Electric cars have become part of our society and easier to use. Cars and other electric vehicles can plug-in wherever there’s a charging station. In some cases, they perform better than vehicles with internal combustion engines, as electric motors offer fast reaction times, good torque, and exceptional reliability. From cost savings to environmental benefits, the perks of electric vehicles cover a lot of ground.
Why Get an Electric Car?
- Lower Costs of Ownership
Fueling an electric vehicle costs about a third as much as buying gasoline. Even with a hybrid car, you’ll save by using less gas. Federal tax credits, such as the Qualified Plug-In Electric-Drive Motor Vehicle Tax Credit, as well as state incentives, can contribute to savings. Vehicle size and battery capacity determine how much you can save with the federal tax credit.
- Less Maintenance
Compared to conventional vehicles, electric cars have fewer moving parts and therefore require less service. However, follow the manufacturers’ maintenance recommendations for batteries, brakes, tires, and suspensions. Eight-year/100,000-mile warranties for plug-in vehicle batteries are not unheard of and, based on National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates, batteries in moderate climates may last from 12 to 15 years.
- Fewer Environmental Emissions
An electric vehicle produces zero tailpipe emissions, while even a hybrid model cuts down on environmental pollutants when driven on electric power. If electricity is derived from low-polluting energy sources, such as a home solar photovoltaic system, the life cycle emissions of the vehicle are reduced even more. Eco-friendly production methods and materials also contribute to the environmental benefits. Some vehicles use recycled materials for bodywork and padding.
- Improved Public Health
Our health is significantly impacted by harmful exhaust emissions. Electric vehicles emit no particulates or chemicals. By having more of them on the roads, air quality can be improved, leading to fewer health problems associated with polluted air. Noise pollution is reduced as well.
- More Reliable Safety
Electric cars are generally safer. They’re at less risk of major fires and explosions. A durable body construction protects occupants in case of a collision or other impact. Also, the center of gravity of an electric or hybrid vehicle is lower, making rollovers less likely.
- Availability of Infrastructure
Electricity is typically available close to where people park their cars. Whether you power up at a public charging station, at home, a fleet facility, or near work, you can be ready to go within a few hours. The number of public charging stations is increasing nationwide as automakers, utilities, and charging equipment manufacturers commission them. Even local municipalities and government agencies, among various private organizations, are jumping onboard. By 2018, there were 18,000 charging stations accessible to the public.
- National Energy Security
Reliance on foreign sources of energy can be problematic when there’s an international conflict, disaster, or supply disruption. Transportation accounts for about three-quarters of the petroleum used in the U.S., 19% of which was imported in 2017. Electric vehicles reduce the impact of international events on the economy and transportation fleet. Increased use of domestic renewable resources helps too.
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