From one-man keynotes to global mass adoption, electric cars have come a long way and have finally claimed the spotlights within an automotive industry that was about to get very dusty. With pretty much everything that's new to the market (and our vocabulary), the human fear for change always appears to be a tough cookie to crack. Well, fear no more.
Electric driving has long entered mainstream. As crowded cities and its inhabitants seek for more sustainable ways to get around, new AND old car manufacturers have now massively picked up our call for clean mobility at last. Either you're looking for your very first car, or finding a replacement for your current one, here's why you should drive electric today.
The one word your wallet loves to hear. Even with dropping oil prices, EVs are still cheaper to fuel than their gasoline counterparts. The infographic below sums up some serious savings in dollars for the US. EVs can save up to 75% of the conventional fuel- consumption per year, and qualify for a wide range of local government incentives and tax credits across the world. Here's an overview of incentives provided by Dutch municipalities.
The feature that characterizes humankind. Driving electric means you no longer have to depend on any gas stations. Instead, you can be enjoying your day elsewhere, while you park your car and top it up with electricity, comfortably from a charging station at home, at work, or on the road. With the increasing availability of residential solar panels, we can even generate our own electricity. This way, EV charging is bound to become even cheaper over the long run. In The Netherlands, you can file requests for public charging stations in your neighborhood or along the route of your daily commute through your municipality's website. Here's how you can get started in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
The one and only thing we should really care about. Driving electric vehicles produces no harmful tailpipe emissions and a reduced carbon footprint. Of course, there are emissions associated with the electricity that is used to charge an EV, and these “upstream” emissions are an important part of the equation when comparing overall emissions. Nonetheless, UCS analysis has found that no matter where you plug-in an EV, even if it’s in a region dominated by relatively dirty power – like coal – the emissions produced by an EV are less than the emissions of an average conventional vehicle. Most importantly, as electricity grids get fueled by more renewable energy (i.e. solar and wind power), charging EVs will become even cleaner. In many European countries, electric vehicles are already powered by green electricity at home and in public.
The key to convenience. Despite being an advanced technology, EVs are remarkably simple to maintain. The absence of a combustion engine equals fewer moving parts, which means lower cost of maintenance and zero oil changes. Brake pads will require periodic maintenance, but not nearly as often as conventional vehicles, since EVs use brakes less thanks to regenerative braking. Overall, an instant torque, an improved range (and even better to come), and a silent ride, make electric vehicles fun to drive.
The reassurance for drivers. “Electric cars are short ranged and require lengthy charging times”. We hear preconceptions like these from miles away. However, often overlooked by those new to electric driving, most of the charging actually happens while you're at work or while you're asleep. For the Dutch amongst us, may we also remind you that the radius of each electric car is sufficient to cover the average commute of our citizens? In fact, more than 80% of EU drives less than 65 km per day, which means that any full electric vehicle will fulfil your driving needs. With more durable car batteries, charging points and fast-charging stations, electric cars now run longer distances with shorter charging times required.
Long story short ...
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Find an overview of all available plug-in hybrids and full-electric cars in the EU and US here.
Mainstream electric mobility is still less than a decade old. In many ways, best practices for electric vehicles are still being defined and honed. But, in order to create a better EV driving experience, we first need to get some input from those driving EVs today .