9 Reasons Your Next Car Should be an Electric Vehicle

Electric cars — By on April 30, 2010 at 6:55 am
2249705558 518803f9a7 9 Reasons Your Next Car Should be an Electric Vehicle

The Tesla is one hot electric car!

Since most of us in the United States have never seen an actual electric car, let alone driven one, there are plenty of fear-based statements and myths about electric vehicles floating about.  Fortunately, for each of these excuses, we can give you 10 reasons why your next car should be an electric vehicle.

Don’t believe me?  Come along and play the true-false game.  Test your EV knowledge first… and then see if we can’t change your mind about driving an electric car.

1.  Electric vehicles are more expensive than traditional cars.

Not true!  As we posted earlier this week, prices for cars like the Chevy Volt are very comparable to similar non-electric models ($30-40,000).  On top of that, you’ll be eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit for purchasing qualifying EVs.  Install a special home charger, and you could even get a second credit of up to $2,000 (or up to 50% of the cost).  In addition to federal incentives, some states are also offering subsidies to help encourage residents to drive electric cars.  Save an additional $5,000 in California, or half the purchase price of an EV in Oklahoma!

2.  It will be too hard to recharge an Electric Car.

Again, this simply isn’t true!  In fact, it couldn’t be easier to charge up your vehicle – right from the convenience of your own garage.  You don’t need any special equipment.  A regular 150V electric outlet will do.  If you want to decrease the recharge time from 8 hours down to 2 or 3, you can use a 250V outlet (often found in garages for hot water heaters, washers/dryers) and separate panel.

Alternatively, get a home charger – which comes with its own federal tax credit as noted above.  Seen those cool iPhone apps that let you turn your lights off remotely?  Yeah, you can use similar technology to time your recharging to take advantage of off-peak rates.  How cool is that?

2724817222 5bcb0219ff 9 Reasons Your Next Car Should be an Electric Vehicle

Cute, clean and fun - electric cars in all sizes and colors

3.  Electric Vehicles require expensive, short-lived batteries.

Nope.  Think about how often you replace your current vehicle’s battery.  With EVs, the batteries will likely outlast your ownership (10 years or 100,000 miles).  In the future, modern lithium-ion batteries will last even longer.

4.  Its impractical to consider an EV with a relatively small 100% electric range.

Not true.  That’s like saying, why bother fueling up your gas guzzler because you’ll just have to do it again later in the week.  Unlike the gas station, you don’t have to take time out of your schedule to recharge your electric car each day.  Plug it in when you get home (or to the office) and, just like your other electronics, it will be ready to go the next day.

If you’ll be traveling farther than the initial electric range, models like the Chevy Volt include a range-extending gas generator that “produces enough energy keep the car going for hundreds of miles on a single tank.”  For purists, there will be battery-changing stations that switch out a depleted battery for a fully-charged one, in about the same time as it takes to fill a gas tank.  Infrastructure will also include fast-charging stations that give you up to 80% charge in just 15 minutes.

5.  No one wants a slow, gut-less Electric Car.

Well, that’s true.  But EVs are not – as a matter of course – poky or sluggish.  Electric motors are actually very fast from the go, as they benefit from a big low-end torque.  From models like the modest Norway “Think” Car to serious sports cars like the Tesla Roadster (pictured above) or the Fisker Karma, your get up and go won’t get up and leave.

One word: Wow.

6.  EVs are not safe.

There could be nothing further from the truth.  If you purchase a highway-certified electric vehicle (we’re not talking about those electric golf carts), rest assured that your car will have met all safety and crash test requirements of the federal government.  Beyond that, plugging in your car is assuredly safe.  And for those that worry about the quiet operation of EVs (so silent, they’ll sneak up on sight-impaired people and/or other distracted pedestrians), automakers including GM are working to add noise options for consumers…. you could even customize what you want your electric car to sound like (a huge tractor-trailer or a buzz-saw?) much like custom ring-tones on your phone.

