Many people still have concerns about electric cars. These concerns have to do mainly with the price of the car, charging times, charging points and how green they are. So, are these valid concerns?
Are they affordable enough for everyone?
Very often fully electric cars are expensive and much of that has to do with the price of the battery itself, which makes a significant proportion of the entire cost of an electric vehicle. For example, Volkswagen’s cheapest electric car, due on the market in four years’ time, could still cost up to £16,000 – almost £10,000 more than today’s budget petrol-powered equivalents.
But battery prices are expected to fall. So, the price of a new electric car should fall significantly over the next few years. Hopefully, bringing the cost down to a level comparable with petrol and diesel vehicles. With the current prices, it’s very unlikely that someone can get back the money he will invest buying an electric car. However, if he uses this car for long distances it may make sense to purchase such a vehicle.
The common mistake that most people do is that they compare the longevity of their cellphone to the longevity of an EV. But everyone can understand that these two have completely different charging patterns. Currently charging a car can take from 30 minutes over 24 hours, depending on the size of the battery, the type of the car, and the charging point you are using. But these times will all certainly be reduced in the future. Porsche are currently testing of 450 KW charging station that could reduce charging times to just a few minutes. Tesla show a longevity with 5% loss after 50,000 miles (80,000 km) and another 5% after 150,000 miles (241,000 km). With the average U.S driver going about 13,000 miles per year and owning a car on average for 7 years you will not even come close to needing to replace the battery on a new car.
Where you charge your car can be a big worry. For those of no access to a home or local charging station, easily accessible public charging locations are vital. The
UK currently has about 22.000 charging points, but we will need many more to meet growing demand. Not enough charging points mean longer distances to travel to top up and perhaps longer queues when you get there. The UK like other countries is encouraging the installation of more charging points. But a recent UK parliamentary report has criticized the government for failing to ensure proper national charging network is being developed. They argued that great financial support is needed to build up an effective network.
How green they are
Electric vehicles don’t pollute the environment with harmful emissions, but they do have other environmental costs such as mining and minerals from the batteries and from manufacturing them. Also, the electricity used to charge an electric vehicle may not come from a renewable source. The disposal of the batteries at the end of their lifespan has also a potential environmental impact. Although current UK regulations do require manufacturers pay for the collection, recycling and disposal of the batteries. Also, the EV will result in 53% lower overall emissions compared to a similar gasoline car.
Technology is improving all the time making batteries more efficient with great capacity and longer life. And there are major benefits to the local environment of having non-polluting electric cars replacing the traditional.
So, if you are thinking of buying an electric car today, there are certainly challenges depending on where you live and where you drive, but with the growing awareness of the environmental damage that petrol and diesel engines, many vehicle manufacturers focus their attention on developing electric powered cars. That would surely bring down prices and encourage us all to consider the benefits of green electric vehicles.
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