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6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Social Studies, Economics, Justice, Climate Action

Regional Focus

North America, United States


YouTube Video

How Much Does an Electric Car Actually Cost?

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  • This brief video is about the cost of electric vehicles compared to gas-powered vehicles, including the accessibility of the tax write-offs to people at different income levels. 
  • Students will learn about the lifetime cost of ownership, sticker price, charging stations, and tax incentives for two otherwise identical vehicles. 
Teaching Tips


  • This is a great video to help students understand that "cheaper" items may not be cheaper if you consider some of the additional costs of ownership.
  • It addresses the disparity of charging stations and accessibility of the tax incentives for electric vehicles.

Additional Prerequisites

  • It may be helpful to have students research the costs of oil changes, gasoline, transmission fluid, and the many other parts and fluids that are required to maintain a gasoline-powered vehicle.


  • Math and economics classes could use this resource as a hook for learning arithmetic, personal finance, or budgeting.
  • Social studies classes could use this resource to discuss the accessibility of climate solutions and a just transition to a clean energy economy.
  • Other resources to consider on this topic include this lesson plan on government spending and this article about the disproportionate contribution to climate change made by those with more financial resources.
Scientist Notes
Transportation is one of the leading industries of carbon emissions. In order to decrease emissions from the transportation sector, electric cars must become more common. This resource breaks down the cost and some of the reasons electric vehicles may be out of reach. Please note that the resource does offer some opinions but also offers all of their sources. This resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.1.6-8 Explain how economic decisions affect the well-being of individuals, businesses, and society.
      • D2.Eco.2.6-8 Evaluate alternative approaches or solutions to current economic issues in terms of benefits and costs for different groups and society as a whole.
      • D2.Eco.1.9-12 Analyze how incentives influence choices that may result in policies with a range of costs and benefits for different groups.
  • Related Resources


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