423407477 273a0c46e5 9 Reasons Your Next Car Should be an Electric Vehicle

7.  Electric Cars are not clean, due to coal-based electricity.

I love responding to this one.  FALSE!!  Even if your utility is 100% coal-based (which is rarely the case), you will drive 11-100% cleaner with an EV than a gasoline-powered car.  Even compared to hybrid cars, a vehicle that is 100% electric can cut down on greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 25%.  According to a study by the federal Argonne National Laboratories, electric cars that draw on coal-based electricity can still result in a 59% CO2 emission reduction!

8. More power plants are needed for a fleet of EVs.

Again, not true! Without any of the planned grid upgrades, U.S. consumers can find enough off-peak electricity for about 80% of electric vehicle driving needs.  That’s not including solar-powered recharging stations, smart-charging, or vehicle-to-grid connectivity, all of which reduce the overall demands and make driving green a dream come true.

9. Driving an EV is too complicated.

What?  Are you serious?  If anything, an electric car is easier to drive and maintain than a traditional internal-combustion engine.  Consider that you won’t need to take your vehicle into the dealership on a regular basis for oil changes, filters or brake pads. Can you imagine that you’ll be able to wait until you ready 40,000 miles before a check-up (not including new tires or wiper blades).

Its time for us to stop putting up reasons we don’t want to switch to EVs and consider the reasons why your next car should be an electric vehicle, don’t you think?

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49 Comments

  1. Nemo -- N'rn WI says:

    How well does an electric vehicle work way up north? Cold batteries don’t work as well. Electricity from the batteries is used to heat the cabin. Both of these factors reduce the range. I have a fifty mile round-trip drive to work. Since the County I work for doesn’t currently buy me gas, I doubt very much they’ll let me charge my car.

  2. dox says:

    I’m sorry but $30k for a car comparable to the volt that rinsing gas? If the volt was a gasoline engine it would be a $12,000 car. I’m not disagreeing with your article but you need to brush up on vehicle pricing.

  3. Stephanie says:

    First of all, the Volt is not a 100% electric car, so if you are out of the range for 100% electric operation, you are not out of the game. You can still drive one comfortably and with far greater mpg than your current car. Also, the info about reduced charging in colder locations is pretty much hype, which is no wonder since so many oil companies don’t want to see electric cars.

    As far as the comment about “rinsing gas,” not sure what you are talking about. But these days, quality new cars are rarely less than $20K, and they don’t come with a $7,500 tax credit. I’d say perhaps YOU might need to brush up on vehicle pricing…. ;-)

  4. phillip says:

    the volt is based on the deltaII platform. which is the same as the chevy cobalt which is the lowest priced gm vehicle. a year old or end of model year vehicle will run you 10 grand. so even with the rebates your paying 2times as much money and your not getting that much better of fuel mileage. average mpg is 30 mpg in town for the vehicle and if you have a long drive the gas powered vehicle gets better then the hybrid. hybrids and ev’s get best mileage in town driving. so in 5 years will you save 12grand in fuel and maint? doubtful.

  5. Implovator says:

    Great post. I started riding a Brammo Eneritia (motorcycle) for my daily commute a month ago, and I’ve had countless conversations on the benefits of EVs. In particular, #7 and #8 have popped up quite a bit. Thanks so much for the link to the Argonne National Laboratories report. And concerning the extra demands on the grid, I was able to offset my charging through various savings around the house and work: like switching out more lights to CFLs, unplugging vampire devices, and throttling my various computers. Granted, my Enertia doesn’t require nearly the energy that an EV car does, but it’s a great argument for EV motorcycles as crossover vehicles that can buy us some time while the grid is updated.

  6. Stephanie says:

    Let’s not even include in the equation the value of using significantly less non-renewable fossil fuels to clog up the environment and how great it will feel not to be so dependent on foreign oil supplies that threaten our national security. Those are the kind of benefits that you cannot easily put a price tag on, but are perhaps the most important considerations in choosing a motor vehicle.

    Unless you want to walk, take mass transit or ride your bicycle everywhere…. which unfortunately most Americans do not.

  7. Bob says:

    Take a moment to unwrap your arms from the tree…what happens to all those batteries? I’m sure their production and disposal is wonderful for the environment…..

