Petrol prices have been rising for years, and now sit at over $9 per litre in some places. Due in part to the rising cost of fuel, electric vehicles are growing in popularity. From the GM EV1 in 1996 to today’s Chevy Volt, electric car technology is rapidly changing. Here are three reasons why you should consider an electric car.
They are more energy efficient
According to the US Dept. of Energy, the average internal combustion engine loses over 62% of its fuel through heat. Only 15% of the energy from the fuel is used to propel the car; the remainder is lost through drag and friction. An EV performs the energy conversion at about 90% efficiency.
They save you money, and not just on petrol
People think that electric cars are more expensive to buy, and that’s true in many cases. However, the government offers various rebates for EV purchases, and the amount you save on fuel over the lifetime of the car will help it pay for itself (and then some).
Because there’s no internal combustion engine, an EV has fewer moving parts than a conventional vehicle–which means less wear on the parts, and a lower chance of malfunction. EVs don’t need oil changes, tune-ups, fan belts or any of the other parts we normally replace. An EV’s brakes will last far longer than those on a normal car; at slow speeds, these cars use regenerative braking to reverse the motor rather than apply friction to slow down. When “fuelling up”, there usually isn’t a need to go anywhere; most electric cars can be charged from a home’s power supply. That makes the electric car a very convenient option for busy people.
Electric vehicles emit no pollution
Cars like the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Roadster have no exhaust pipe because there’s no gas or heat to release, so there are no harmful emissions. By comparison, a regular car’s exhaust system emits a variety of poisonous substances, from benzene to carbon dioxide. Exhaust gases are thought to contribute to the thinning of the ozone layer and the greenhouse effect, and they also negatively impact air quality.
Purists may say that there are still emissions from the electricity production that powers the car, but CO2 emissions are cut by 35-60% when compared to an internally combusted car. The Dept. of Energy estimates that the average car emits 75 pounds of CO2 during a trip of one hundred miles, in comparison to the 32 lbs. emitted by the power plant which generates enough electricity to power an electric vehicle over a comparable distance. In areas where renewable energy is prevalent, EV emissions are even lower.