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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.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Sep 30, 2020 - Economy & Business

Why the real estate boom could keep going for years

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Even after reaching all-time high average prices and sales numbers not seen since the height of the 2000s boom, the housing market still has lots of room to run, experts say.

What's happening: There were fears in late 2019 and early this year that price levels had outpaced income growth and become unsustainable — but record-low mortgage rates and promises by the Fed to keep U.S. interest rates at zero through at least 2023 have lit a new fire under the market.

4 mins ago - Podcasts

Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reviewing two emergency use authorization requests for COVID-19 vaccines, with an outside advisory committee scheduled to meet next Thursday to review data from Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.

Axios Re:Cap digs in with former FDA commissioner Rob Calif about the EUA process, the science and who should make the final call.

The recovery needs rocket fuel

Data: BLS. Chart: Axios Visuals

Friday's deeply disappointing jobs report should light a fire under Congress, which has dithered despite signs the economy is struggling to kick back into gear.

Driving the news: President-elect Biden said Friday afternoon in Wilmington that he supports another round of $1,200 checks.