  8. Joe says:

    Why wouldn’t you need to change the brake pads?

  9. Lou WOods says:

    Dude, I would trade my Z06 Vette for a Telsa ANY day!

    Lou
    http://www.anon-web-tools.es.tc

  10. jojack says:

    8. More power plants are needed for a fleet of EVs.

    there is some truth in it, but new plants prolly wouldnt be required, it would just require the current plant to run at full efficiency later into the night that usual. If every person in a 12 house neighborhood plugs in their cars at night, the charging equals out to about the same 4-6 houses consume in the same amount of time. Also, solar power recharging stations would require not only expensive solar panels, but also expensive batteries to hold the charge if you want to charge after nightfall. The costs of an electric vehicle plus the “eco” friendly recharging station starts to add up.

    Why shouldnt you use a EV? Rare earth materials are required in the batteries and there is a small, finite supply on earth. Ive never even heard of an argument against EVs about them being unsafe
    They are expensive, you did not list any actual EV cars as being cheap, only the Volt which costs the same as a nice car. Also, the Volt isnt as good as it is painted to be, it is not a 200mpg vehicle unless you drive it less than 30 miles a day, then recharge.

    2. It will be too hard to recharge an Electric Car.

    The problem doesnt lie in how “hard” it is, the problem lies in how long it takes.

    Also, you are asking these questions like they are common myths that are planted by oil companies. They are unsafe? never heard that one. they are hard to drive? maybe i heard a senior citizen say that that cannot operate a computer or dvd player. The gutless arguement? ive heard people say it, but not complain about it. theyd be like the first gen prius’s that slowly crawled up to 70 they lack the horsepower but you can buy a sports EV, the 100$ tesla.

    @Stephanie: do you not understand how much carbon is required to even manufacture then deliver an EV? your carbon footprint is going to be enormous with whatever you buy. also, i beg to differ that Americans dont use mass transit, bikes, or just walking. maybe in rural areas, there is truth, but in industrial cities that is far from it.

  11. Stephanie says:

    Bob, you might not believe this, but I am not what many would consider to be a tree-hugger at all (far from it actually), but when it comes to matters of national security, I’m 100% on board with EVs over imports from the middle east. And that beats out any so-called “environmental” impact from batteries which can be produced and recycled far safer across the board (looked into the Gulf lately?)

  12. Peter says:

    My question has to do with #5. When i was younger i remember playing with remote controlled cars. The car i had would slowly lose speed over time. My concern is that if i get an electric car, by the time the battery gets to 1/3 the charge it will only be going 40 mph. I understand that they have some serious power, i just don’t know about their endurance. Could someone help me out here and let me know?

  13. LouisCipher777 says:

    dude, do you have any idea what it takes to get the rare earth metals alone required to make an EV?

  14. Eric says:

    So how are these batteries going to be disposed of after 10 years? What will it cost and who will handle it? Is it included in the price of the car? Perhaps we can find some sucker 3rd world country that will accept this toxic waste just like we do now with all the electronics we throw away.

    What about the third world countries that make the batteries….they are creating an environmental time bomb for a few bucks now. Who will pay to clean that up?

    Who gets to pay increased taxes so that my neighbor can get a $7,500 credit for an overpriced car? Is the Fed just going to print more money or is Washington going to finally face up to fiscal responsibility?

  15. AJ says:

    “As we posted earlier this week, prices for cars like the Chevy Volt are very comparable to similar non-electric models ($30-40,000). “

    @ Stephanie: I think Zox’s comment earlier that “you need to brush up on vehicle pricing” is completely correct. The Chevy Volt is in no way comparable to gasoline engine vehicles at similar pricing (e.g. low-end BMW, Lexus, or Infinity models). Also there are quite a few very good cars under $20k (Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Mazda3, Nissan Sentra), and many more at around the $15k range (which as Zox pointed out are more comparable with the Volt).

    I agree with the general premise of the article…we should be moving in the direction of electric vehicles. I would personally like to get one. However, claiming that they are comparable in price to their gasoline counter parts is simply not true. Five minutes looking up pricing on the web makes this obvious.

