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Should We Buy Electric Vehicles?

– Contributed content –

Jaguar EV

Jaguar EV (Ronnie Overgoor, Unsplash)

24 Oct. 2020. Electric vehicles are now easy to see everywhere you go. You might see them on the road, parked in driveways, or at the supermarket. In times gone by, this would have been unthinkable. There was no infrastructure for them, and the technology was never going to compete with gas-motor vehicles.

All of that has changed and relatively quickly. In the course of a decade, the EV market has grown significantly, but not in line with demand. In fact, the demand for EVs has outstripped supply all the way owing to a lack of charging stations and certain reluctance on the part of big brand car manufacturers to go all in.

Now the advantages are clear for everyone to see, and the charging stations are beginning to increase. Big brand car manufacturers are developing a variety of models to suit all styles and tastes, but is it time to ditch your gas-motor in favor of an EV? That’s the question we ask and try to answer in this article.

They’re cheaper but less convenient

If you go to buy an EV, you might be put off by the price; on average, an EV will cost you double that of a gas-powered vehicle. However, it’s clear that the investment pays off in the long term with massive reductions in the overall running costs and virtually no need to service the vehicle.

Unlike a gas-powered vehicle, an EV has no mechanical parts. It has no gearbox, no fly-wheel, no timing belt, and no oil to change. It does have a battery, which is usually sizable and located on the floor. Like all batteries, it eventually dies and will need replacing. This is the only significant expense of running an EV and is not likely to affect you for many years.

Despite this, the EVs are far less convenient. Public access points are limited, and it can be costly to adapt your home for charging them correctly. What’s more, the claim that EVs are zero-emissions may be false in some cases. They are clearly zero-emissions vehicles at the tailpipe since they don’t have one, but unless their electricity is 100% renewable, they won’t be zero emissions.

They perform well with limited range

When people think of an EV, they may be tempted to think of a vehicle that performs less-well than a gas-powered one. Perhaps they get this reputation from the vehicles of the past, the ones in developmental and experimental stages. These days, it might surprise some people that EVs outperform the gas-motors in many cases.

They have no mechanical parts, they are lighter, and they have excellent torque that can be delivered directly to the axle. All this means an EV has excellent acceleration that will race ahead of a gas-powered car quite easily. The other feature of EV technology, exuding the air cooled chiller, is the silence on the road. No engine means no noise, which divides opinion.

But it’s not all roses in the garden. While they are quiet and quick, they do suffer from a lack of range in comparison to traditional vehicles. The majority of EVs on the market will offer a range of between 150-250 miles depending on the model. The range will also be affected by the driving style; lots of accelerating, for instance, will run it down faster.

The range is also an issue depending on how you use your vehicle. Running an EV means you have to think about how far you’re traveling and if there are any charging stations along the way: this can be a deal-breaker for many individuals.

They don’t use gas, but they aren’t zero emissions

One of the big selling points of EVs is the fact they don’t use gas and are sold as zero-emissions vehicles. It is true that they don’t use gas, which is an excellent benefit, both for the planet and for your pocket. However, they are probably not zero emissions, at least not yet.

Not running on gas is a massive advantage of EVs. It’s also a disadvantage as it limits range and access to fuel, but it massively reduces the running costs and the vehicle’s environmental impact. There is no gas to burn, no oil in the car, and fluids like coolant and antifreeze aren’t necessary.

However, there is still an environmental impact from EVs that should not be overlooked or ignored. At present, only around 20% is made up of renewable energy, meaning that these vehicles are still causing harmful emissions from fossil fuels. There are no immediate traces of that as the car itself seems carbon-free, but they are still a net contributor to global warming.

The good news is that companies like Envision Solar are creating more 100% renewable charging stations. The good news is the demand for EVs is outstripping supply, and as the demand grows, the infrastructure will improve.

There’s a limited selection, but they’re good to lease

The market for EVs has been steadily growing since the 2010s, in-line with the environmental movement. A culture of conscious consumerism has developed, and people are beginning to see alternative vehicles’ viability. Despite this, the supply has not kept up, and there is a shortfall and lack of choice within the EV market.

In 2020 and beyond, however, this trend is set to change. More big brand car manufacturers are now developing EV models that compete with gas-motor alternatives in terms of style and performance. There are now EV sports vehicles, SUVs, and pickup trucks. As the range and infrastructure grow, there will be no excuse not to get one.

But buying an EV can be an expensive option. They are twice the price of gas-motors on average, which has led many conscious consumers to lease them instead. Leasing an EV allows you to ditch your gas-motor and go electric without the upfront cost. With an EV lease, you will have an all-electric vehicle for less than you would pay on even a gas-powered finance agreement.

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