Although the internal combustion engine is the preferred power source for vehicles worldwide, electric cars are quickly gaining ground. More countries, including the United States, offer incentives for electric car purchases, and access to charging stations has increased significantly. As batteries become more efficient and affordable, more drivers will appreciate the benefits of purchasing vehicles powered by electric motors. The following sections examine the advantages of owning an electric vehicle.
1. Vehicle Costs
When successful automobile manufacturers initially introduced electric cars to the public, many consumers were concerned about the high sticker price. Currently, electric vehicles are more expensive than gas-powered models. However, as the demand has increased, the price gap between gas and electric cars has decreased. Electric cars are more affordable than they were ten years ago, and more companies have entered the industry to meet the demand. Also, state and federal agencies offer incentives for green drivers. The federal tax credit varies between $2,500 and $7,500 depending on the size of the vehicle. Each state has a different program for incentives, but when you combine the federal and state credits, you may save up to $10,000 on a new car. With auto financing, you can easily afford an electric car and retire your gas-powered model.
2. Maintenance Costs
Compared to gas-powered cars, electric models are much cheaper to maintain. For an electric vehicle (EVs), you’ll only have to maintain the suspension, tires and brakes. EVs are not as complex as gas-powered autos and have fewer moving parts. You won’t have to worry about a quarterly oil change, fuel injector cleaning, starter motors, exhaust systems or damaged radiators. High-performance sports cars, and luxury models, with gas engines, can cost several thousand dollars a year to maintain. However, more companies are using hybrid or electric motors in their high-end vehicles, and their consumers benefit from lower repair costs and fewer trips to a mechanic.
3. Fuel Costs
One of the most considerable advantages of EVs is the fuel cost. At your home, you’ll pay a utility company to provide energy to your home and charging system. Public charging stations are not free to use, but they’re more affordable than filling your tank with ten gallons of gas. Fuel and energy prices fluctuate, but gas prices are more volatile and more susceptible to international instability.
4. Energy Independence
The United States produces oil, but it remains dependent on foreign sources to meet its fuel needs. When you use a charging station, you’re supporting the local energy provider rather than a powerful oil producer in another country. If you install a solar power system on your property, you can become completely energy independent and will only pay for the system’s installation. Combining solar energy with charging stations has become more common in public areas, and more city planners accept the benefits of electric transportation and its minimal effect on the environment.
5. Greener Materials
As automakers continue to improve their EV designs, more cars are being produced with recycled materials. Companies like Nissan and Ford are using fabric for the interiors of electric cars recycled from plastic bags and water bottles. Nissan also reduces its environmental impact by recycling appliances and old car parts and using them in EVs.
6. Zero Emissions and Noise
With an electric motor, EVs do not need an exhaust system and produce zero emissions. Carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide are only a few toxic chemicals emitted from an internal combustion engine. If you own a “clean” diesel model, your exhaust emits a separate set of particulates that pollute the air and create issues for people with respiratory problems. When more travelers use electric transportation on crowded highways, air quality improves. This is evident when you examine the smog problem that plagued the skies of Los Angeles in the 80s and early 90s. After California enacted laws that forced municipalities to phase in electric models for public transportation, the smog dissipated.
Eventually, the electric vehicle will be the dominant form of transportation on the world’s highways. As technology and supply chains improve, more people will be able to afford EVs, and the environment will benefit.