    Inaccurately stating this as a myth in an article will not make help in the cause to get America to transition to electric vehicles.

  16. Chris says:

    “Seen those cool iPhone apps that let you turn your lights off remotely? Yeah, you can use similar technology to time your recharging to take advantage of off-peak rates. How cool is that?”

    Sounds about as cool as the $300 upfront cost of this service along with it’s $13 monthly fees.

    Source: http://www.iphonesavior.com/2010/02/an-iphone-app-that-can-turn-off-your-lights.html

    In all seriousness the ONLY reason EV’s MIGHT work out is that people hate pissing away $3+ a gallon at the pump every day. Justifying your support of EV’s by saying that it will help domestic economy is hilarious by the way. If you think for one minute that the first truly viable EV’s for the masses will be made by anyone not affiliated with honda, toyota or BMW you are out of your mind. On the TINY chance the U.S. auto manufacturers come out with viable models first (remember they are chronically 10 years behind the market in every way possible) you can bet your ass that the batteries and electronics running the vehicles will be 100% japanese as that is where the bulk of the battery R&D is done for ALL battery markets.

    I know reality is annoying but some of the junk in this article made me laugh till I cried. I am involved in electrical engineering by the way and while a few cars are somewhat developed at the moment it is still fringe and very inapplicable to how the average American drives. Public Transit will most likely get the money that would fund this junk in the near future. The Chevy Volt is a pretty pathetic example of a viable $40k car as well. Why wouldn’t I buy an Acura TL or BMW 3-series that is a hell of a lot nicer and spend the extra $10k on the difference between the electricity and gas cost spread over 5-10 years? For those of us who don’t worry about increasing our smug emmisions gas powered cars will remain for quite some time, luckily there isn’t a huge shortage of natural gas and oil.

    Please don’t try to tell me that somehow using electricity generated from a coal or oil power plant is any cleaner than gas. More CO2 is emitted from volcanoes or cows (take your pick) annually than all the vehicles in the world (not that CO2 levels have diddly squat to do with greenhouse gas effects but most eco-morons are just used to focusing on that damn CO2…did you know more CO2 accelarates plant growth which lowers CO2! Pretty cool how good’ol earth is self regulatory like that) and even aside from that, unless large parts of the U.S. go nuclear in the next 5 years the emissions output used to generate your electricity will not be a whole hell of a lot different from what you’d get on a gas car. In fact, once enough of the population made the switch to EV’s the new emmisions would most likely increase as the efficiency gained by using EV over gas cars would easily be made back up by the amount of electricity lost in transmission due to the increased load on the existing grids.

    Its really just amazing how arrogant eco-frauds can get thinking that 200 years of human pollution is going to have some disastrous end of the world doomsday effect on a 4.5 billion year old planet. This might help you put it in perspective AND it’s funny: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOOc5yiIWkg

  17. The Real Truth says:

    Hate to break any bubbles, not sure how old you are Stephanie, but one thing to learn is that there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

    As the first article below states, electric would be clean if using wind, solar, water or nuclear power. OK, let’s build some bigass damns…what’s that, Mr/Ms Enviromentalist? Wind – unreliable, lots of controversy there regarding placement (plus enviros don’t like them cuz they kill birds). Solar? SUPER expensive. Nuclear – ok, where do you live, Stephanie? let’s put one near where you live – and even if you are willing to take one for the team, most likely your neighbor won’t. I know, let’s put the nuclear power plant next to the poor African-American neighborhoods! (this is irony – meant to emphasize how unfair we are to our black/poor population, and how they have to live with this unfairness)

    See:
    http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/andrewkantor/2005-06-24-green-tech_x.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_car

  18. Michaelc says:

    “regular 150V electric outlet ”

    Huh?
    In the US the standard is 110-120v with the higher voltages (for dryers and stoves) at 240v. Most of Europe uses 220-240v outlets.

    I don’t know of anywhere that uses 150v.

  19. Howa says:

    Running a power cord from my condo across the sidewalk to the street where my car is parked is a downside.

  20. JoMac says:

    I can’t help myself and I just feel compelled to give some counter points.

