Have you ever seen a car drive by that’s so quiet it seems as if it’s gliding along the roadway? That’s probably an electric vehicle (EV). We’ve been raised to associate the throaty roar of an internal combustion engine (ICE) with personal transportation, so we sometimes get caught off-guard when we see an EV go by.
When you drive an EV, you press the accelerator, and the car starts to roll into action, silently picking up momentum and gaining speed quickly until you release the accelerator. That’s one of the many benefits of an EV! EVs have the same performance and speed of a car with an ICE — they’re just a lot kinder to the environment.
If you’re thinking about making the switch to an EV, that means you’re a forward-looking person who’s planning for the future. Your neighbors will see you as one the “cool people” in town, and you’ll be making a difference for the environment while saving money.
EVs are connected, peppy, fun, and practical. Here are some things you should know about EVs, ’cause they have a lot of advantages over ICE transportation.
EVs Have High Performance
Put the idea of an electric golf cart out of your head! EVs have extremely high torque power, so they have really quick acceleration. If you’re at a stop light and want to zip into a space in traffic ahead, you can count on your EV to give you just the zip you need. If you are on the highway and need to accelerate away from a swaying tractor trailer, you can count on your EV to speed up easily and smoothly and get you into a safe lane of traffic.
Electric motors react quickly, so they’re very responsive and give you the driving edge that you want.
Charging an EV is a Breeze — Easier than at a Gas Pump
You have a variety of options for charging: at home, at work, or on the road. Plugging in when you’re near your usual charger means having a full charge whenever you need it. With an EV, you’ll never need to go to a gas station again.
If you have a carport or garage where you live, you can have an EV charger installed. Electric car owners with a 240-volt supply of power in the garage or driveway can refuel a battery-powered vehicle with ease. That means you can plug in your EV when you get home and have it ready for you to use the next morning.
But approximately one in four Americans lives in a multi-unit building without a dedicated parking spot. If that describes you, don’t despair! Sometimes our workplaces offer charging access. Lots of employers believe in sustainability and want to attract smart, educated green-conscious workers, so a full day of work might be all you need to keep a decent level of charge on your EV.
The number of quick chargers—capable of adding 50 to 60 miles of range in less than 30 minutes—is growing every day. Check out your favorite local shopping center and look out for the prime-placed chargers. Download an app, and you’ll be ready to charge.
Overall Ownership Cost is Less for an EV than a Traditional Car
The cost of operating an EV will continually offer savings over the life of the car, as EVs don’t have maintenance and repair costs of a traditional car. That’s because EVs don’t need oil changes, and they have many fewer moving parts that might break or deteriorate over time. You won’t need a state pollution emission test, as EVs have zero emissions and fewer moving parts to break or wear out. In fact, many electric car owners go years without any repair or service bills at all.
While the batteries of both ICE cars and EVs require eventual replacement, disposal of the lead-acid batteries used in conventional cars is much more hazardous to the environment than disposal of the lithium or nickel-based batteries of electric cars.
EVs Cut Transportation Emissions — Drastically
An EV is cleaner in every way when compared to a conventional, gasoline-burning car. Not only are they more efficient, but EVs also use fewer hazardous chemicals in their operation.
EVs reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change and pollution. EVs don’t emit pollutants into the atmosphere like ICEs do. So the air will become progressively cleaner as we get more and more ICEs off the road. With a drastic decline in greenhouse gas emissions, we’ll be helping to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, which has a central aim to keep a global temperature rise this century well to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
EVs Can Run on Renewable Energy
The batteries of an electric car are charged using the local power grid, so EVs are as clean as that grid. Let’s say that your local power supply is drawn from a mix of hydro, wind, and solar. If that were the case, then operating your EV would be both directly and indirectly a source of zero emissions.
Residential energy source derived from renewable energy such as solar panels or wind credits reduce your reliance on fossil fuels for heating, cooling, and even transportation and minimize your carbon footprint. EVs consumers ultimately burst with social pride and a sense of accepted responsibility from creating a better, healthier planet.
EV Incentives are Still Available
The federal government and a number of states offer financial incentives, including tax credits, when you purchase an EV, which reduces your up-front costs. The federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax credit is for $2,500 to $7,500 per new EV purchased for use in the US. The size of the tax credit depends on the size of the vehicle and its battery capacity.
To find out specific tax credit amounts for individual vehicles, visit FuelEconomy.gov’s Tax Credits for Electric Vehicles. This tax credit will be available until 200,000 qualified EVs have been sold in the United States by each manufacturer, at which point the credit begins to phase out for that manufacturer.
You might also be eligible to get a 30% tax credit for the purchase and installation of home charging equipment, which is another incentive for EV purchases through tax savings.
EVs are Connected
EVs by their nature are digitally connected, often more so than ICE vehicles. Sometimes you can ever control charging from a smartphone app. Many EVs are starting to provide support to owners in the form of services for data and convenience, such as feedback on driving efficiency, safety, battery charging alerts, vehicle valuation, car sharing and rentals, parking, car cleaning, tire services, and lots of other really exciting possibilities.
So, as you can see, electric cars really are better!
All images by Zach Shahan, CleanTechnica
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