This Earth Day, Free Yourself of Fossil Fuels and Auto Debt
April 22, 2022
This Earth Day, Free Yourself of Fossil Fuels and Auto Debt
It is hard to dissociate the world’s dependence on fossil fuels from the massive debt weighing on hundreds of millions of Americans. Past generations have racked up an enormous climate debt for millennials and Gen Z, who will be forced to pick up the bill, literally and figuratively, for their predecessors’ greenhouse gas-generating activities. Every gas-guzzling vehicle marks another line of credit against a warming Earth.
But when it comes to the automotive industry, there’s another, more immediate kind of debt tied to fossil fuels: the $1.46 trillion in auto loans that Americans effectively owe, accounting for 9.4% of the country’s overall consumer debt. Buying and leasing cars is one of the top ways Americans accrue debt, which can have a crushing impact on their own prosperity.
With Earth Day upon us, Americans should consider liberating themselves from both fossil fuels and debt by subscribing to an electric vehicle. Two-thirds of Americans believe the government should do more on climate change. Remember this Earth Day as the time you started thinking seriously about curbing your own carbon footprint and distancing yourself from the long-term debt-first model of mobility.
Here are three reasons to consider an EV subscription:
1. Make a smarter choice for the planet
EVs significantly outperform traditional, internal combustion engine vehicles when it comes to limiting emissions that exacerbate climate change. For example, the Tesla Model 3, which is available via the EV subscription service Autonomy, emits less than half the carbon dioxide emissions per mile of a midsized combustion engine vehicle.
Many have wondered just how green EVs are. After all, they run on electricity, which is sourced from power plants that use a combination of renewable energy sources and fossil fuels. Plus, only about 5% of lithium-ion batteries, which power many EVs, are recycled, while the more commonly used lead-acid batteries are recycled at a rate of 99%.
But analyses have found that, even though EVs largely involve some emissions given their connections to partially coal-powered power plants, driving an EV produces fewer emissions than internal combustion engine cars in 95% of the world. The figure is even better in places where grids rely mostly on renewable energy sources instead of fossil fuels. And with the U.S. and other countries rapidly transitioning to renewable energy, driving an EV will only get greener in the years to come.
As for batteries, Tesla recycles 100% of its scrapped lithium-ion batteries, most of which come from the R&D process, not customer use, according to the company’s 2020 Impact Report. Relatively few batteries come back from customers because Tesla has optimized its vehicles so that batteries last longer — a strategy the company calls the “most sustainable option” when it comes to limiting the environmental impact of battery use. And as for batteries that do come back? One hundred percent of them are remanufactured or recycled.
2. Embrace debt-free living
Choosing an EV means choosing not to further indebt future generations to the greenhouse gas emissions previous generations have racked up, fostering the current climate crisis. But with subscriptions, drivers have an the opportunity to eliminate another, more immediate kind of debt: auto loans. The latter has been the default model of purchasing or leasing cars for decades, saddling drivers with monthly payments and interest that they cannot simply cut off if they decide a vehicle is no longer right for them.
EV subscriptions were created to tackle both of these problems at once. This Earth Day and beyond, drivers can sign up for a Tesla Model 3 subscription on their phone and get behind the wheel of an environmentally friendly car within as little as a week. They can choose a startup fee and a monthly fee that fits their budget. What’s more, they can cancel the subscription with just 28 days’ notice after three months, and walk away with no long-term contracts, no cancellation fee and no hassles.
On top of that, a Tesla Model 3 subscription with Autonomy covers roadside assistance, and routine maintenance, like tire rotation, worn tire and cabin air filter replacement, and compartment checkups. Avoiding these "surprise fees" helps you stick to your planned vehicle budget. And if that ever changes, you just walk away, benefiting from the same subscription flexibility offered by so many other sectors of the modern economy.
3. Get the flexibility to upgrade to greener, sleeker wheels
The first Earth Day was held in April 1970 to honor peace and the Earth all humans share. When the tradition started, the activists who gave birth to it could have hardly imagined the urgency with which people with environmental concerns around the world would gather 50 years later to reverse the effects of climate change, the most existential threat of our time. In fact, even ten years ago, it would have been unthinkable that auto giants such as General Motors would commit to stop selling gas-powered cars and light trucks by 2035. The standards for environmental protection and automotive excellence are rising each year.
To that end, an EV subscription provides the flexibility to act to better the environment and transcend long-term debt today while gaining options to upgrade that commitment tomorrow. The EV industry is constantly rolling out better cars and improving the ones in the market to lower emissions and supply additional features that make driving cars such as the Tesla Model 3 a delight. With a subscription, you get the power to adopt the latest technology when the time is right without feeling stuck to a choice you made years ago.
EV subscriptions are empowering drivers to boost their commitment to a greener planet this Earth Day. And even greener, sleeker cars are on the horizon. Lead the charge into that future by checking out an EV subscription today.
Joe writes about the business of technology. He's the founder of the tech business content studio Sharp Pen Media and has written articles for Forbes, AdWeek, AdExchanger, and Street Fight, where he's been managing editor since 2018.