    1. Electric cars are more expensive: True, as a poster already stated the Chevy Volt (est base price closer to 40k than 30) is based off the Chevy Cobalt platform (base price (10,995), even with all the incentives and if you happen to live in a state that offers them as well (I don’t) it is still more than double the price of a Cobalt which in itself gets damn good gas mileage (but still a GM so it’s crap).

    2. It’s too hard to recharge: True and false. Where if you have all night to recharge the battery that’s not bad you just plug it in. However, have you ever run out of gas or been pretty low? Well if you run out of gas on the road it isn’t just a matter of walking to the nearest station getting a gallon and walking back to put it in your car to then drive and fill up and be on your way. If you are absent minded enough and run out of power in an all electric car you need to have towed somewhere where you can charge it up. If you’re on a trip and not just on your way home you’ve lost 8 hours.

    3. EV’s require short lived Batteries: That is all in how you drive it, but I tend to agree if you don’t drive like a mad man (and you really can’t in an electric) then the battery should last you for a while. Just too bad they’re really toxic and when they no longer power your car they still haven’t found how to safely dispose of them.

    4. Impractical and Short range: Well an all electric car is impractical unless you live in the city. Taking it on long trips is suicide (see #2) but even here “If you’ll be traveling farther than the initial electric range, models like the Chevy Volt include a range-extending gas generator that “produces enough energy keep the car going for hundreds of miles on a single tank.” The EPA has told Chevy to back off the whole 230mpg because they haven’t tested it yet and recent reports suggest that the Volt will be no where near that number.

    5. No one wants a slow EV car: That is true. The article brings up the Think (max speed 88 mph, that means slow) and then it talks about the heavy weights the Fisker Karma and Tesla Roadster. The Karma is $88K with 201 Hp and the Tesla is 109K with 288 Hp, both can do 125mph, but the Fisker cost 4 times a V6 Mustang and has a hundred less horspower. So if you want speed, unless you have a ton of money an EV isn’t for you.

    6. EVs aren’t safe. Well that isn’t true, because if it’s a car it has to meet certain standards to drive on American roads.

    7. Electric Cars aren’t clean: The article says FALSE, and if you’re talking about the daily use of the vehicle than yes you are right it’s daily use is cleaner than say the V6 Mustang I mentioned in #5, but you’re electric bill is going to sky rocket (enjoy that), Also I said the daily use is cleaner, but most people don’t like to talk about the Green Cars dirty little secret, and that is the amount of pollution cause to make the battery. Here is a basic overview. First the nickle in the battery is mined in Canada and shipped to Europe on giant tankers (lost of pollution) to Europe where it is processed and refined (more nasty pollution coming from those plants). Then is shipped again to China and Japan where it is refined some more and made into those cut little toxic batteries.

    8. More plants are needed for the fleet of EVs: Honestly I don’t know about this one, I’ll have to take the author’s word on it, but with places like California and their rolling black outs every now and then, if EVs really catch on increasing the grid wouldn’t be a bad idea.

    9.Driving an EV is complicated: I again agree with the author, I mean it’s a car and an automatic at that, a child could do.

    Now, I’m sure I’ll get flamed by people for my daring attempt to disagree with the green police, but for one second hear me out. I do think getting away from gasoline powered cars is a good thing. It is a fossil fuel and we’ll eventually run out, but electronic cars aren’t the answer either. They’re slow and inefficient if you want to do more than just drive down to the store. The answer then is hydrogen powered cars. Honda is developing them and you can buy them in California. They only emit water vapor (good for the planet) and they aren’t as nasty on the environment to build as an electric battery. So maybe the Green lobby and car companies should move from pushing EVs and move to pushing Hydrogen power because that is the future.

  21. John says:

    What about A/C? Pickup trucks? Some bosses wouldn’t be pleased to give you electricity.

  22. Bob says:

    For those opposed, the positives still outweigh the negatives. Think beyond yourselves for a second.

    GE and Nissan are also teaming up to implement renewable energy combined with recharge stations for electric cars. There are so many positives that can come from this, more people should get on board instead of trying to nitpick for excuses.

