Nevadans could save thousands of dollars if they buy an electric vehicle, study finds

A Kia Niro EV is charged at a charging station at Colorado Mills Outlet Mall Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, in Lakewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

By Isabel Soisson

February 6, 2024

Electric vehicles (EVs) are reducing Nevadans’ car costs, offering consumers more choices, and strengthening domestic manufacturing, according to a new analysis

Last week, the Environmental Defense Fund, along with WSP, a multinational engineering and design firm, released state fact sheets comparing the cost of owning and operating several popular electric vehicles to equivalent gasoline-powered cars in the United States. 

In Nevada, the report found that drivers could save up to $27,900 over 10 years by owning a Ford F-150 Lightning instead of a gasoline-powered Ford F-150. Drivers could save $15,300 by owning a Chevy Bolt EUV over a Chevy Trailblazer, and $6,300 by owning a Ford Mustang Mach-E instead of a Ford Edge. 

“Consumers want choices and to save money. Those are powerful driving forces in today’s marketplace,” Ellen Robo, manager of transportation and clean air policy at the Environmental Defense Fund said in a statement. “Electric vehicles are offering just that as they pass their gas-powered counterparts on total cost of ownership thanks to rapidly declining costs, generous cash-in-hand rebates from the Inflation Reduction Act, and lower fuel and maintenance costs. Buyers want the freedom to choose the vehicle that’s right for them and EVs are proving to be the smart, cost-effective choice in states across the US.” 

To calculate the amount of savings, researchers added up the purchase and financing of the vehicle and home charger (for electric vehicles), the annual vehicle registration, maintenance, insurance, and fuel costs. They also took into account federal and state EV credits and charger tax credits, “highlighting how the studied EVs are estimated to be less expensive to own and operate than the comparable gasoline vehicles.” 

In addition to saving Nevadans money, the electric vehicle market has provided them with more options when looking for a new car. For instance, there are 37 electric vehicle models available for less than the average new vehicle purchase price of $48,000 in the Silver State. There are also 10 electric vehicle models available for less than $35,000.

The rise of electric vehicle purchases has also led to $13 billion worth of EV ecosystem investment in Nevada over the past several years, as well as more than 12,000 newly announced jobs.

Much of this is due to legislation such as President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA); the latter represented the largest-ever federal investment in fighting climate change and included provisions to reduce emissions that cause climate change and drive extreme weather events. The two pieces of legislation have also rapidly accelerated the country’s electric vehicle production. 

For example, under the IRA, manufacturers get subsidies for building electric vehicles (EVs) and consumers, depending on their income, can save up to $7,500 on the purchase of an electric vehicle.

The data suggests Nevadans are buying into EVs, as well. According to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, electric vehicle registrations in the state went from 7,381 in 2019 to 17,162 in 2021, an over 130% increase. And according to federal data from the US Department of Energy, the number of EV registrations in Nevada surged once again, to 32,950, in 2022. 

The increase of electric cars on Nevada’s roads has had substantial environmental benefits, leading to a 16% emissions drop from 2019 to 2020, according to the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection

“Electric vehicles represent a win-win for Nevadans,” Saumya Narechania, the state’s managing director for Climate Power, a strategic communications firm, said. “For too long, skyrocketing gas prices have lined the pockets of fossil fuel executives while American families pay the price at the pump. Electric vehicles are better for our environment and public health, and they’re becoming more affordable and accessible by the day.” 

  • Isabel Soisson

    Isabel Soisson is a multimedia journalist who has worked at WPMT FOX43 TV in Harrisburg, along with serving various roles at CNBC, NBC News, Philadelphia Magazine, and Philadelphia Style Magazine.

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