Looking for relief? The Clean Cars Nevada program could be the answer

Looking for relief? The Clean Cars Nevada program could be the answer

By Quinta Warren

In recent months Nevada drivers have seen a steady increase in gasoline prices across the state. With people getting back to work in offices and travel restrictions easing, there’s been a strain on gas supply while demand rises. According to AAA the national average cost for a gallon of gas is about $3.28, while Nevada drivers are paying, on average, about $3.88 and in some areas over $4.00 per gallon every time they fill up. 

With the cost of necessities climbing, the COVID-19 pandemic still ravaging communities, and extreme weather events occurring regularly across the country due to the climate crisis, it’s quite clear, now more than ever, that everyone could use some relief.

Nevada consumers may be in luck soon. Thanks to the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection for leading a robust rule making process, consumers across the Silver State are very close to benefiting from the Clean Cars Nevada program. In September, the State Environmental Commission (SEC) unanimously approved the program and it now moves to the Nevada Legislative Commission for a vote. If approved, Nevada consumers will benefit from having more options for low-emission and electric vehicles available for sale in the state starting in model year 2025. With more clean cars on the road, Nevada residents would enjoy improved air quality and better overall public health. 

If you’ve recently shopped in Nevada for a new electric vehicle, you may have noticed that your options for affordable EVs are sparse. That’s because there are only a dozen or so vehicle models, out of hundreds, that are fully battery-electric on the market in the state, with none of them being pickup trucks or full-size SUVs. 

Results from a 2020 Consumer Reports state-wide representative survey make this even more disappointing, as we found that nearly three out of four Nevada adult drivers have an interest in buying or leasing an electric vehicle, and about 10 percent of Nevada consumers plan to buy an EV for their next car purchase.

However, with limited choices, Nevada consumers are left with a couple of options that don’t make the path to EV ownership easy: leave the state and spend their dollars on an electric vehicle in neighboring California, or, buy a pollution-emitting gas-powered vehicle that costs a lot more to maintain and repair over the life of the car compared to an EV. 

Nevada car buyers shouldn’t have to cross state lines to find the vehicle they’re looking for and local dealers shouldn’t have to lose out on business when they do. 

Read the full op-ed published in the Las Vegas Sun