It was just a few years ago that EVs were much more expensive than their combustion engine counterparts. However, electric cars are now becoming more popular every year, and you might be starting to wonder if you should consider buying one. The combination of improved battery technology, high-speed charging equipment and economies of scale in manufacturing, and the variety of EV companies have brought us to an inflection point.Here’s why people are joining the EV revolution and ditching their gas-guzzlers. In this article, we’ll highlight why electric cars are better than gas cars and discuss how switching over to energy efficient vehicles can have a positive environmental impact for future generations
Perhaps the best selling point of a vehicle with an electric motor is the zen-like experience in the passenger cabin. That’s because electric vehicles are quieter and offer smoother acceleration and deceleration, devoid of the vibrations, gear shifting and sounds of the internal combustion engine. Electric vehicles also have a lower center of gravity, which improves handling, responsiveness and safety.
Electric motors also generate instant linear torque, which cannot be matched by internal combustion engines. For that reason, they can easily outperform their fossil-fuel guzzling counterparts.
Transportation costs are the second largest expense after housing, for the majority of Americans. Trading in that gas-mobile for an EV can save an average of $770 per year on fuel alone.
For example, a 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV needs 28 kWh of electricity to go 100 miles, according to its EPA efficiency rating. If the owner drives 15,000 miles per year (~2,000 miles more than the average driver), they will need 4,200 kWh to power the Bolt. Using the average cost of electricity in the US, 12.47 cents per kWh, the Chevy Bolt EV will cost $525.00 per year to fuel.
In comparison, the average new ICE car sold in the US today gets 24.7 mpg while a gallon of gas costs an average of $2.72, so driving 15,000 miles per year would equate to $1,650.00 in fuel costs - a lot more than what Bolt drivers will spend to power their cars for a year. That’s thousands of dollars saved over several years of operation.
While many of the plug-in electric vehicles available today have a higher initial cost than ICE vehicles, don’t let that scare you away. Federal and state incentives, in the form of tax credits and rebates, are leveling the playing field. Before buying an EV, check out what federal, state and local electric car tax credits you may qualify for.
Finally, charge when power is cheap and get JuicePoints rewards or demand response rewards from your local utility.
Electric vehicles also have significantly less moving parts than conventionally-fueled vehicles, and therefore require much less maintenance. There’s no oil changes, fuel filters, timing belts or mufflers to replace. Over time, that will add up to a significant amount of time and savings. For example, routine ICE vehicle maintenance over a five year period costs:
|Oil changes every 5,000 miles @$45each (15)||$675.00|
|Engine air filter replacement||$50.00|
|Radiator hoses & system flush||$350.00|
|Total Maintenance Savings:||$1,475.00|
Then there’s the longer term maintenance items that are even more expensive, like exhaust systems and timing belts. None of these items, with the exception of brake pads, are found on an electric car. The brake pads savings are due to the EV’s regenerative braking system. This system uses the vehicle’s kinetic energy to recharge the battery, and reduces the need to use friction brakes. A typical internal combustion car will need to change its brake pads every 30,000 to 50,000 miles. EV owners have reported driving well over 100,000 miles without the need to replace the vehicle’s brake pads. EVs require such a limited amount of service, there’s little to no regularly-scheduled maintenance recommendation by the manufacturers.
Does anybody really like going to gas stations? Probably not. Plug-in electric vehicles allow you to charge at home or at work - it is as simple as plugging in your cell phone. Plugging into a home charging station only takes a few seconds, and you wake up with a “full tank” every morning or at the end of each work day.
Also, there’s no regularly-scheduled maintenance, so you don’t need to bring the car to the dealer every few months for an oil change or tune up - now that’s convenience! You also don’t have to worry about oil leaks staining your garage or driveway or smell gas ever.
Both the federal and local governments know electric vehicles are a better path forward, and want to provide as many incentives as possible to encourage drivers to make the switch. Additional EV perks include access to carpool lanes, reduced tolls, reserved parking, motor vehicle inspection exemption and free public charging in select areas.
Air pollution levels remain dangerously high in many parts of the world. New data from WHO shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. Transportation accounts for roughly 25% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.
“For all Americans, charging the average new EV produces far fewer global warming pollutants than driving the average new gasoline car. In some of the country’s cleanest regions (including parts of California, New York, and the Pacific Northwest), driving an electric car is equivalent to getting 85 miles per gallon,” according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. And on average, EVs offer 80% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than ICE vehicles.
Fortunately, the transition to zero emission technologies in the transportation sector is underway, promising cleaner air, a healthier climate and creating lasting benefits for future generations. If you want to make a positive environmental impact and reduce your carbon footprint, switching over to electric plug-in vehicles is the way to go.