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?
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.
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?