The Rise of the Electric Vehicle

With big companies like Amazon and UPS placing huge orders for electric delivery trucks and the technological giant, Tesla, debuting its own version of electric-powered fleets, it’s no wonder that the topic of the electric vehicle sustainability is in the news and all over the media.

The dependency of first world nations on fossil fuels has caused more than a few problems in the world and for the world. It’s no secret that the continued use of fossil fuels will continue to amplify these problems at an alarming rate. So, is it really time to switch to electric cars?

More importantly, is the trade-off worth it?

The Types of Electric Vehicles Available

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are a group of vehicles that derive some or all of their power from electricity and electrical sources.

The two basic groups of EVs are AEVs, or all-electric vehicles and PHEVs, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, a vehicle that utilizes both gasoline and electrical charging.

The Pros and Cons of Electric Cars

Pros

  • High Performance and Low Maintenance - Generally speaking, electric cars are high-performance vehicles requiring much less maintenance than the more common internal combustion engine.

    AEVs and PHEVs offer engines that are quiet and smooth with quick reaction times.

    This makes them much more responsive and much more fun to drive than fully gas-powered vehicles.
     

  • Energy Efficient - Energy efficiency is determined by the amount of energy derived from the fuel source that is actually converted into power reflected in the turn of the vehicle's wheels.

    AEVs can convert much more of the vehicles’ fuel energy into movement energy than their gas-powered counterparts.

    On average, electric vehicles convert 59-62% of its fuel into the actual movement of the vehicle. Compare this to the typical 17-21% converted by gas vehicles and you will see why electric and hybrid vehicles are taking off!
     

  • Reduced Emissions - This is one of the biggest perks of electric vehicles. Not only is the actual consumption of fossil fuels reduced, but the resulting emissions from that consumption are reduced as well. The use of electric vehicles reduces the dependency on gasoline and diesel while also reducing the pollution caused by fuel combustion, which is a major cause for concern in many developed countries.
     

  • Increased Sustainability - Additionally, the rechargeable nature of electric vehicles means much-increased sustainability compared to an all gas-powered vehicle.

    Its electric nature means that even further sustainability is possible with domestically-sourced energy and the addition of renewable forms of energy generation via solar panels and wind turbines.

There is still room for improvement with the battery technology itself, especially in larger fleet vehicles, but with the smaller, light-duty type AEV and PHEV, the conversion rate is already quite impressive. The price per kilowatt-hour vs the price per gallon of gas means you can travel nearly four times as far for the same price with an electric vehicle.

Cons

  • Shorter Distances - One major drawback to electric vehicles is the fact that, unless it is a hybrid, in the case of PHEVs, the actual driving range per “fill up” or recharge is much shorter than gas and diesel engines.

    You would be hard-pressed to find a model that features more than a 300-mile range per charge. This is also the case for a luxury type model electric vehicle. The average for electric cars is much more likely in the 60- to 120-mile range.

    Compared to the 300- to 500-mile average range for gas-powered vehicles, you can expect much shorter trips and frequent stops at the charging station should you opt all-in on AEVs.
     

  • Variable Charging Station Availability - In addition to having your driving mile range reduced by almost half, AEVs also use a special electric vehicle charging station which currently is only available in metropolitan areas.

    You would be hard-pressed to find a charging station away from any major highway unless you installed a charge pack station yourself.

    This makes the road trip plans you’ve had in mind that much more complicated—running out of power can’t be fixed with a quick trip to the corner station.
     

  • Long “Fill Up” Times - Nevermind the lack of charging stations and the shortened trip duration, when you do run out of power, it can take up to 8 hours to fully recharge your battery on an AEV with a basic charger.

    Even the much faster, commercially available chargers can take as much as 30 minutes to charge an all-electric vehicle to 80% full.
     

  • More Expensive - The cost to repair and replace battery packs within electric vehicles is quite expensive and this cost may be repeated more than once during the life of the vehicle. Moreover, the upfront cost, as well as the maintenance cost, of an AEV is much more expensive than that of all gas-powered vehicles, excluding the most luxury of models.

    Of course, the idea is that in the long run, these additional costs and expenses will be outweighed by the savings in fuel cost, as well as any available state and tax incentives.

    And, we both know, the fact that you’re contributing to the reduction of pollution worldwide and the fact that you may be at the forefront of a movement away from petroleum-based dependency is priceless.

Take all these cons into consideration. Should you decide to become an AEV owner, it takes careful planning to maintain cost-effectiveness. It helps to have a very predictable routine to ensure proper recharge time and charging station availability between every trip.

Relative to PHEVs, many of these cons are reduced with the ability to use gasoline or diesel at much greater availability, but in the same way, the pros are much reduced as well.

With PHEVs come many complications similar to fully gas-powered vehicles and the hybrid engine and battery introduce much more expensive repairs and replacements.

Only You Can Decide if Electric is Right For You

All in all, like any vehicle, it’s important to do the research and access the feasibility according to your own needs and lifestyle.

The many pros of an electric vehicle such as reduced emissions, increased sustainability, and decreased fuel costs come at the expense of higher upfront pricing, higher costs to maintain, reduced trip distance, and charging station availability.

Should you consider the purchase of an electric vehicle and want help from experienced professionals on the current laws and marketplace, feel free to contact Norman Taylor & Associates at (888) 449-7639, or visit our website.

Call the experienced attorneys at Norman Taylor & Associates today at (888) 449-7639 to schedule your free consultation.

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