    People like that are the reason why this isn’t more widespread, so how about we stop being so negative towards this and embrace all the positive possibilities. Oil will run out, greenhouse gases will kill our planet and our species. Nothing dramatic about either of those, they’re just truths.

  23. crysisen says:

    1 reason why not : ENGINE SOUND.

  24. Stephanie says:

    Crysisen, the motor companies are working on the sound issue with national groups for the sight-impaired. Sound will be “installed” so that EVs can be heard approaching.

  25. D says:

    I live in Houston, TX and we get a hurricane every few years that will knock out all power for a couple of weeks (during hurricane Rita I was out of power for 15 days straight). What could I do to properly have transportation in the event of an emergency with one of my children if I had no way to charge my car? I’m not trying to be negative but it is a genuine concern for me as I greatly considered getting an electric.

  26. J says:

    the car weighs alot less than an internal combustion, so you have more thrust for each unit of horse power. i’m worried about the batteries tho, otherwise i’d totally consider getting one, especially when i could go on a road trip

  27. TimR says:

    “A regular 150V electric outlet will do.” Huh?

    There are no regular 150V electric outlets in the US.

    Should we assume the rest of the article is as sloppily researched and/or edited?

    Tim Riley
    Founder
    Citizens Against Inaccurate and Childish Writing on the Internet

  28. Stephanie says:

    If that’s the best you can do – attack a typo – then you obviously lack better use of your time. ;-)

  29. Stephanie says:

    Hey, I love all these comments on the electric car. For those that enjoy throwing tomatoes and putting their heads in the sand about the viability of EVs, perhaps you’d like to check out the Forbes Magazine article on which many of the points in this post are based:

    http://www.forbes.com/2010/04/24/think-city-batteries-technology-breakthroughs-electric-car.html?boxes=Homepagechannels

    There are plenty of other articles on sites like http://gas2.org/ that have similarly knocked down myths of electric vehicles that perpetuate from the fear of people who don’t want to give up their cozy fossil-fuel based cars, notwithstanding the long term environmental, social and economic consequences.

  30. AJ says:

    Stephanie…you would be better served to listen to the comments presented than to defensively redirect people to other articles on the subject. The people writing responses here are offering reasonable criticisms (not many tomatoes being thrown here). If you disagree with their statements, then explain why. If all you can do is redirect people to other sources, then maybe that is what your article should have consisted of….links to other articles…

    Ironically, most of the people making comments on here don’t seem to be that negative on the concept of improving our energy policy situation, they are just reacting to a poorly researched article making inaccurate claims.

  31. Charlie says:

    They do, but because they have aggressive regenerative braking, you use the friction brakes much much less. I seldom have to use the friction brakes in my EV, so I expect they will last much longer than a typical car.

  32. Grad says:

    Have you considered the wisdom of forming an opinion about a complex issue based solely on the utterances of a loudmouth who’s only expertise is in doing magic tricks and being extremely obnoxious?

  33. Trok says:

    I want an electric car one day. I mean with tesla and others out and come with over a 200mile range, thats perfect for work commuting…plug it in over night in the garage…thats not hard…. then on the weekends when i need room or torque drive the big suv or truck…. when you can get a good electric car new for 10-20g everyone will have one

  34. Gav says:

    Stephanie, you probably feel like it’s you against the world with most of these questions. The truth is, you’re mostly correct.
    I’ve been dealing with electric vehicles and conversions for over 5 years now and I’ve been asked every single one of those questions at some stage.

    The truth is, when compared to gasoline or diesel vehicles, the benefits of electric vehicles outweigh the negatives. Of course they’re not ideal for 100% of the motoring public (what kind of vehicle is?) but they’re ideal for the majority – including you and me.
    Keep up the good work, as EVs become more widespread questions such as the ones on this page will reduce as researched knowledge filters it’s way around the globe.

    I’ve already had one, and I’ll have another one. Why would you waste $2500 a year to pick up the kids when it could be $250 a year in electricity?
    Considering the perks, tax incentives and ecological benefits I consider it a no-brainer for the majority of motorists. Judging by the waiting list for the $25,000 US Nissan LEAF, so do thousands of others.

