Electric Vehicle Spotlight: Creating a Brighter Future for Low-Income Families
Dr. Mary House of CHR, Inc. is an electric vehicle advocate because driving an electric car can put $200-$300 back into families’ pockets every month.

Electric Vehicle Spotlight: Creating a Brighter Future for Low-Income Families

Plug In America

Some neighborhoods face major health and economic problems because they’re surrounded by old, unreliable, and polluting vehicles. It’s important that we address these inequities and create an electric vehicle future for all.

Air pollution from gas-powered cars including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds can worsen health problems. Children, the elderly, and people with conditions such as asthma or heart disease have a harder time breathing with these pollutants in the air. Low-income families and communities of color are often closer to major roads and bear the brunt of these health issues.

On top of that, low-income families often struggle to get newer vehicles, and pay for it in the long run.

“A lot of these families are depending on very old, unreliable cars that may have been cheap to buy but are very expensive to maintain,” said Jeff Allen of Forth Mobility. “Electric vehicles can really help families begin to save more money and advance economically.”

“What would it look like if you were paying pennies on the day to charge a car, versus going to a gas station filling it up every week?” said electric vehicle owner Dr. Mary House of CHR, Inc. “Then look at how much you pay for oil or lube change. If you take this away and you take that away, and you have an extra $200-$300 in your pocket every month. How many people, especially in our community, could benefit like I’m benefiting savings-wise?”

New research from Consumer Reports shows that those fuel and maintenance savings average $6,000 to $10,000 over the lifetime of an electric vehicle. But the sticker price of electric vehicles, or new vehicles in general, can put those savings out of reach for many.

Once Clean Car Standards are adopted, about 6 to 8 percent of all vehicles manufacturers deliver to Nevada dealerships in 2025 could be electric. This is equivalent to about 10,600 plug-in cars, which is almost five times more than the 2,300 electric cars sold in Nevada in 2018. With more EVs on the new and used market, prices will keep dropping. That means electric cars and trucks, and the health and financial benefits they bring, will be accessible for more of Nevada’s families.