Why Electric Vehicles?

Advantages for Moi!

  • The first benefit of driving electric vehicles is the obvious one---the savings. Depending on what EV you buy, you should at least halve your fuel costs. No more watching gas prices soar! You have certainty about your fuel costs and can budget accordingly. And if you install renewable energy at home, you can plug in and recharge for free. With gas costing $4-$5 per gallon and €1.20+ per litre in Europe, there are incredible savings to be made with electric cars.

    There are also other financial incentives to driving electric vehicles. These are state-grants and tax reliefs. Actually, I consider these to be rather mean-spirited at the moment, and I hope they will be increased as the urgency of having good environmental policies becomes clear to us all.

    There are differing incentives in different regions and countries. These may include tax incentives, VAT rebate, free parking, free recharging facilities, or exemption from congestion charges. You may also be able to claim tax back from the purchase cost of your electric vehicle. There may also be business incentives for recharging facilities. Check with your local authority for full details.

  • Electric vehicles are more pleasant to drive because they are so quiet. If, like me, you like to use your commute for a bit of me-time, a quiet drive helps.

  • Some districts offer reserved, or free parking for electric cars. Check with your local authority for what privileges they offer to different types of electric vehicles before buying.

  • Electric cars have the same torque at all speeds. You don't need to go through different gear changes for different speeds. Electric cars don't need gear boxes, or torque converters. They have full power at all speeds and offer a smooth ride from the get-go! This is ideal for stop-and-start city driving and traffic jams. When you're just starting to move from a stopping position, your engine has the same power propelling it as it has at higher speeds. Gas cars, on the other hand, have a "limited torque curve."

  • Electric cars are very reliable and much easier to maintain than gas cars. No grease for a start! They are quite simple, in mechanical terms. Therefore there is less to go wrong. Once you have a reliable battery, you shouldn't have any problems and you will find that there is less overall wear and tear on your car and less parts that have to be replaced. Yes, you do have to replace the battery every 4 years or so, but you don't have the same servicing costs of gas cars, like engine-tuning, mufflers, oil changes, starter, radiators, water pumps etc. So, savings all round!

  • Electric cars can go from zero to sixty a lot quicker than a gas car. You'll enjoy this if quick take-off from the lights is what you're into,leaving the gas-guzzlers gaping! Even if you're not such a show-off, you will notice the even power of driving electric!

    • Electric vehicles are ahead of the curve in terms of innovative design. With a small well-designed electric vehicle, such as the Tango, or the NmG, you will find it easier to park in tight spaces. Depending on where you live, you may be able to avail of car-pool-lane, or bus-lane privileges. You may also be able to weave past stuck traffic where lane-splitting is permitted. If so, you will get to work much faster in an EV.

      Photo by Osvaldo Gago/Creative Commons.

      Advantages for the World Beyond Me!

      • Bio-fuels are being sold as a way to run our cars on clean fuel. However, there are unintended consequences to this. The production of bio-fuels is partly to blame for current world food shortages, as they are displacing the planting of conventional agricultural crops. Unfortunately, bio-fuels are not turning out to be the all-good, green solution we thought they would be. Unlike bio-fuelled cars, electric cars allow us to go green, but not at the cost of someone else's food supply.

      • When driving a compact, well-designed electric vehicle, you free up lane space and parking space for everybody else. If we all did this, we could double our road space capacity and parking capacity.

      • Driving electric helps reduce the build-up of noise pollution which has a wearing affect on everybody, especially those who live near busy roads.

      • Driving electric helps reduce air pollution. There are enormous health benefits for everybody when toxic, cancer-causing emissions of gas cars is reduced. There are also tax-payer savings when the burden on public health services is reduced.
      • Although electric cars lose some of their energy-efficiency due to the low standards of electric power stations, they are still more efficient than gas cars, after the energy costs of oil-drilling, refining and transportation are measured. Whatever inefficiencies they have, are offset by the fact that they do not waste energy while the car is in idling position. This has environmental benefits of reducing pollution and not wasting a limited, precious commodity---oil. If the greening of the grids takes place over comeing years and renewable sources are used to fuel public electricity supplies, then there can be massive environmental benefits to electric driving.

      • Driving electric vehicles has geo-political benefits for everybody because it reduces our dependence on foreign oil, which is so destabilising for world peace. With electricity, our power source can be within our own borders, wherever in the world we live. This makes sense. With freedom from oil, we don't give hostages to fortune by allowing other nations with oil wells determine our cost of living. It is prudent that every nation would try to become energy self-sufficient. If you are against war, and for world peace, driving electric is one way of being true to your convictions.

      • Electric vehicles are the only long term way for us all to enjoy clean, sustainable motoring. The alternative is, as my daughter pointed out to me, after reading a great kids sci-fi book, that before the end of this century, only the super-rich and other elite groups will be able to have gas-fuelled cars and the rest of the population will have to make do with public transport. Now if she gets it, why don't we?

        We simply must dump the pump and create a critical mass of people driving electric cars, with state-of-the-art technology, at affordable prices.

        If we are all to enjoy the freedom of driving cars, then we have to make a common decision that we will all have to go electric. And get our governments to make policies to facilitate electric cars and green electricity.

      • The Future of Electric Cars

        History of Electric Cars

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        They're clean! They're green!
        They're the wonderful electric car machines!