Electric

Vehicles

We all know that automobiles, powered by the internal combustion engine, produce carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming. Until recently, the choices available to purchase a car that produces little, or no greenhouse gas emissions has been limited to hybrids, alternative fuels such as hydrogen (Toyota Mirai) and one major electric producer (Tesla).  The cost of these vehicles, limited range, lack of choice in make and model, and concern about refueling during long trips has held back public acceptance of these alternatives. That’s about to change …. fast.

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As of July 2021, energy.gov

A prototype of an all-electric F-150 Lightning truck at Ford’s Rouge plant in Dearborn, Mich., Sept 27, 2021, Rebecca Cook/Reuters

What’s changing?

Concern for the environment, government incentives, advances in battery technology, and mass production are driving costs down while increasing the range electric vehicles can travel.

Automobile manufacturers are rapidly constructing new facilities or retooling existing facilities to produce electric vehicles.  As a result, by 2023, over a dozen manufacturers are expected to offer a wide variety of electric vehicles at prices that compete with traditional gas-powered cars.  Several traditional automakers have further stated their intention to eliminate sales of gas-powered automobiles by the early to mid-2030s.

Electric charging networks are being constructed and expanded to meet the anticipated need for refueling while on long-distance trips.  Some are privately funded by automakers while others are government-funded.  In Auburn, charging stations have been installed and are planned for public lots.  A master plan for determining these locations is under review.  In addition, new building codes specify the provision for electric charging circuits, and government incentives are being put in place that encourage the installation of home charging units.

Why should I consider an electric car?

With prices coming down, they should soon compete with traditional gas-powered vehicles.

Electric vehicles have fewer moving parts and are cheaper to maintain.  Electric vehicles typically have a longer interval between scheduled maintenance visits.  Electric vehicles do not require oil changes, timing belt adjustments, and other engine-related costs.

The cost of electricity is much lower than the cost of gasoline.

The performance of electric vehicles is typically better than internal combustion engines because there need to generate a chemical reaction that propels the car.  The response of an electric motor is, essentially, instant.  Electric cars have a lower center of gravity for improved handling and are much quieter than their gas-powered counterparts.

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Still concerned about the range of an electric car?

Battery technology has improved to the point where an electric car can easily support local daily trips on a single charge.  If you remain concerned about range, consider keeping a gas powered vehicle that can be used on longer trips.  As battery technology continues to improve and the charging network is fully deployed, range anxiety should become a thing of the past.  

The future of the automotive industry is one based on electric vehicles.  As technology continues to improve, the benefits of owning an electric vehicle will only improve.  Consider making the move today.  Your planet, driving enjoyment and pocketbook will thank you.