Clean Air Day 2020 - Learn how to use an electric vehicle cost calculator

The UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies and National Center for Sustainable Transportation marked California Clean Air Day today by releasing a video to help consumers considering an electric vehicle purchase. Dr. Angela Sanguinetti explains how to use an electric vehicle cost calculator to understand whether an electric vehicle would save consumers money in the long run.


Replacing a conventional gasoline-powered vehicle with an electric one is a powerful action to reduce local air pollutants and greenhouse gases. Transportation is the single biggest air pollution source in California. But higher sticker prices can deter potential electric vehicle buyers. Online cost calculators can help consumers compare conventional and electric vehicles’ total lifetime costs to make an informed decision. Electric vehicles’ purchase incentives and lower fuel and maintenance costs often make them a cheaper option in the long run.

Dr. Sanguinetti, an environmental psychologist, has been researching various electric vehicle cost calculators to understand which elements make them most useful to consumers. Her team is using these findings to design an updated version of the EV Explorer tool that will be available in the coming months. The new tool will also help users understand the social and environmental costs of their purchase decisions.

Designed around individual actions, California Clean Air Day is a non-profit, statewide program built on the idea that shared experiences unite people to action to improve our community health. On October 7, 2020, millions of Californians will take simple, individual actions to clear the air and improve their health and the health of their community while still being socially distant. Over 650,000 people participated in 2019, and it is anticipated that many more will participate in 2020.

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