There has been a lot of commotion in the media about the electric car craze currently sweeping the nation. In some circles, if you don’t drive electric, you shouldn’t drive at all.
Who has not seen a television ad touting the potential benefits of electric cars, claiming that the gas station is a thing of the past, and underplaying or omitting the fact that electricity has a price as well?
There is an unrepresented minority of drivers who still own vehicles with carburetors because they detest the high cost of fuel-injection repair; these drivers will require a lot more incentive than energy efficiency to be swayed to the side of electric vehicles. Car owners are now more and more cautious about the vehicles they buy, as an uptrend of used cars are being inspected thoroughly before being purchased by used car inspectors, which will usually find all the issues with the car.
If you have watched the television at all in the past week, then you have heard of the positive aspects of electric cars or hybrids. EVs, or electric vehicles, are purportedly good for the environment, emitting zero tail pipe pollutants and significantly fewer carbon emissions than gasoline vehicles.
However, big car companies are leaving out vital facts. While the car itself is eco-friendly, the generation plants that produce the electricity create harmful carbon emissions. In fact, while plants that use natural gas or hydroelectric sources are slightly more environmentally friendly than internal combustion vehicles, the nearly 50% of generation plants in the United States that still use coal to create electricity are potentially doing more harm than gas-guzzling cars and trucks do.
Electric cars, of course, do not need gasoline to run. Currently, hybrids that have a gasoline backup system are more common, but cars that are powered entirely by battery are quickly working their way into the mainstream of new vehicles. It may seem like you would want to forgo the necessity of a gas station, but you still need to fuel your vehicle.
EV batteries can take longer to recharge, requiring thirty minutes or more to reach 80% capacity, and four to eight hours to fully recharge. A fully charged battery can last for one to two hundred miles, while gasoline vehicles can travel three hundred or more miles with a full tank. In fact, so many people are worried about running out of charge before they reach their destination that experts have come up with a name for this condition: range anxiety.
For most people, one of the biggest deterrents to buying electric cars is the cost. Electric vehicles are expensive, mostly due to the price of the battery pack. However, while these are low maintenance vehicles, when something does go wrong it costs a lot to have it re paired. The need for an electric-savvy mechanic does not appeal to the DIY, grease-covered lovers of all things engine.
The resale value of most of these vehicles is foggy at best, simply because they haven’t been around long enough to have an average resale value. Finally, there is a whole group of middle-class Americans who consistently buy older internal combustion models for only $3,000 to $5,000 apiece; and electric cars are not yet available at anything close to this price.