Electric Cars Pros And Cons, Automotive Tips
Last year, 61 million cars were purchased on planet Earth and almost all of them were powered by internal combustion, gasoline engines. That’s expected to change in a very big way sooner than you may think. J.D. Power predicts that the world will buy 2 million electric vehicles by 2020. However, other serious researchers consider that estimate low and place the number at closer to 9 million. Part of that is due to the influx of big money from governments (many foreign) in the form of incentives, not only for consumers, but technological developers and manufacturers.
Some Electric Vehicle Facts & Myths
The introduction of any new technology generally involves some fear and a great debate. That debate produces mountains of “facts”. However, many turn out to be merely myths. So, here’s the latest scoop on the actual facts and myths, lies, untruths and innuendos regarding electric vehicles (EVs) at this time.
1. Electric Cars Are Slow: False
Many consumers are not aware that electric motors benefit from huge low-end torque; so they’re actually very fast off the line. And some EVs, such as the Tesla Roadster and Fisker Karma, are serious high-performance cars. The Tesla Roadster, for example, is a two-seat sports car that can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in right around 3.7 seconds. It costs about $110,000, and its range on one charge is well over 200 miles. But, you don't have spend that much to get respectable performance. Nissan's LEAF provides almost 110 horsepower, a top speed of around 90 miles per hour and rapid acceleration -- it goes from 0 to 60 in about 10 seconds.
2. Electric Cars are Expensive: Half-Truth
Yes, the purchase price will indeed be higher than you’re used to paying. (Expect $35,000 to $40,000 for entry-level cars the size of a Subaru Forester.) But are you aware of anybody subsidizing the purchase of gas-powered cars? Currently, there’s a $7,500 federal tax credit for the purchase of battery cars, and a second credit of up to $2,000 that will pay up to 50% of your home charger installation. Certain states are offering additional incentives to those willing to jump on the EV bandwagon early. Oklahoma has been particularly generous. They are actually subsidizing half the purchase price of battery cars, which made it possible to buy Wheego EVs for only $2,500, and more than 100 have already been sold there.
3. Electric Cars Are Not Safe: False
There are concerns about getting shocked when you plug them in, and battery acid spilling all over you in an accident. The truth is that the battery packs will be stored mainly under the car, heavily protected from passenger compartments. In fact, the safety factor that most engineers are concerned about is the lack of sound. Will pedestrians hear them coming? Some carmakers are addressing this by studying what tailor-made sounds will work best to alert the public to the approach of an EV. Artificial sounds are certainly not new. Sounds, smells and colors have been added to products to make them safer or more attractive for years. For example, an unpleasant odor has been added to natural gas since 300 children died in 1937 after a leak at a Texas school went unnoticed. Digital cameras make the sound of a shutter closing to reassure users that it’s working. Cash machines whirr to convince us that our money is on its way – just to name a few.
4. Charging Electric Vehicles Will Be A Hassle: False
Although the pioneers may experience a few bouts of “range anxiety” worrying about how far they are from the next charging station; most electric cars for the foreseeable future will be considered commuter cars. You’ll charge them up while you’re sleeping and be able to count on them to get you to and from work or around town running errands. Utility companies are very pro-EV, and will be offering rewarding time-of-day pricing to encourage customers to charge at night. In fact, you will probably be able to program charging times from your laptop or cell phone, like you program your cable box now. And, not too far down the line, we’ll most likely see a variety of infrastructure opportunities for charging. (In addition to your garage, energy “filling stations” or you’ll find charging stations in parking garages, restaurants, etc…)
5. Electric Vehicles Aren’t Really “Clean” Because They Use Electricity From Coal Plants. Half-Truth
This one is a half-truth because battery cars are not “zero emission” if you consider what’s called the “well to wheels” basis. Coal power is dirty power. That’s absolutely true. But, all things considered, EVs are still much better for our planet than gasoline cars. According to Sherry Boschert, author of Plug-In Hybrids: The Cars that Will Recharge America, EVs reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 11 to 100 percent (depending on the type of power plant) compared to internal-combustion cars, and 24% to 54%t compared to hybrid cars. Even if all our plants burned coal, we’d still reduce CO2 by as much as 59 % with people driving only EVs. Boschert’s primary source was a study by the federal Argonne National Laboratories.
6. Battery Chemicals Are Bad For The Environment And
They Can't Be Recycled: False
According to the EPA, 99% percent of batteries in conventional cars are recycled. The metals in newer batteries are more valuable and recycling programs are already being developed for them. Utilities plan to use batteries for energy storage once they are no longer viable in a vehicle.
Since the debate is still raging, this list will continue to grow. We’ll keep you posted on the Electric Cars Pros And Cons.
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