The truth is the idea of a car that runs solely on a battery is a bit of an old-fashioned one. But technology is advancing, and at a very rapid pace. As more and more knowledge is accrued, so are the number of reasons to pick up the old ideas and make them new. In the early 2000s there were several electric cars that were introduced to the market, but few consumers had the money to purchase them. They were being introduced with a high price tag and a lack of appeal to the middle class consumer. Now as the 21st century continues companies like TESLA are making them at a more affordable price tag ($30,000 range). This price tag allows middle-class America to be able to think of electric as an option.
But why go electric at all? Are they really environmentally-friendly? Are they cheaper? Yes and no. Electricity is often powered by natural gas, or other natural byproducts that do cause emissions. However, cars themselves account for much of the pollution because of their dependency on oil, or gasoline. By plugging your car in, instead of taking it into the nearest gas station and filling it up with refined oil, you are reducing the emissions that you release on the road. This allows for cleaner air throughout the driving experience, for both you and other drivers. If you could imagine a world where all cars and trucks ran on this technology you could see how it would reduce smog/ emissions dramatically. Traffic-heavy states such as California might even have a truly clear day on the horizon.
Per money, yes, it’s true and documented to be true: Electric cars save you money in the long-run. You are not dependent on fluctuating oil prices, controlled by foreign imported oil. Electricity is generally cheaper because it is often powered by natural gas, a commodity that is less expensive and more readily available domestically, especially in the United States. In the 50 largest cities in the United States, there is an electricity rate plan that is setup to reduce the cost of electricity, including electric car owners. It has been documented that this can reduce your spending on your car up to $770 per year.
Electric cars are also easier to maintain. Think: No oil changes, no spark plugs, no corrosion due to oil, basically, no routine maintenance needed. Your car is cleaner overall and kept cleaner on a daily basis, without you having to do anything. That means less trips into the servicemen and less money out of your pocket, which inevitably is a surprise and shock to your bank account several times a year. By purchasing electric, you are saving money in the long term. Stats now estimate about $1500 over the course of a car’s life. This greater predictability when it comes to maintenance for your car can make buying an electric car much more attractive to a middle-class car shopper. Oftentimes cars become great headaches, not just because of the upfront costs but also because of the constant maintenance. Electric cars take this headache out of the equation and make a car purchase feel more stable and predictable.
Electric cars are also super convenient to have. Plugging in can be done at home – you don’t need to be constantly driving to the nearest gas station to refuel. You don’t need to plan your trip around gas station stops during road trips. You can often go for longer periods of time without needing to “fill up” on energy. By having the ability to power your car at home, you are able to have a full tank every morning. The fact that these cars are also much simpler in the way they are mechanized, organized and created add to their appeal as well. This again relates to the lower maintenance needs of the car. No more expensive costs of timing belts incurred 100,000 miles. But with the help of companies offering novated leasing programs, it is possible that electric cars will become more and more accessible in the near future.
Many people often don’t take the plunge and buy an electric car because they are nervous over the range, or how many miles it gets to the charge. Chevrolet introduced the Bolt in 2017 that made an affordable electric car with an all-electric driving range of over 200 miles. If you are looking to zip around the city, this is an ideal range and doesn’t require anxiety going from point A to point B.
But are these bullet points enough to sway the average driver? The truth is people want to have fun while driving. Electric cars tick this box as well because they produce more torque. They zip you around, and you can get from zero to sixty faster than many traditional gas cars. The idea of an electric car has been around for a long time. Finally, in 2018 there are too many good reasons to get one than to be unaffected by the hype.