St Paul, MN – A new report released this week found that net benefits from greater electric vehicle use in Minnesota could exceed $30 billion state-wide by 2050. The study, conducted by M.J. Bradley & Associates for the Natural Resources Defense Council, Charge Up Midwest, and Fresh Energy, found electric cars would also save all Minnesota residents – even those who do not own electric vehicles – as much as $120 per year on their electric bills.
Of the $30 billion cumulative net benefits from greater electric vehicles use in Minnesota, $10.2 billion would come from direct utility bill savings for all electric customers and $9 billion would accrue to drivers through reduced fuel and maintenance costs. The broader system savings come from using the electric grid more efficiently throughout the day and across the year, because electric vehicles can be charged overnight when electricity usage is low. Charging electric vehicles overnight can also help add more low-cost wind energy that often peaks at the night.
“Taking advantage of low-cost energy to charge electric vehicles, especially wind power available overnight, is a win-win,” said Annie Levenson-Falk, Executive Director of the Citizens Utility Board, an organization that advocates for affordable and reliable utility service and clean energy for residential and small business consumers across Minnesota. “It means all electric customers could save money as Minnesotans plug in more and more electric cars – even people who don’t drive them.”
On top of reduced electric and transportation fuel bills, greater adoption of electric vehicles would provide considerable environmental and health impacts. The study found increased electric vehicle use would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as over 110 million metric tons through 2050. And, since electric vehicles have no tailpipe emissions, they also reduce air pollution that harms public health. These emissions produce significant costs for families living near highways, freeways, and even neighborhood streets. The study estimated increase electric vehicle use would create $11.1 billion in environmental and public health benefits through 2050.
“Poor air quality contributes to roughly 2,000 deaths in Minnesota every year,” said Andrew Twite, Senior Policy Associate with Fresh Energy, an independent nonprofit that provides in-depth research and analysis on energy issues across Minnesota. “Adding electric vehicles will clean our air, save consumers money, and help accelerate the transition to renewable energy.”
“Driving on electricity frees consumers from the wild fluctuations of the global oil market, cleans the air, and improves the operation of the electric grid, lowering customer bills in the process. This study demonstrates Minnesota should accelerate the electric vehicle market to realize tens of billions of dollars in potential benefits,” said Max Baumhefner, Senior Attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Published on August 22, 2018