Gasoline is already over $6 a gallon in California.  Experts are predicting those prices nationwide by the Fall.  It might go even higher if there's a hurricane in the Gulf that has a long term impact on refining capacity in that high density petroleum region.  These prices are an emergency for more and more American households.

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
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With that in mind, many people are fantasizing about electric vehicles. Auto manufacturers are investing in more and more electric vehicles.  They are getting sportier and with increased mileages on a single charge. There would be some definite advantages, but....

Photo by Andreas Dress on Unsplash
Photo by Andreas Dress on Unsplash
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There are some major drawbacks to electric vehicles here in San Angelo.

For one thing, there just aren't a lot of public charging stations.  In fact, Plugshare.com only lists seven public charging stations in San Angelo.  The first one was at Jim Bass/Ford  Nissan, 4052 West Houston Harte Expressway in San Angelo. They also list charging stations at the San Angelo KOA Holiday and the Goodfellow  Recreation Park. For a city this size in 2022, that's not a lot. Wichita Falls has 95, Sweetwater 14, even Stephenville has 11.  The nearest Tesla Supercharger is in Ozona.

Photo: Tesla Motors
Photo: Tesla Motors
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Even with that said, 95% of electric vehicle charging is performed at home. It is not too overly difficult to build a home charging station for your electric vehicle.

Photo by dcbel on Unsplash
Photo by dcbel on Unsplash
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Even though there are few charging stations in the area, Texas is one of the friendliest states in America for plug in cars overall. The state is planning to invest hundreds of millions in mostly federal dollars to increase the electric vehicle infrastructure.

Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash
Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash
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If you scan car sales ads for San Angelo, there are a number of electric vehicles available for sale in the market. While it is true that gas powered vehicles are less expensive and easier to refuel most of the benefits of owning an electric vehicle have nothing to do with costs.  One of the biggest pros is the reduced need for regular maintenance.  There are no oil changes or mechanical components to break under hood, no exhaust systems.  Many people report that driving an electric vehicle is more relaxing, because there is no engine noise.

Photo by Courtney Rose on Unsplash
Photo by Courtney Rose on Unsplash
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Electric vehicles also offer significant performance benefits. The immediate torque and acceleration make them fun to drive in on a regular commute.  There are also tax credits.  The U.S. Government gives a one time tax credit up to $7500.  Texas offers a $2500 rebate with the Texas EV Rebate program and accepts 2000 applications per year.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
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However, since EV drivers don't pay gasoline taxes and they maintain highways, some lawmakers in Texas are proposing a yearly fee for electric vehicle drivers.  This fee could top $400 for drivers who drive over 9000 miles a year. Other states are also looking at fees.

Photo by Chanhee Lee on Unsplash
Photo by Chanhee Lee on Unsplash
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Other disadvantages of EV's include the time of re-charge. Given the general unavailability of public charging stations in West Texas to start, then add the fact that re-charging an EV can take awhile, this makes driving an EV very inconvenient for many driver.  Road trips can be an exceptional hassle.  Having to stop for a half an hour or more when trying to get to a distant location,  is not practical for many drivers.

Photo by Jenny Ueberberg on Unsplash
Photo by Jenny Ueberberg on Unsplash
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EV's are also expensive to buy.  Plus, over time the electric batteries begin to lose their ability to store energy.  These cars can become worthless when their advertised range is no longer attainable.

Photo by Jean-christophe Gougeon on Unsplash
Photo by Jean-christophe Gougeon on Unsplash
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To me though, there must be a certain allure to gliding past those ever-higher gasoline prices.  Usually, interest in electric vehicles spikes when gas prices are high, but tend to wane as prices come down.  Historically, gas prices have always gone back down significantly when they reach their highest points.  Will the current gasoline price spikes be like all the others?  Only time will tell.  It must just be different this time.  With ever higher battery ranges and stylish features, EV's are starting to turn a lot of heads.

 

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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