Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The long-term costs of owning an electric car in the U.S. are thousands of dollars lower than gasoline-powered models, a detailed new study by Energy Department researchers finds.

Why it matters: The peer-reviewed paper in Joule adds to the literature on costs by providing a granular, state-level look at power rates (including hourly variations), charging infrastructure types, regional gasoline price differences and other variables.

The bottom line: The paper finds "total projected fuel cost savings between $3,000 and $10,500 compared with gasoline vehicles" over a 15-year time horizon. But the savings could be even higher.

"Regional heterogeneities and uncertainty on lifetime vehicle use and future fuel prices produce even greater variations," notes the analysis from researchers with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory.

My thought bubble: While lifetime fuel costs may influence some buyers, it's the vehicle price that looms larger.

So reaching cost-parity and finding affordable models will likely do more to spur adoption than evidence of lower fuel expenses on a long-term basis.

The big picture: It comes as EVs, which typically have higher up-front costs, remain a niche market in the U.S.

  • But new models are coming to market and a victory by Joe Biden, who has pledged to promote EVs via tougher emissions rules and building our charging infrastructure, could quicken adoption.
  • Advocates are also pushing for expansion of tax credits for buying EVs, which are now capped at 2o0,000 vehicles per manufacturer for the full $7,500 credit.

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Sep 17, 2020 - World

Prime minister pledges 100% renewable energy generation in New Zealand by 2030

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the Manukau Institute of Technology in Auckland, New Zealand, this month. Photo: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

New Zealand's prime minister has pledged to achieve 100% renewable energy in the country by 2030 if her party wins re-election in October.

Why it matters: NZ plunged on Thursday into its worst recession in over 30 years, after its GDP fell 12.2% following two straight quarters of negative growth amid some of the world's toughest pandemic restrictions, though the drop was less than the 23.5% decrease projected in the May budget.

Hundreds gather to pay tribute to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg along Supreme Court steps

Photo: Alex Brandon/AP

At the Supreme Court steps Friday night hundreds of people gathered to pay tribute to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — singing in a candlelight vigil, with some in tears.

Details: If there is a singular mood at the Supreme Court tonight, it’s some kind of a daze manifested by silence. 

A court fight for the ages

The flag flies at half-staff as people mourn on the Supreme Court steps last night. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Ruth Bader Ginsburg — feminist icon, legal giant, toast of pop culture — left this statement with granddaughter Clara Spera as cancer closed in: "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed."

The big picture: For all that the nation owes "Notorious RBG" — the hip-hop-inspired nickname she enjoyed and embraced — Republicans are planning to do their best to be sure her robe is quickly filled, despite that last wish, with her ideological polar opposite.