claim: Electric Vehicles (EVs) are unpopular, unaffordable and unsafe.

fact: EVs are selling fast, saving consumers money, creating jobs and are just as safe as the average gas-fueled vehicle.

  • 155,000 Americans were employed by suppliers of clean and efficient vehicle components in 2011. (Source: NRDC/NWF/UAW, http://bit.ly/q0i8kI)
  • More than 501,369 electric drive vehicles – hybrids, extended range and battery – have been purchased in the U.S. so far this year. That’s over 1,582 per day. (Source: Electric Drive Transportation Association, http://bit.ly/NFjm5e)
  • There are eight models of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles that retail for under $32,000. (Source: Media Matters, http://bit.ly/HN06Vy, http://engt.co/R6dmHv, http://bit.ly/OKTEB4). By comparison, the average price of a car purchased in the United States in April 2012 was approximately $30,000. (Source: True Car, http://bit.ly/PLVmzl)
  • Maintenance costs for electric drive vehicles are as much as 50% lower than traditional gasoline vehicles, thanks to fewer fluids to change, significantly reduced brake wear due to regenerative braking, and far fewer moving parts. (Source: Center for Automotive Research, http://bit.ly/L07he8 and US Department of Energy, http://bit.ly/QBLmGY)
  • By 2020, it could be cheaper to own an electric vehicle than a traditional gas-powered car. If average gas prices are at or over $3.50/gal in the U.S., manufacturers will be able to offer even more cost-competitive electric vehicles once battery prices hit just $250/kilowatt before 2020. This could happen sooner if gas prices – currently at $3.70/gal – continue to spike. (Source: McKinsey & Company, http://bit.ly/NhMhMR)
  • The LA Times published a mea culpa after running a story that misstated the facts about electric vehicles. When the author admitted his mistake, he noted, “…in terms of cumulative ownership costs, the Leaf is pretty much even with the Mini, Focus, Prius and Civic until after five years, when it starts to surpass them all.”(Source: Los Angeles Times, http://lat.ms/PlXZvQ)
  • The price of batteries—a key component of EV cost—could fall 66% by 2020. According to McKinsey & Co., battery costs “could fall from $500 to $600 per kilowatt hour (kWh) in 2012 to about $200/kWh by 2020 and to about $160/kWh by 2025.”(Source: McKinsey & Company, http://bit.ly/T1qXQX)
  • The U.S. military is embracing electric vehicles – The Army is placing electric vehicles at more than 40 installations and the DOD aims to integrate about 1,500 road-capable electric vehicles over the next few years. (Source: Stars and Stripes, http://bit.ly/SiJHuf )
  • “The Department of Energy, with strong bipartisan support, awarded $2 billion in grants to 29 companies to build or retool 45 manufacturing facilities spread across 20 states to build advanced batteries, engines, drive trains and other key components for electric vehicles. More than 30 of these plants are already in operation, employing thousands of American workers, and our grants were matched dollar for dollar (or more) by private investments.”(Source: Department of Energy: http://1.usa.gov/REqXCX)
  • The advanced battery market is expanding dramatically in the United States and around the world — from $5 billion in 2010 to nearly $50 billion in 2020, an average annual growth rate of roughly 25 percent.(Source: US Department of Energy: http://1.usa.gov/REqXCX)
  • Concerns about vehicle range are exaggerated: the Telsa Model S is capable of travelling 250 miles per charge. (That’s Boston to New York with roughly 50 miles to spare.) For reference, in 2009 the average American traveled 28.97 miles in a vehicle per day. (Source: Green Car Congress, http://bit.ly/MGLNRN and US Department of Transportation, http://1.usa.gov/T1ErI4)
  • EVs are safe.  According to the National Fire Protection Agency, there were an estimated 184,500 conventional highway vehicle fires in 2010, and 31,000 other non-highway vehicle (equipment) fires.  In the extremely rare incidents where a fire has involved an EV, no findings of any relationship to the electric drive components have been found.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration thoroughly examined the safety of EVs in accidents and found no real-world electric vehicle crashes that resulted in battery-related fires. (Source: National Fire Protection Agency, http://bit.ly/N3fEBG; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, http://1.usa.gov/TJJ5xC)
  • Electric vehicles have to pass the same rigorous safety tests as conventional vehicles. There are also special safety tests for the batteries and battery-casing used in electric vehicles. (U.S. Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center, http://1.usa.gov/QBLmGY)

claim: The solar industry can’t compete, and that’s why companies are going out of business.

fact: The U.S. solar industry is growing, is cost competitive in many markets, and is lowering costs dramatically.

