“The future is friendly”, as we are “Living better electrically” — two slogans in one.
The 100,000th plug-in electric car is being sold in North America just about now.
Most motorists who are potential purchasers of an EV are not very familiar with the difference, regarding cost versus benefit, between the ‘old’ gas-engine and the new motor-car.
Let’s look at a few of the disputes and claims, facts and figures:
1. A car with a motor costs more than a car with an engine.
True. The smallest EV –so far–, the smart, cost much, much more than the basic ForTwo smart from Daimler.
The Nissan LEAF costs several thousand dollars more than the similar sized Sentra.
2. EVs are much less expensive to operate on a per-mile base.
True. Lacking enough liter/km cost comparison with kilowatt-hour / electricity cost for Canada, let’s borrow from our neighbors: “If you pay $4 a gallon for gasoline, a 25-mpg gas car needs $16 in fuel every 100 miles. An electric car uses 75 cents to $6.50 in electricity to cover that same 100 miles, depending on your local rate per kilowatt-hour”.
3. Some plug-in EVs also have an engine, while others do not.
There are more electric vehicles than the Tesla S or Nissan LEAF. Some ‘range-extended’ cars or hybrids can also be plugged in to recharge the battery; they are ‘partial EVs’, they can be driven electrically only, or with the engine only, or a combination of both.
4. Fact: Electric vehicles are much nicer to drive than you may think.
The “slow as a golf cart” myth is dead. EVs accelerate faster than a sportscar, because the motor develops maximum torque from zero RPM. No ‘vroom vroom’, just a quiet ‘whirrr’ and hum.
5. Range anxiety is subsiding.
New EV drivers tell us that they drive fewer kilometers per day than they thought they would, and over time, they gained confidence in NOT running the battery empty. (Just think of ‘gas-buggies’ one hundred year ago and the lack of ‘gas stations’ at that time.)
6. Temperature does matter.
We feel most comfortable at just about room temperature, and so do car batteries. Extreme heat or severe cold does reduce battery range; — we will learn the limits as we did learn the limits of our gas guzzlers.
7. EVs have no tailpipe, but there is a smokestack at the power plant.
The math to compare emission is complicated, but numerous studies have proven that the “well to wheel” figures favor the motor-car by a long shot; even better than a 50 mpg (4.7 l/100 km) hybrid.
8. No, EVs do not short out in a car wash or a flooded road.
Chevrolet has produced a video showing that the Volt can “water-ski” — well, almost.
If you have any electric vehicle questions not covered here — just ask. If we don’t know, we will find the answer and write another article for you, that’s a promise.