Battery-powered electric vehicles are gaining traction as their popularity continues to soar, but are they really that much better than the gas-powered vehicle you currently own? Consider the benefits of electric vehicles (EVs) and why they’re becoming easier to rely on as communities across the country install more EV chargers.
Benefits of electric vehicles
First consider the reasons why people are drawn to purchase EVs in the first place:
Better for the environment
Electric vehicles produce fewer emissions than gas-powered cars. Even with the higher emissions associated with manufacturing, each EV produced today generates less than half of the emissions of a comparable gas-powered car from cradle to grave.
The average electric vehicle produces the same emissions as a 68-mile-per-gallon gas-powered car. At this astounding efficiency rate, the extra emissions produced from manufacturing an EV are offset in just six to 16 months of driving.
But let’s not forget where a majority of our electricity comes from. As of 2014, about two-thirds of the country’s electricity was generated from fossil fuels. As the shift toward renewable solar, wind and water-generated electricity continues, EVs are becoming even more sustainable. In a grid comprised of 80 percent renewably sourced electricity, an EV would produce 25 percent fewer emissions during manufacturing and a whopping 84 percent fewer emissions from driving.
Better for your wallet
Even though you don’t pay for gas when you drive an EV, you still need to pay for electricity to charge the vehicle. You’ll also probably pay more upfront for an electric vehicle compared to a similar gas-powered model.
With this in mind, consider the impressive efficiency of EVs. Fuel efficiency is rated in kilowatt-hours (kWh) per 100 miles rather than miles per gallon. If you pay $0.11 per kWh for electricity and have an average EV rated at 34 kWh per 100 miles, the cost is about $0.04 per mile.
If gas is $3 per gallon and a gas-powered vehicle gets 25 mpg, the cost is about $0.12 per mile. This scenario amounts to a savings of $800 for every 10,000 miles you drive. Clearly, these savings can easily offset the additional cost to purchase an EV over the vehicle’s lifetime.
Limitations of electric vehicles
EVs might not be right for everyone because of their limitations:
Reduced driving range
Electric vehicles are usually limited to between 60 and 120 miles per charge. A few models can get you 200 to 300 miles on a full charge, but this still puts a damper on your road trip plans.
Charging time and station location
“Refueling” an EV isn’t as simple as gassing up an ordinary car. The battery needs four to eight hours to reach a full charge – even “fast charge” models take 30 minutes to reach 80 percent capacity.
Then, EV chargers aren’t nearly as abundant as gas stations. However, thousands have popped up across the country in the past few years, with a current total of nearly 14,000 EV chargers across the US. Just plan ahead and know where they’re located in your community. You can search for EV chargers by zip code on the Department of Energy website.
Plus, you’re not limited by public charging stations. As long as you have an electrical outlet on a dedicated circuit near your garage, you can charge your EV at home overnight.
If you need help getting your home ready to accommodate an EV charger for your electric vehicle, please contact Mr. Electric® today. We can add electric vehicle charging equipment, create a dedicated circuit, and install the necessary safety equipment you need to get started.