up my ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) car and bought my first EV. I continue to enjoy the savings and benefits of going electric.

Tons of Benefits of EVs

In August 2015, I decided to do what I could to improve air quality and buy a used electric car which was very affordable.

So far, my electric driving has prevented 14,434 pounds of CO2 (approximately 7.2 tons) from going into the atmosphere compared to the average CO2 emissions level of a gasoline vehicle about the same size.

Why Range Anxiety is a Myth

My first electric car was a 2013 Nissan LEAF with an 84-mile range. Over time, and with battery degradation, the range went down to about 72 miles. I seldom had range anxiety because I planned my driving., I used the PlugShare app to locate nearby chargers. I always found a charger somewhere nearby.

Google Maps and almost every EV automaker shows where there are available charging stations. Twenty-five public charging stations with multiple chargers are within a four-mile radius of my home. However, most of the time I charge at home.

Many EV charging stations are near restaurants and shopping malls. They are much prettier than gas stations. Electrify America is changing the look of their charging stations with customer lounges, electric vehicle-showcase areas, dedicated event space, overhead solar shade canopies and security cameras.

Charging stations at select shopping locations may offer valet charging. Plus, EV charging stations smell so much better than your average gas station.

The limited range of an early EV can provide perks for concerned parents. A dad in the San Fernando Valley bought his teenage daughter a used 2011 LEAF. He knew that she could drive only 40 miles, away from home.

In 2019 I upgraded to a 2016 LEAF SL. In 2021, Nissan replaced the 30KW battery with a 40KW battery through warranty. I seldom stop at a charger with a current range of 150 miles. I simply plug-in in my garage.

I don’t have to deal with smelly gas stations and touching the dirty pump handle. I do not have panic attacks when I look at the price of gas. I also do not have to drive around or stress to find the best fuel price.


How Much Money Does Driving Electric Save?

In Los Angeles, the average price of a gallon of gasoline has soared. Gas prices are hovering around $6.00 a gallon. I heard a friend exclaim that a Kia Optima cost over $100 to fill up at the pump.

The price of electricity is more stable because electricity is produced locally and in California mainly by renewable clean resources. EV drivers who have installed solar panels on their homes are driving almost for free.

However, I still have to rely on my local electric company when I calculated all the taxes and current rate charges on my electric bill. I figured my EV costs around 5 cents a mile to operate. A similar ICE vehicle is now costing around 20 cents a mile for fossil fuel.

According to the EPA when gas was $3.30 a gallon my EV over five years would save $8,750 in fuel costs compared to the average new vehicle driving 15,000 miles a year.

EVs run on electricity produced domestically from increasingly renewable and locally derived resources. EV charging costs are not dependent on global oil markets. They are not subject to the same price shocks, disruptions, and supply shortages of oil, says Joe Britton, Executive Director of ZETA.

ZETA research found it can be four to six times more costly to propel a vehicle with gasoline than an electric vehicle.

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EVs Are Easier to Maintain

Electric vehicles require less maintenance. My former ICE vehicles did not run as clean as they should and didn’t last long due to me forgetting to change the oil.

As my cars grew older, I had to check the oil and fill it once a month. Even checking oil levels is gross. With an electric vehicle, I do not have to put my hand inside a dirty engine to find the dipstick. I do not get my hands covered in dirt and grease. EVs do not require oil changes or tune-ups.

ZETA estimates EV owners save an additional $330 in annual maintenance costs. 96% of EV owners say their next vehicle will be electric. An added benefit is $8,600 in reduced pollution-related community healthcare costs per EV.

“When we import a barrel of oil and burn it – it is gone forever, except for the lingering impacts of climate change and public health,” says Britton.


EVs Are Healthier & Help You Breathe Easier

The American Lung Association finds that over four in ten Americans — more than 135 million people – live in communities impacted by unhealthy levels of air pollution. Usually, the highways and heavily congested roads go through poor communities. The transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

2020 data from the American Lung Association include:

· Passenger vehicles generated over 1 million tons of ozone- and particle-forming NOx emissions and over 33,400 tons of fine particles annually.

· Heavy-duty vehicles generated 59 per cent of ozone- and particle-forming NOx emissions and 55 per cent of the particle pollution (including brake and tire particles).

The American Lung Association reports that a national shift to 100 per cent sales of zero-emission passenger vehicles (by 2035) and medium- and heavy-duty trucks (by 2040), coupled with renewable electricity would generate over $1.2 trillion in public health benefits between 2020 and 2050.

It could attribute to avoiding 110,000 deaths, over 2.7 million asthma attacks and over 13 million lost workdays by 2050.

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EV Facts and More Perks

The facts and data prove electric vehicles are greener, cleaner, cheaper, healthier and easier to maintain.

‘Why I Drive Electric’ series comedian Tom Papa found another perk to at-home EV charging, he gets to sleep in later because he doesn’t have to leave early to fill-up.

People do leave for work extra early to buy petrol. Local social media shows drivers queuing up at 5:30 in the morning at a Costco station, around the block to save 50-75 cents a gallon.

Papa sums up EVs as: “They are like other cars but quieter and better.”


It’s Time to Change Our Planet

For those who care about our planet, time is running out. The sooner you switch to electric the better it will be for our planet. EARTHDAY.ORG President Kathleen Rogers says there is no more time to sit back and wait for the next environmental tragedy in her response to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) Sixth Assessment Report.

“It is truly going to take all of us to invest in our planet,” says Rogers.

For Earth Day she says: “Now is the time to see our potential to change history.”


EVs Can Get You Invited to Big Parties

After all the facts and figures, if you are still sitting on the ICE vs EV fence – and if you like to party or wear cowboy hats, you could buy one of the most popular EVs, a Tesla.

Elon Musk and Tesla frequently invite owners to special events like the recent Cyber Rodeo at the opening of the Tesla Gigafactory in Austin, Texas. Fifteen thousand guests were treated to a drone show in the sky, food, drinks, music, Elon Musk (in a cowboy hat), a look at the new Cybertruck and fireworks accompanied by Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

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