Electric cars are becoming more mainstream, and you’re likely not alone in wondering whether an electric car is right for you. As the technology supporting electric cars (EVs) and batteries continue to improve, drawbacks such as high cost, limited range, performance issues, long charge time, and a dearth of charging stations are fading away.
Automotive giants such as Volvo are voicing their commitment to converting to electric car-only production in the very near future; and even luxury electric vehicles like Tesla are offering more affordable options to the consumer, altering public perception of electric cars as something only approachable by the elite.
Still not convinced? Keep reading.
Electric cars cost less than gas vehicles.
Electric cars cost less compared to conventional gas vehicles each year. As the cost of electric cars becomes the same as or less than existing vehicles the choice to ‘go electric’ will be obvious. Electric vehicles are already pretty affordable. The cost of operating an electric vehicle will already save you money of the life of the car.
In almost every way that counts, an electric car costs significantly less to run and maintain than a gas-powered car. There is no gas to buy, no oil changes, no smog tests, and fewer moving parts to break or wear out. In fact, many electric car owners go years without any repair or service bills at all.
Electric cars are better for the air we breathe.
Since electric cars have zero tailpipe emissions, we can look forward to cleaner air when there are more electric cars on the road. Cleaner air means less disease in the world, which means less stress on public health systems, hospitals, and so on. In addition, fewer greenhouse gas emissions will save the ozone layer and reduce our carbon footprint. If we can’t stop global warming, we can certainly slow down the onset, and EVs are nothing if not a good start.
Skip the gas station, you can ‘fill-up’ at home and work.
With no gas to buy, or oil to change. To refuel, you simply plug in at home, at work or opportunity charge on the road. As an added bonus to EV charging, the power going into your batteries is increasingly produced by renewable sources. Non-renewable electricity charging your electric car is generated domestically. Add a solar array to your home or work and your commute could pay for itself.
Electric cars are the future of transportation.
If you drive an electric car you’re obviously planning for the future. In addition to being counted among the ranks of the “coolest people around”, you’ll be making a difference for the environment, and saving money.
EVs have to pass the same safety tests as gas-powered vehicles.
EVs have to pass the same safety tests as gas-powered vehicles, so you can be assured that they are completely safe to operate. In fact many EVs score higher in crash test safety ratings, Tesla Model X for example has a perfect score. A widely-circulating concern about EV safety revolves around the potential for fire, but in reality, EVs are far less likely to catch fire than gas cars. On average, gas cars will catch fire at the approximate rate of 1 fire every 20 million miles driven. For EVs, the rate is 1 fire per 120 million miles driven. That’s 80% less if you’re taking notes.
Electric cars have low maintenance requirements.
With fewer moving parts, there are not many things to break or that need fixing on an electric car. This will save you a lot of time and money over the years: no more having to rent a car while yours is being serviced, no more oil changes, no more failed transmissions. Your mechanic might get a little lonely, but so it goes. You’ll still have brakes to maintain, though they will last much longer than they do on a gas-powered vehicle. Your biggest issue may be having to change out your battery, but most models today come with an 8-year/100K mile warranty. Batteries can last up to 15 years in a mild climate, and anyway you toss it, that’s pretty good value.
Electric cars are quiet inside and outside.
One of the first things you’ll notice about driving an electric car is the lack of noise. It’s slightly offsetting the first time you press the accelerator and it whirs to life from a dead-silent stop to a slightly less silent zip down the road. If you live in a big city, that lack of cabin noise extends to road noise. In places like Los Angeles, you can be in the middle of a lush canyon and still hear the freeway. Since electric cars make virtually no noise, you can look forward to a future filled with peace and silence, and maybe even a few chirping birds.
Electric vehicles are performance vehicles.
Since electric cars have extremely high torque power, their pickup is very quick and smooth, leaving gas-powered vehicles eating dust. Most people are quite surprised at how much more comfortable the ride is too, and some might say that it makes gas-powered cars seem clunky and clumsy. By all accounts, driving an electric car is an absolute pleasure – just ask Richard Branson, who sponsors the Formula E championship car.
Range anxiety is quickly becoming a thing of the past.
The performance of electric vehicles extends well beyond torque. Recent electric car models are making huge gains in range performance. This is possible because of advancements in battery technology as well as electric regenerative systems in vehicle braking.
A popular recent introduction, the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV is the first mass-produced electric car anywhere near affordable with an all-electric range of more than 200 miles. Another up and comer, the VW e-Golf sports a 124 mile (201 km) range. Considering the average commute is around 12 miles (20 km), this gives drivers a lot of wiggle room.
The government will pay you to drive one.
Depending on what state you live in, you might be eligible for a significant rebate or tax credit, simply for purchasing an electric car. Every EV purchased comes with a one-time $7500 federal tax credit, but individual states may tack on a little extra. You’ll also get a 30% tax credit for the purchase and installation of home charging gear – and since this applies to businesses too, there is a potential for massive tax savings
Your Electric Utility will help you pay for charging.
Considering nearly 80% of all EV charging occurs at home, the need to incentivize off-peak charging is becoming increasingly urgent. As EV technology continues to evolve and its inundation becomes inevitable, utilities will continue to join states and the federal government in supporting the rise of this technology. With special rate plans and rebates predominant amidst numerous options, these programs will become ever-more-widespread and will make entry into the EV market easier for the average consumer.
EV drivers enjoy privileges other drivers do not.
If all the previous reasons weren’t enough to convince you to go electric, maybe this will, privilege. You’ll finally get the preferential treatment you deserve or at least crave. Preferential parking spaces located near the entrance to stores, the ability to pass everyone in high-occupancy lanes on the highway and free public charging are just a few of the perks.
The choice to go electric, or not go electric.
As the downside inherent in any new technology fade away, to go EV or not to go EV will emerge as the easiest decision this generation has to face. Soon the technology skeptics criticisms over high cost, limited range, performance issues, long charge time, and a dearth of charging stations will fall upon deaf ears.