  1. In 2011, U.S. solar photovoltaic installations grew by over 100%; the value of the systems installed in 2011 alone was more than $8.5 billion. (Source: Solar Energy Industries Association, http://slidesha.re/AuCU8p)
  2. In the first three months of 2012, solar installations grew 85% compared to first three months of 2011. (Source: Bloomberg, http://b.globe.com/KoZzcW)
  3. The solar industry employs over 100,000 people. (Source: The Solar Foundation, http://bit.ly/qvk7fH).
  4. The average installed cost of solar systems declined 20% in the U.S. in 2011. (Source: Solar Energy Industries Association, http://bit.ly/xEPsn7)
  5. The price of polysilicon, a key component of photovoltaic solar panels, has fallen 75% since 2008. (Source: Bloomberg, Credit Suisse, http://bit.ly/LaOjNf)
  6. Analysts predict that over the next decade, $800 billion – $1.2 trillion will be invested in the solar industry globally. (Source: McKinsey & Company, http://bit.ly/InVamF)

To learn more, see our Energy Issues pages on Jobs, Deployment, and Investment.

claim: The electric vehicle industry is failing – sales are low and companies are closing their doors.

fact: The electric vehicle industry in the United States is selling to a growing market.

  1. So far in 2012, more than 150,000 electric drive vehicles – hybrids, extended range and battery – have been purchased in the United States. That’s about 1,000 a day. (Source: Electric Drive Transportation Association, http://bit.ly/JJXV0w)
  2. 155,000 Americans were employed by suppliers of clean and efficient vehicle components in 2011. (Source: NRDC/NWF/UAW, http://bit.ly/q0i8kI)
  3. There are six models of electric and hybrid vehicles that retail for under $32,000. (Source: Media Matters, http://bit.ly/HN06Vy). By comparison, the average price of a car purchased in the United States in April 2012 was approximately $30,000. (Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, http://bit.ly/IRrlzp)

claim: The wind industry in the United States is struggling.

fact: The American wind industry continues to lower costs, expand installations and create jobs.

  1. Wind energy was the number one source of new electricity generating capacity added in the U.S. in 2012. With 10,689 megawatts of capacity added, wind energy added 20% more capacity than natural gas and double the capacity added by coal. (Source: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, http://1.usa.gov/S4Z4IV)
  2. The U.S. wind industry has leveraged $90 billion of private investment over the last 5 years. (Source: American Wind Energy Association, http://bit.ly/18nQOw5)
  3. The cost of wind turbines has dropped by 33% since 2008. (Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, http://1.usa.gov/PU0IpB)
  4. The U.S. wind industry supports over 550 factories that produce components for wind energy, employing 80,000 Americans in 2012. (Source: AWEA, http://bit.ly/12PfB5u)
  5. Wind energy was largely responsible for an unexpected surge in American economic growth in the 4th quarter of 2012. (Source: USA Today, http://usat.ly/10hMW60)

To learn more, see our Energy Issues pages on Investment and Deployment.

claim: Clean and renewable energy is not a good investment.

fact: Major investors and U.S. companies like Berkshire Hathaway, Google and General Electric are continuing to put billions of dollars into clean energy in the United States.

  1. The United States led the world in clean energy investment in 2011. (Source: Pew Charitable Trusts / Bloomberg New Energy Finance, http://bit.ly/HtRYoB)
  2. In 2011, clean energy investment in the United States was $48.1 billion, a 42% increase from 2010. (Source: Pew Charitable Trusts / Bloomberg New Energy Finance, http://bit.ly/HtRYoB)
  3. Cleantech was the #1 category of new venture capital in the U.S. in 2011. (Source: Clean Edge / CleanTech Group, http://bit.ly/xXtqxH)
  4. Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company has committed $6 billion to U.S. wind energy. (Source: Bloomberg, http://bloom.bg/yIaBfs)
  5. Google has invested nearly $1 billion in clean energy. (Source: Businessweek, http://buswk.co/GzB0sU)
  6. Goldman Sachs plans to invest $40 billion in renewables over the next decade.(Source: Reuters, http://reut.rs/JIKpzg)

To learn more, see our Energy Issues pages on Investment and Deployment.

claim: Clean and renewable energy are just for the “coasts” – not the South or Midwest.

fact: Clean, renewable energy is being produced and is supporting jobs in every region of the country, including many regions not traditionally associated with clean energy.

  1. The 5 states that receive the highest percentage of their electricity from wind power are all in the Midwest: Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Kansas. (Source: AWEA, http://bit.ly/11RHxmh)
  2. A recent study showed that adding more wind to the grid could save Midwestern households between $65 and $200 each year. (Source: Synapse Energy Economics / ACEG, http://bit.ly/JDVPUZ)
  3. 3 of the U.S.’s 5 most productive wind farms are in Texas. (Source: AWEA, http://bit.ly/165i3XY)
  4. American bio-fuel production saved the Midwest $1.69 per gallon of gasoline in 2012. (Source: The Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, http://bit.ly/Kdoudi)
  5. Arizona is second in the U.S. in terms of solar electric capacity. Nevada and Colorado are fourth and fifth, respectively. (Source: Solar Energy Industry Associates, http://bit.ly/11v1bWg)
  6. 16 states get more than 10% of their electricity from renewable resources. (Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, http://bit.ly/HtQ38b)
  7. The country’s top 10 hydropower producing states include Arizona, Alabama, North Carolina and Tennessee. (Source: National Hydropower Association, http://bit.ly/Ign5VJ)
  8. Nearly 1,000 companies in the South and Rustbelt states are part of the U.S. hydropower industry’s supply chain. (Source: National Hydropower Association, http://bit.ly/Ign5VJ)

To learn more, see our Energy Issues page on Costs.