Why should you go electric?
Obviously I think you should, otherwise I wouldn’t have made this website…

There are a number of answers.

The one that springs to mind for most people is the sustainability angle, and that is a very good and valid reason.

A cleaner environment is another good reason…exhaust fumes stink, they’re bad for our health. Even the “long tailpipe” argument, that electric cars merely move the pollution somewhere else, (not exactly true…but often quoted by those who oppose EVs) still recognises that our cities where most of us live and work will be cleaner without fossil fuelled cars.

Those are altruistic reasons…noble and good, but what’s in it for you if you go electric?
A lot of things!

Electric cars are cheap to run. At retail power prices they are around 20% of the running cost of a comparable petrol car. If you have off peak for overnight charging it gets better, and if you have solar panels you’re running for peanuts…

Servicing is so much cheaper and easier…no engine oil to change, no spark plugs, no fuel pumps or filters…and with regenerative braking your brakes last much longer as well!

Never visit a petrol station again! It’s a great feeling driving past petrol stations and knowing you don’t need to stop and spend money there…
So much nicer to just plug in when you get home and have a full charge when you go out.
The only time I visit a petrol station is to top up the air in the tyres…

Electric cars are just so nice to drive!
Ok…if you’re a real petrol head you might miss the sound of a V8 bellowing from a wild exhaust…but they really are just so easy, user friendly and fuss free to drive.
EVs are smooth, quiet, no vibration or smells.
On all production EVs and a lot of converted cars, there are no gears to shift. Not because there is a nasty automatic transmission, but because there are no gears there to be shifted. Electric motors don’t suffer from the weakness of internal combustion engines (narrow power band and no torque at idle) so they don’t need a clutch or a gearbox at all. With the motor connected to the wheels you just press the pedal and go!

After living with an EV for a while, it doesn’t matter how much of a petrol head you are, you will not be able to help noticing all the shortcomings when you get back into a normal petrol car…I’ve been a car guy since I could walk and talk, love a nice exhaust note and manual gearbox…yet after owning an EV for a couple of years whenever I get in a conventional car, even a really nice one, I can’t help wishing it was electric!

On sustainability… Oil is a finite resource, they ain’t making any more of it, and the extraction, shipping, refining, and burning of it has huge detrimental effects upon the environment.
Also, a good argument is that rather than burning it to get around until we run out or it gets too expensive, we should be keeping it for those things which cannot be done any other way…
While we won’t be running out of oil any time soon, “Peak Oil” is a reality that will be with us before long. In a nutshell this means that there will be a point where our continued growth in consumption outstrips our ability to increase production, leading to a shortfall which will get worse with time and drive up prices. Our oil consumption continues to grow strongly every year, so this WILL happen, and probably sooner rather than later…

Air pollution is a growing problem, best known by the California smog, but London has a low emissions vehicle zone now (where higher emission vehicles pay a hefty toll to drive through) and Paris has declared days when all cars with even numbered registration plates are banned from the road, followed by a day of banning odd numbered cars…and rapidly growing cities in emerging economies are suffering huge pollution problems.
The current solution is ever tightening pollution regulations on new cars, but that comes at the expense of reduced performance and increased fuel consumption, decreases in its efficacy as the car gets older and more worn, and can be easily bypassed as we all discovered with the Volkswagen “Dieselgate” scandal…
Going electric removes a lot of the emissions in the first place, allows these to be further reduced by adding more and more renewables into the energy mix, and places what emissions there are remaining into large power stations that are away from population centres and can be far more effectively regulated and monitored than millions of individual cars…

Are there downsides to going electric?
Of course there are.
No perfect system of transportation has ever been invented, and probably never will…

EVs are still not pollution free.
Tyres and brakes and so on are essential no matter what powers the car.
EVs have batteries, although all modern EVs use lithium batteries. Lithium is not in short supply, in fact most of the known reserves haven’t even been touched, and a modern EV battery is 90-95% recyclable.
The only pollution free method of personal transport is walking.

EVs have less range than a petrol car and take longer to “refuel”. This is changing though. In areas with high EV uptake, public charge points are common and fast chargers can top up your battery in the time it takes to have a coffee.
Cars are being designed with longer and longer range as battery technology improves.
For most people, range is not a problem, as we simply don’t drive long distances very often. If you are saving thousands of dollars a year on fuel, it’s not a big deal to hire a car for that weekend away twice a year…
And for those who really do NEED a long range on a regular basis, there is the halfway option of plug in hybrids. These have some of the advantages and drawbacks of both types of vehicle, but are a good option for some.

Some cracking deals can be had. I bought my Mitsubishi i MiEV for under $20,000…and the Nissan Leaf has come down from almost $60,000 at it’s Australian launch to $39,990 drive away…
The more people who make the switch the cheaper EVs will get…remember when DVD players were $3,000 each? Now you can get one for less than $50…

I took a leap of faith and made the switch. I have never looked back, and I look forwards to when I can swap my work Hilux for an electric one…
Find an EV and go for a drive, it might just change your life!

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