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Biden administration moves to protect Alaska wilderness; opening statements and first witness in NY trial; SCOTUS hears Starbucks case, with implications for unions on the line; rural North Carolina town gets pathway to home ownership.

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The Supreme Court weighs cities ability to manage a growing homelessness crisis, anti-Israeli protests spread to college campuses nationwide, and more states consider legislation to ban firearms at voting sites and ballot drop boxes.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Report: EV puts money back into Michigan drivers' pockets

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Friday, February 9, 2024   

Michigan is seeing growth in new electric-vehicle market share, and EV enthusiasts say lower prices are just part of their appeal.

The latest analysis by the Environmental Defense Fund and WSP, an engineering design firm, found 37 EV models can now be purchased for less than $48,000. Another 10 models have price tags of less than $35,000.

Gail Kolstoe, an electric-vehicle owner who lives in Michigan and supports Motor City-native manufacturers, said thinking about the environment doesn't have to be a sacrifice, and she has found the EV experience quite simple.

"It's so easy, it's just like plugging in your hair dryer," she said. "We did go ahead and have the 240 outlet put into our garage. In Michigan, there are a lot of people that already have that."

A report by Anderson Economic Group notes Michigan is slightly below the national average for having enough electric charging stations. As of last year, there were 200 public DC fast-charging stations, with four added in 2023.

Alex Wall, senior advisor for clean-energy economy with the advocacy group Climate Power, said Michiganders should consider all the cost savings available - not only at the time of purchase, but over the years. He said even trucks such as the Ford F-150, which people don't traditionally consider a "clean energy" option, have an EV "Lightning" version. Over a 10-year period, Wall said, it offers a savings of more than $21,000 compared with its gas-powered counterparts.

"A wide variety of vehicle types meet the needs of American workers and families," he said. "And so, whether that's a truck, an SUV, a family sedan, cars at all levels are saving folks significant money, both when it comes to fueling up versus charging - and also, significantly lower maintenance costs."

Ellen Robo, manager for transportation and clean-air policy for the Environmental Defense Fund, said EVs are having an impact on the U.S. economy.

"We are seeing an enormous amount of investment in jobs since the Inflation Reduction Act was passed," she said. "Associated with those investments are 180,000 direct jobs; we could expect 800,000 additional indirect and induced jobs as a result."

The Inflation Reduction Act requires that EVs be assembled in North America in order
to qualify for new vehicle consumer tax credits. The first quarter of 2023 saw an uptick of 39% more electric vehicles manufactured in North American factories than in the first quarter of the previous year.

Disclosure: Environmental Defense Fund contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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