The promise of electric vehicles, or EVs, has been growing for years and is finally starting to bear fruit in Texas, of all places. An often-overlooked fact about Texas is that it’s one of the leading states in the nation when it comes to renewable energy — and that “green” attitude is now extending to automobiles as well. 

According to data from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Experian Information Solutions, the Lone Star State now ranks third in the country for the number of electric vehicles, leaving even California and Florida behind. This is a good sign for the future of electric vehicles and could be the start of a seismic shift in the American automotive landscape. In this article, we’ll delve further into the popularity of EVs in Texas (and elsewhere) and talk about some of the economic realities of embracing this new technology.

The State of the US Electric Vehicle Market

While the dream of electric vehicles has been slow to become reality, it’s definitely made progress in recent years. The technology that powers EVs is growing more sophisticated, the infrastructure is expanding across the United States, and sales of electric vehicles are up. This is especially evident in Texas, where more electric vehicles are hitting the road every year. Nationwide concerns about climate change and air quality have played a significant part in the increasing acceptance of electric vehicles, and as “zero emissions” becomes more of a priority, EVs are likely to see a steady rise in acceptance.

Government Incentives for EVs in Texas

Another major factor in the increased adoption of EVs has been incentives from the state government itself. The government of Texas has offered an array of benefits to both existing and potential EV owners, including tax credits, rebates, and grants intended to reduce the up-front cost of buying an electric vehicle. Many local utility companies also offer special rates or incentives for EV owners to make ownership even more appealing. With cost still playing a significant role in buyer hesitation, these incentives remain vitally important to the growth of the market.

The Benefits of an Electric Vehicle

Now, let’s talk a little about the benefits of driving an electric vehicle.

First, there’s the reality of never having to worry about gas prices at the pump. Recharging your EV is as simple as recharging your phone — if you have a charger at home or your workplace, all you have to do is plug it in. While this can be a problem in places where the infrastructure for EVs is still lacking, that infrastructure is growing.

For eco-conscious individuals, the cleaner, more environmentally friendly operation of electric vehicles is a major draw. While your emissions might not be zero, they’ll definitely be lower than those of a gas-powered car — and there’s even a comparison tool you can use to prove it.

Having an electric vehicle also means fewer-than-average trips to the repair shop. Routine maintenance is cheaper for EVs because they don’t experience the same wear and tear as a combustion engine might. For the most part, your maintenance will involve topping off fluids and changing or rotating your tires.

Believe it or not, one place where having an EV actually reduces paperwork is when it comes to registering your vehicle. Since EVs don’t have meaningful emissions, they don’t have to worry about passing state or national emission standards, which means they don’t have to make smog checks.

Another little-known perk of EVs is that you won’t need to brake nearly as often. Many EVs have a “one-pedal driving” approach, where simply laying off the accelerator will bring you to a stop. This means (once again) fewer trips to the service center to get your brakes changed.

What About Insurance?

One of the drawbacks to having an EV is that they do cost a little more to insure compared to traditional vehicles. This is not great news for Texas motorists, as they already pay more than the average for their car insurance — per numbers from The Zebra’s Ross Martin, a six-month car insurance policy is $993 in Texas, which is 13% more than the national average.

There are a few reasons for this. First, EVs run on advanced technology that costs more to replace and repair. The labor required to service EVs is also at something of a premium, which can drive rates up even further. Currently, Tesla is the only electric vehicle company that offers its own insurance, which is competitive and may even be more affordable compared to other insurers. Regardless, you shouldn’t expect to easily find cheap Texas car insurance if you’re buying electric.

But this is likely to change as both Texas and the nation increase acceptance of greener, cleaner transportation. Between government incentives and the improving economics of EV ownership, the future is looking bright for the next generation of automobiles.