Cash, Cars & Climate Change: The Average Driver In Florida Would Expect $6,071 If They Were Forced To Go Electric

October 13, 2022

According to a UN Report, we have just over 10 years to get Climate Change under control and save the planet. Both institutions and individuals bear responsibility for making significant changes, say experts, which is why the State of California took a monumental step towards reducing Carbon Emissions by recently approving a Ban on New Gas-Powered Cars by the year 2035. In other recent news, France has announced an incentive to pay drivers the equivalent of nearly $4,000 to swap out their old gas-fueled car for a more sustainable, City-appropriate electric bicycle.

So as Governments introduce Policies to tackle Climate Change, can it be said that individuals are taking similar steps? Not so much, according to a survey by Gunther Volkswagen Delray Beach, who asked 3,021 drivers to determine how much they would expect to be subsidized in cash to swap out their gas-powered car for a Zero-Emission Vehicle.

While Tax Incentives for switching over to electric vehicles do exist, it appears that a sizable proportion of our nation’s drivers feel Tax Breaks aren’t enough - instead, they prefer hard cash as compensation. It was found that the average driver in Florida would accept no less than $6,071 in cash if an all-electric car policy was enforced and they had to switch up their vehicle. This compares to a national average of $5,988.

However, the level of compensation differs depending on location. Drivers in New Hampshire, the Live Free or Die State, feel they should be paid a whopping $12,698 in cash if they were forced to trade in their gasoline vehicles for cleaner electric ones. Comparatively, Wyoming drivers would be more willing to make this switch, saying they’d want a $3,131 in a cash subsidy to do so.

The survey also uncovered other interesting findings. Nearly half (49%) of drivers think it’s a good idea for the Government to offer cash incentives to encourage people to switch from gas-powered vehicles to cleaner alternatives. However, more than half of drivers (65%) said despite steps towards more sustainable alternatives, they don’t think the evolution of electric cars is happening fast enough to help effectively combat Climate Change.

Additionally, an overwhelming majority (88%) of drivers said they don’t think it’s a realistic plan to electrify every car on the road within just 30 years, as California is aiming to do.

However, 1 in 10 (13%) said they support the idea of banning gasoline vehicles from driving through all cities and major urban areas.

Encouragingly, 43% of drivers said the main reason they would switch from a gasoline to electric-powered car would be to help contribute towards a cleaner planet. More than 1 in 4 (27%) said the main reason would be to receive money back in Tax Credits, while 18% would do it to save on fuel and maintenance costs. However, 7% would do it for the benefit of being able to drive solo in the carpool lane and 5% said they’d make the swap to enjoy having fun with higher auto performance.

The Inflation Reduction Act

Interest in electric vehicles is predicted to surge next year due to expanded Tax Credits through the Federal Inflation Reduction Act. EV popularity also should see a boost as California, the largest domestic car market, is expected to Ban sales of New Gas-Powered Passenger Vehicles by 2035, essentially requiring them to be electric.

As part of the new Inflation Reduction Act — designed to address climate change, healthcare and Taxes — there is a new Tax Credit of up to $4,000 on used electric cars and revised Tax Credits of up to $7,500 on certain new EVs.

Among other provisions, The New Bill:

• Offers a new Tax Credit of up to $4,000 on used EVs put into service after December 31st, 2023.
• Takes away the 200,000 vehicle cap on Tax Credits that made EVs and plug-in hybrids from Tesla, GM and Toyota ineligible.
• Does away with existing Tax Credits for pricey EVs—such as the Hummer EV, Lucid Air and Tesla Model S and Model X.
• Eliminates Tax Credits for vehicles not assembled in North America, including the BMW i4, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6 and Toyota bZ4X.

Only vehicles assembled in North America will be eligible for a Tax Credit and the exclusion of vehicles with components from “foreign entities of concern,” including Russia and China, will go into effect December 31st, 2023. Starting in 2024, dealerships will be able to offer the value of a Tax Credit up front to consumers. This may simplify the process for car buyers.

What can also be helpful for Florida residents is the new provision for Bidirectional EV chargers - ones that can also power your house using the energy stored in your car’s battery. These are now eligible for Tax Incentives and these types of vehicles could be useful after a Hurricane.