The Future of Electric and Hybrid Electric Vehicles in Washington, DC and Baltimore
In 2016, hybrid (HEV) and electric vehicles (EV) accounted for just one percent of all the vehicles sold worldwide. The industry estimates that by 2025 about 30 percent of all vehicles sold will be EVs and HEVs. Global sales for electric vehicles were up to 3.27 million as of 2019, and are expected to reach about 27 million by 2030.
The rapid growth of electric and hybrid vehicle popularity is considered by many in the industry to be a cataclysmic shift in the auto market. Government incentives, pollution regulations and the affordability of electricity as a fuel source are driving rapid EV adoption.
Auto Makers Committing to EV and HEV
In January 2021, General Motors made history by being the first major U.S. manufacturer to make a total commitment to EV. Their goal is to eliminate gasoline and diesel car, van and SUV production by 2035. GM also wants to be a carbon neutral company by 2040.
This switch will require a projected $27 billion investment into EV technologies and products between 2020 and 2025. At their current rate of change, GM is projecting that about 40 percent of their new vehicles will be pure EV by the end of 2025.
Many other manufacturers are committing huge sums of money into electrifying existing and future models. Volkswagen has plans for roughly 70 EV models by 2030 and aims to increase EV production to 22 million with a $33 billion investment. Ford, already a leader in the HEV and EV market, will have spent $11.5 billion on new EVs by the end of 2022.
One of President Joe Biden’s first actions in office was an order for the federal government’s fleet of roughly 645,000 vehicles to be converted to HEVs or replaced with EVs. Making that happen isn’t as easy as signing an order, but the symbolic gesture is an indication of where his administration wants to go.
Consider the Postal Service, which accounts for about 228,000 of those vehicles. The average age of a Postal Service truck is an astonishing 28 years, and the agency spends about $2 billion a year on maintenance. The new Postal Service truck design released in February 2021 isn’t completely electric, but the trucks are designed to be retrofitted for total EV in the future.
Maryland Is Outpacing Virginia in EV Adoption
The electric vehicle use rate in Virginia is still less than two percent, in large part due to a limited inventory of EVs and HEVs on new and used vehicle lots and a lack of purchasing incentives.
Maryland, on the other hand, was offering a limited quantity of $3,000 state excise tax credits for the purchase of a plug-in EV. The only problem is that money ran out in June 2020. There’s currently a local state bill, the Clean Cars Act of 2021 (HB 44), to extend $26 million worth of EV and HEV purchase credits per year through 2023.
The new Clean Cars Act would offer a $3,000 tax credit for plug-in or fuel cell EVs and a $1,500 tax credit for plug-in HEVs (with a minimum battery capacity of 5 kilowatt-hours).
The legislation also includes $1.8 million per year in rebates for people and businesses that install Electrical Vehicle Service Equipment (EVSE).
Is There Really Any Cost Savings for Drivers with an HEV or EV?
Absolutely – a 2018 University of Michigan study found that the average cost of powering an EV vehicle in the United States is only $485 a year compared to $1,117 for gasoline powered vehicles.
Fuel costs in the United States have vacillated wildly over the past 15 years, ranging from $1.50 to $4.00 a gallon. During that period EV drivers were paying about $1.20 on average for a gallons-worth of distance.
Can You Find Pre-Owned Electric and Hybrid Vehicles in Baltimore and Washington D.C.?
Yes, you can browse Easterns Automotive’s diverse selection of EVs and HEVs here.
EVs and HEVs represent the inevitable future of vehicle ownership. Based on some loose climate goals, 90 percent of the nation’s vehicles should be electric by 2050. None of these mandates or estimates are codified in permanent laws, but there’s no telling what types of EV and HEV regulations or requirements will be passed over the next 10 to 20 years.
There’s nothing to stop you from getting an electric or hybrid electric vehicle today and cutting your fuel costs in half. Depending on where you live you may also qualify for tax credits or other purchasing incentives.