  35. Alex says:

    A lot of BS in the comments here.

    Electric vehicles are simply more efficient than ICE and that it that. There is no idling and they have made all the accessories electric now. Based on the torque curves, efficient CVTs can be used. Shoot, based on the RPM range, you could just go with a single gear.

    Everyone keeps talking about “EV”, well, it’s easy to have cars like the Volt where you bring the “charger” with you. They can easily design an on-board turbo diesel, for example, that runs at an optimally designed single RPM that charges the battery IF needed. Viola, you have a range of 600+ miles. Sure it may cost $40K initially, but that technology will get better and mass production magic will kick in to lower costs.

    Issues with batteries in the dumps? Come on…more than 90% of CURRENT car batteries (you know, the one that starts your engine?) are recycled today. It would be easy to bring this to well past 95% considering the cost savings. It’s like engine oil and coolant – you are supposed to expose of it properly.

    Safety because they are quiet? Solved with on-board speakers that can simulate an engine sound.

    CO2 emissions…remember folks, part of the problem is oil usage from FOREIGN countries. We pay hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars for oil…I don’t even need to make the “countries that don’t like us” argument. We already have an electric infrastructure in place to use. Yes, we have to deal with generating the power in a clean way. This is an easier challenge that does not require scrapping old cars – when the grid becomes more efficient, ALL electrically charged cars benefit. Another benefit of electric is that you can generate your own…want to run a windmill or solar electric? Go for it.

    Cost of electricity. It cost $.09 per KW/h where I live. Even if this went up 10x, it is still cheaper than gas. I spend $120 a month on gas – that is 1.3MW/h of electricity!

    Stop talking crap people, this technology is coming and it will herald a new era for automobiles. Personally, I can’t WAIT!

  36. Jhon Doe says:

    Please people wake up!!!!!!! I think it was the same way when we changued from horses to cars, I just dont get why people its always scared about new technologies, I can´t wait to drive one of those either. Nice article by the way!.

  37. AJ says:

    I don’t think people are scared of technology, but for most people EV’s are simply not economical yet and for some not convenient. I’m all for EVs, see them as the future, and would like one myself, but $30-40K for a Chevy Volt is simply ridiculous. if it were selling for $10-15K (or even possibly at $18-20k) you wouldn’t have an argument from me.

    As for the comparison of $250 for an EV versus $2500 for ICE, I’m not sure what math is being used here. For someone to have a gasoline expense of $2,500/year they would either have to traveling very far distances or have a car with fuel efficiency about 10 mpg (a very large SUV).

    Here’s a little math to show where the EV becomes economical. Let’s assume an annual driving distance of 10,000 miles, an annual cost of driving an EV at $250 (taken from above comments), a 10 year life of the vehicle, and a cost of gasoline at $2.50/gallon. These might vary per each individual’s situation, but they are reasonable assumptions.

    If someone currently drives a vehicle and gets 10 mpg then they would buy 1000 gallons of gas a year at $2.50/gallon and have an annual cost of $2,500, which translates to a total cost of $25,000 for the life of the vehicle….ouch! That’s $22,500 more than the EV for the life of the vehicle. Those driving at 10 mpg are likely driving large SUVs are unlikely to find the Volt to be an ample replacement. However, a EV based SUV with half of the efficiency ($500/year cost) would be a great option.

    Let’s take my situation though. I’m driving a beat up 1994 Honda Civic (still running great), that get’s about 30 mpg in the city and as much as 40 mpg on highway. If I were to drive 10,000 miles per year (I actually drive 3,000) my annual cost would be $833 assuming an efficiency of 30 mpg. My total cost is $8,330 for the life of the vehicle, which translates to $5,833 more than the EV over the same period. However, according to this article, I will spend $10-20k for a Chevy Volt (you can get a Honda Civic new for $20k…I bought mine for $14k). That’s about $4-14k out of my pocket. At the moment the Chevy Volt doesn’t make much sense for me, especially if you were to redo these calculations with my actual annual travel of 3,000 miles.

