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Could You Live With An EV?
If you’re in the market for a new car, could an all-electric model possibly fit the bill?
Given yet-modest EV sales in America, undoubtedly many people would answer “no,” or they lack sufficient information to say “yes.”
In December 2013, a national survey by the Union of Concerned Scientists found 25 percent of American households could meet their daily driving needs with an electric car, so despite a limited selection thus far, we thought we’d ask.
Major manufacturers have been selling battery electric vehicles for more than three years, with a few models available for sale and/or lease in several markets. Even fewer EVs – Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, and Tesla Model S – are sold in all 50 states, but plug-in car sales almost doubled last year over 2012.
Granted many people remain on the sidelines, but others have reported EVs as actually kind of fun, quiet running, and reasonably high tech.
EVs offer instant torque, smooth acceleration and regenerative braking, and in the words of one EV owner, “EV driving is more fun than a clunky ICE engine, transmission, gear shifting and friction brakes.”
Reasons to take the plunge on an EV may be divided into two categories:
1) You have something directly to gain, such as saving money, or other tangible benefits.
2) You stand to indirectly gain along with others in society, such as through environmental and health benefits that are helped along by cleaner cars.
We won’t ask you to raise your hand to identify your core motives, because – as the tongue-in-cheek words of an EV advocate put it:
“When you ask people whether they’re environmentally responsible, or just cheap, how do you expect them to answer?”
Right. But there is no shame in wanting a big-ticket purchase to make sense and most people can’t or won’t do things purely out of a sense of altruism.
Good news for those who are not members of the Good Will is EVs have been shown to provide direct payback as well as indirect payback.
It is true lifestyle adjustments need to be made to work with range usually under 100 miles – except for Teslas – and recharging that takes longer than a fill up, but this is a tradeoff many tens of thousands of people have made.
The following “10 reasons” – actually we’ve already given you some reasons, and there are more reasons squeezed in – could apply in cases to plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) because they run part-time on all-electric power.
The majority of these reasons are about direct personal benefit to an EV buyer, with the last few looking at potentially improving society, the environment, and economy.