Electric cars are saving Americans billions — even people who don’t drive them

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A new study shows that drivers of electric cars are saving everyone billions of dollars on their monthly electricity bills — even the people who don’t drive EVs!

A recent report by a group called Synapse Energy Economics examined how much electric car owners paid for electricity and compared that with the cost for utilities to build, generate, and distribute that electricity. What it found was that, in aggregate, EV drivers provided more than $3 billion in net revenue to the grid between 2011 and 2021.

Rapid growth in electric vehicle (EV) adoption has raised the question of how EVs affect the electricity rates paid by all households, including those that do not own EVs. To answer this question, Synapse compared the electric utility revenues from EV charging with utility costs associated with serving EV load, including the costs of utility EV programs. The results of our analysis indicate that, since 2011, EVs have contributed much more in utility revenues than costs. Because of this, EVs have helped apply downward pressure on rates.

SYNAPSE ENERGY ECONOMICS, INC.

That downward pressure on utility rates will only increase as more electric cars hit the road and more inexpensive, renewable energy production hits the grid. The net effect is that the cost of electricity will go down for everyone while, at the same time, EVs are improving surface-level air quality and reducing rates of respiratory illness among children, the elderly, and America’s other vulnerable populations.

And, while these kinds of savings and benefits have been predicted by forward-looking studies for years, this study by Synapse (conducted on behalf of the Natural Resources Defense Council) is using over a decade of real-world data to confirm that vehicle electrification is producing this downward pressure effect on rates. This isn’t theory, in other words. It’s a fact.

What’s more, the study showed a correlation between the net rate impact and the number of EVs on the road. Translation: the more EVs there are on the road, the lower utility bills are for all customers. That’s good news for EV evangelists — and should make articles like this one an easy addition to their social media “quick draw” arsenals.

You can check out the entire study for yourself here, and let us know what you think of this latest “EV fun fact” in the comments.

Electrek’s Take

US grid interconnections
Power lines; by Ten West Link.

One of the (many) common misconceptions about EVs is that charging them will “crash” the electric grid, and that putting more electric cars on the road will require massive investments to upgrade the grid, ultimately driving up the cost of electricity. The data shows that simply isn’t the case … now all we have to do is get the anti-EV crowd to understand math.

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