Is Going Green the Future?
The future is green and smog-free: electric cars have been steadily gaining ground (pun intended) on traditional, combustion-driven, gas-fueled vehicles, and it’s no wonder more and more people are taking a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of buying their very own electric cars. Going Green on the Road has both pros and cons.
Going Green – Electric Car Pros
It’s nice that consumers are more concerned about the environmental impact of traditional vehicles, but as consumers, they also need to know what pros electric cars offer them.
» Better Ride Quality
What sets electric cars apart is the improved ride quality: it’s all smooth and quiet. Car enthusiasts in the past may have preferred the noise of a muscle car and the roaring combustion engine, but people are over that fad. These days, what makes a nice ride is a less noisy engine, and electric cars offer the best experience when it comes to quiet engine performance. Even the hum from a smaller engine is nothing compared to the apparent silence of a battery-operated car. Better still, engine vibrations are as non-existent as engine noise in electric cars. All that’s left is smooth transmission and a quiet cabin free from the faint smell of gas and oil.
Electric cars are fast. A step on the accelerator immediately delivers power to the wheels, all thanks to the high axle-twisting power that electric cars have. Add this to the refined ride quality and you can expect brilliant driving experiences on an electric car – a drive to the grocery can actually be pleasurable.
In fact, the experience of driving electric is so unforgettable that it’s recommended that you at least test drive one, even if you don’t intend to switch.
» Convenient Home Charging
Forget having to pull over a nearby gas station. Just plug your car into your charger in the evening and by the morning your car is ready for another go. Electric cars usually take four hours, may be less, to fully charge. Charging at home is enough to give you up to 100 miles; some models boast more mileage. That should be enough, unless you’re a long-distance commuter, in which case, you may have to stop over a charging station. Of course, charging stations are yet to be as ubiquitous as gas stations, though they are turning up in more and more areas.
» Cheaper Costs
The cost of the electric charge needed to keep an electric car running is generally cheaper than petroleum. In terms of the cost per mile, you can expect to pay a minimum of just $25 of electric charge compared to $100 of gas.
You can also say goodbye to other maintenance costs. An electric car doesn’t need oil changes and regular car checks for filters and other parts of the exhaust system present on cars running on internal combustion.
Keeping your tires in good shape is all it takes to maintain your electric car.
» Produces No Pollution
Some analysts may argue that electric cars don’t necessarily reduce environmental impact considering that electricity, for most parts, is still dependent on coal. There is, however, no disputing that electric cars don’t have tailpipes belching not just despicable smelling but also hazardous smoke. If you want to take the green initiative further, you can also use solar panels to power your car.
Going Green – Electric Car Cons
We’ve seen the pros, now let’s delve into the cons.
» Inadequate Range
As mentioned above, if you’re a long commuter you may find the range insufficient for your needs. On average, a fully charged car can run from 85 to 100 miles. If you’re planning a holiday drive, an electric car offering a limited range may not be suitable.
» Relatively Long Time to Charge
This should not be a problem if you do not forget to fully charge your car in the evening. This concern is mainly made more complicated by the issue of limited mileage. If you need to drive farther than what your car’s battery can hold, you will have to recharge. The complication arises due to the fact that unlike a petrol-powered engine that you can refill in minutes, it takes an hour to charge an electric car to get at least 20 more miles in range.
A long commute with an electric car requires planning. You have to check for locations of charging stations since they are not as common as gas stations.
It is also worth noting here that it is possible to charge electric cars for an added 50 miles in range within 25 minutes with the help of public DC Quick Chargers common in areas where electric cars are popular.
New technologies are costly. That is exactly how it is for electric cars, with prices ranging from $30,000 to $40,000. Higher end electric cars cost more. The Tesla Model S sedan costs around $100,000 – enough to buy several mid-sized gas-powered cars.
Teenagers and most users of our permit practice tests, simply cannot afford a new car, let alone an expensive electric car. But if you can, you’ll have to weigh in if the running cost, which includes tax, maintenance, and fuel, offsets the upfront cost, which is the price of the car.
You should also consider the federal tax credit, and some other credits and rebates available in some states (such as the $2,500 rebate in California). With tax credits the price tag of Chevy Volt, Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, and Ford Focus Electric may land just below $30,000.
» Limited choices
Right now, you can actually remember how many models of purely electric cars and hybrid cars exist. To make matters worse for the individualistic consumer, some models look quite alike. The Ford Focus EV and Chevy Volt, for instance, seem to have been hatched from the same egg. Another example is the Mini E and Mitsubishi I.
Eventually, car manufacturers will come up with a variety of designs to pique the interest of consumers. In the meantime though, your choices seem to fall under two general criteria: a small rounded design or a small boxy look.
It’s a tough decision: stay comfortable with traditional or push the boundaries with electric? Make your assessment by factoring in these electric cars pros and cons.