Why switch to an electric vehicle

By Mark Benson 

If you read the motoring press you’ll see snippets of comment about electric cars, electric car technology and battery technology. However, the vast majority of the motoring press is still dominated by gasoline vehicles with many people suggesting that electric cars are something of a gimmick. So, why would you consider switching to an electric vehicle?

There are a number of positive aspects of the electric car industry which are perhaps overshadowed by the stigma of years gone by. We will now take a look at the reasons why you might consider switching to an environmentally friendly electric car and ditching your gasoline vehicle.

The Environment

As we alluded to above, the modern-day gasoline car is more efficient than those of 50 years ago, 20 years ago and 10 years ago but the fact is that there are still very harmful emissions created every time you drive your vehicle. These emissions are having a major impact upon the worldwide environment.

There had been a general consensus that electric vehicles, and their environmentally friendly nature, would very quickly catch on and the fact there are no tailpipe emissions would grab the attention of the environmentally friendly lobby. The fact is that so far the take-up of electric vehicles has been disappointing to say the least, with their environmental benefits often downplayed – although the message is slowly starting to seep through.

Reduced maintenance and running costs

Before we look at the upfront cost of an electric vehicle, we’ll take a look at the reduced maintenance and running costs (which again, are often overlooked). The fact that an electric vehicle has very few in the way of moving parts means there is “less to go wrong” and ultimately maintenance and servicing of the vehicle is significantly less expensive compared to its gasoline counterpart.

When you also take into account the fact that “filling up” your electric vehicle will cost but a fraction of that compared to its gasoline counterpart, there are yet more ongoing savings to be made. The general consensus seems to be, when also taking into account the cost of insurance and the upfront cost of the vehicle, an electric car will pay for itself and save money for the driver from year three onwards.

Government financial incentives

If you take a look at the baseline cost of electric vehicles today, they do not always compare favourably to their gasoline counterparts. However, thankfully a number of governments around the world are now offering significant financial incentives to switch from gas guzzling vehicles to environmentally friendly electric cars.

If you shop around, there are potential savings in the thousands of dollars not to mention the fact that many electric cars attract no additional road tax charges, or at worst a reduced payment. The fact is that governments around the world have invested public money into electric car companies, have been promoting electric vehicles and ultimately, they cannot afford for the industry to fail again.

There is a growing feeling that governments around the world will do whatever it takes to “encourage” the transfer from gasoline vehicles to electric vehicles because the consequences of failing for the environment, public finances and government reputations are frightening.

Conclusion

The electric car of today is very different to that of 20 years ago or even 10 years ago. However, the stigma of the old-style rather distinguished and often eccentric looking vehicle, together with the old style technology, still hovers over the industry.

The fact is that governments around the world have invested heavily in the industry, car manufacturers have been dragged kicking and screaming into the new electric car age and slowly but surely consumers are coming around to the idea. The upfront cost of vehicles will fall as popularity improves, insurance costs will become more competitive and there are potentially even more benefits and cost savings to be had further down the line.

Written by Mark Benson of www.electricforum.com For more information on electric vehicles visit the Electric Forum where you can discuss your questions and queries with the 5,400 strong community.