    Let me mention a few other factors I left out which are relevant, but not as significant in the calculations. Interest on the extra money spent upfront for the EV compounded over 10 years, but reduced by the cost savings in travel. EVs will likely have lower repair costs from fewer moving parts. EV tax incentives are an obvious benefit. I’m not too concerned about the disposal of the EV batteries…I’m sure these can be recycled effectively.

    As for convenience, ICE vehicles can still travel much further and can be more easily refueled. Many people live in apartment buildings and don’t necessarily have a place to plug in at night.

    Ok, I’ve said enough for one post. I just wanted to point out that this is a little more complex than people just being “scared about new technologies”.

  38. AJ says:

    Small correction in the above comment…

    When I said,

    “I will spend $10-20k for a Chevy Volt (you can get a Honda Civic new for $20k…I bought mine for $14k). That’s about $4-14k out of my pocket.”

    I actually meant,

    “I will spend $10-20k MORE for a Chevy Volt (you can get a Honda Civic new for $20k…I bought mine for $14k). That’s about $4-14k out of my pocket.”

  39. FM says:

    A little on battery prices (and game chaning EV techs)

    Current EV pricing is far too high for most customers to accept. When buying cars people look a lot at up front costs instead of total cost of ownership. This is bad for EVs that cost less to own and run, but have a high sticker price.

    The good news is that the pricing gap has very much to with the extremely low volumes of EVs compared to the ten of millions of gas car produced – and very little with inherent cost structures.

    If anything, future EVs should be cheaper than current cars to buy, to drive and to maintain. This is one of the reasons car companies hate EVs (even if they are hard pressed to admit it). I’m not bashing cvar companies here, they are rightly concerned that their profit margins will be eroded and/or market shares be taken over by a whole new kind of emerging EV car companies.

    A good example of a game changing EV tech is battery technology. Several plants have or will start producing batteries in 2010 using new technologies that do not rely on any rare metals and cost significantly less than previous ion-lith battery technology. A company I know very well has 20% of current battery pricing in its business plan – for starters. This implies a collapse in battry prices by the end of 2010 early 2011.

    For many reasons these batteries will not start going to the EV segment (remember the volume of EVs is too low). Other much higher volume customers (military, air ports, hospitals etc.) have filled their order books already. However, sooner – not later – these techs will flow into the EV sector.

    And this is only one effort. They are not alone or they would not “give” their batteries away for such a low cost. Several other compeeting battery techs are coming to the market in 2010 – all using no rare metals and at a much lower price point than anyone imagined possible just 12 months ago.

    Let me add that this one battery company is already planning to open new plants around the globe in 2011 and 2012.

    My guess is that my next car will be an EV. Time will tell…

  40. Eru says:

    Nice article. Now, my latest craze is to get my hands on one of those electric cars asap. Can’t wait to drive away to glory. Thanks!

  41. AJ says:

    I’ll have to wait for a raise, a place to plug it in (I don’t have a garage), and an electrical infrastructure for me to charge it away from home.

  42. antbody says:

    “The automobile industry is now caring for Mother Earth. Not only competing against each other in offering a more up-to-date vehicle, they are competing in creating a more eco friendly car. An eco-friendly car is fitted with modernized gadget, downsized engines, hybrid, a more aerodynamic features and lightweight body panels.”

    sources from: http://blog.carlist.my/2010/05/green-drives/going-green/

    some of the car manufacturer might positioning their car as “green car” in order to attract those people that support environmental friendly product. However, these car is more expensive and may not be that useful in our real life like what Stephanie had posted. The car manufacaturer still need lots of reaseach and development to have really useful electric car.

  43. Cousin Eddie says:

    When I can at least half the range I get with my Honda Civic (500+ miles), then I will consider it a serious contender. You marketing/PR people in here are soooo transparent.

    Just remember people, physics is still physics. Oil still rules the energy market, and is by far the most efficient energy source.

  44. Tommy says:

    I think in the long run the electric cars may be only 12000$ for a base model. The engine to is too simple to make and should be cost very much cheaper compare to a gas engine (electric motor!! I can even make one my self). What I don’t understand is the high cost of an electric car now.

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