The gasoline pipeline rupture in Alabama got the attention of drivers in the Southeast, who found gas stations closed or had to wait in lines to fill up. This was a rare inconvenience, but electric vehicle (EV) owners, including ones of plug-in hybrids (PHEV), had little concern. Although fearing gas shortages might not be a motivating factor for EV owners, the closed pumps piqued our interest on the state of electric cars.
Here are five reasons why an EV may be an option to consider for your next car purchase.
1. Driving experience
Instant acceleration is one trait many EV owners love. The high-torque engines of EVs deliver power immediately to the wheels, providing an electrifying driving experience.
2. Charging availability
For most people with an EV, the closest gas station is in their garage or driveway. Home fueling of their vehicle is often cited as one of the benefits of an EV that was least appreciated before purchasing.
Driving distance of EVs can be a drawback for those needing to make long trips. But that’s becoming less an issue for the majority of drivers.
Mike Rowand, director of technology development at Duke Energy, explains that range anxiety is often more myth than realty.
“Over 80 percent of all work commutes in a day are less than 50 miles,” Rowand said. “With today’s electric vehicles averaging over 100 miles on a charge, or with a PHEV that has a gasoline engine as backup, this leaves plenty of mileage to get the kids to and from their activities.”
For a quick view of charging units in your area, plug in your ZIP code at Alternate Fuels Data Center or plugshare.com.
3. Cleaner air
Tailpipe emissions are eliminated with all-electric vehicles and with plug-in hybrids when in all-electric mode.
Typically, EVs have a life cycle emissions advantage over gasoline or diesel, especially in areas that use relatively low-polluting sources for electricity generation. In regions with a high mix of renewables like hydro, wind and solar, the emissions benefits can be substantial.
4. Less expensive to operate
Although actual costs vary by location, the cost per mile to fuel an EV is usually one-third to one-quarter the cost of gasoline (on a per-mile basis) — the equivalent of about $1 per gallon of gas, Consumer Reports says. You can compare fuel prices at eGallon. Use this vehicle cost estimator to see how you can benefit from driving an EV.
5. More affordable to buy
For the past several years, the initial purchase cost was often the predominant factor in the adoption of new EV sales. Choices have also been limited, with prices higher than similar-sized standard vehicles. That’s changing. More than 20 models are now on the market or soon to be introduced, some costing below $30,000 with incentives.
Sources: Autotrader; ChargePoint; Consumer Reports; plugincars.com; plugshare.com; U.S. Department of Energy