As an EV driver, you probably spend a fair amount of time having the same conversation with your friends and family about why they should go electric. It goes something like, “You’ve got an electric vehicle, right? But aren’t they …?” This is followed by a bunch of concerns to explain why they haven’t bought one yet. Then you’re stuck having to explain the same reasons why those concerns are either outdated or just plain wrong. Keep this article handy for your next work or family function, and you’ll have all the answers in shorthand. You’re welcome!
1. “I don’t want to wait 30 minutes to fill up.”
Most EV owners rarely ever go near a public charging station. In fact, the majority do all their charging at home. The latest models of electric vehicles have ranges that can handle your regular daily driving needs without ever having to charge throughout the day.
Most people are pretty surprised by how few miles they actually drive each day – the average American clocks up only 60 miles a day during the work week, which most EVs could do twice over on a single charge.
Even if you do have to use a public charger, chances are that you’ll never need to go from “empty to full.” That’s the gas way of thinking. You just need to get a top-up on your battery enough to get you home to fill up the rest of the way there.
There are some people who might not be able to install a charger at home, specifically people living in a condo or apartment, but more workplaces are installing charging stations for their employees.
With the right set up, and a little bit of planning, you should never be waiting around for your EV to charge.
2. “I don’t want to get stranded at the side of the road if my battery runs out.”
When was the last time you, or anyone you knew, ran out of gas? It shouldn’t really be a concern since you have a gas meter and a warning light that comes on when you’re running low. Well, it’s exactly the same with electric vehicles. EVs have intelligent range calculators that give you a dynamic estimate of the number of miles that you have left to drive, so you’ll always get an early warning when you’re running low on juice.
Anyway, most EVs now have ranges over 200 miles, which is more than twice as much as most people need on an average day.
Finally, there are more public charging stations springing up all the time, so if you are heading out for a longer journey, you’ll find plenty of options to charge up along the way. Some models of EVs will even show you the best place to charge when you type your destination into the GPS.
3. “EVs are too expensive.”
While the upfront cost of an EV is still generally higher when compared to a similar gas-powered vehicle, when you add up all the costs over the lifespan of the vehicle, EVs come out ahead.
This is because EVs are cheaper to run than gas-powered vehicles. In general, electricity is much cheaper than gas in North America. Cost per mile comparisons differ state by state, but on average, EVs cost less than half as much to run as gas-powered cars.
Obviously there are a lot of factors to take into consideration, but take it for what it’s worth.
Maintenance is also cheaper for EVs, because they don’t have all the moving parts and consumables of a combustion engine. There’s no oil or transmission fluid to change, no belts to replace and the brake pads last much longer thanks to EV’s regenerative braking systems.
Battery prices keep falling and this will keep bringing the sticker prices down. It won’t be too long until EVs are the same price off the lot – so there goes that excuse!
4. “EVs aren’t as green as you think.”
There are always some who will argue that until we’re getting all our electricity from green energy sources, driving an EV is no better for the environment.
But the truth is that EVs beat gas-powered vehicles for their green credentials every time.
Over their entire lives, EVs produce less carbon emissions than conventional vehicles. Only when coal is heavily used in electricity generation does the balance tip in the favor of conventional vehicles. In the U.S., we get less than a quarter of our electricity from coal, so EVs are much better for the health of our planet.
And they’re better for human health, too. By moving emissions away from cities and towns, people will have cleaner air to breathe. They’ll also benefit from quieter streets, thanks to how silent EVs are at low speeds.
So, Aunt Esmerelda, what’s stopping you?