Electric cars aren’t the future. They’re here and it looks like they’re here to stay. See how much you know about this cleaner, greener type of car by taking a look at these true / false statements.
The grid couldn’t cope if we all switched to electric cars.
FALSE. Firstly, most people wouldn’t be charging their electrical vehicles (EVs) during peak hours. Secondly large power companies are working with national organizations and electric car manufacturers to ensure that EVs don’t compromise the safety and reliability of the grid. According to Pacific Gas and Electric representatives, every time a customer purchases an electric vehicle, a grid service check is conducted to make sure there’s enough power so the car can be serviced locally. Only 12 local grids have had to be upgraded, which is a low-cost fix.
The most affordable EVs will only drive for 100 miles before needing charged again. You could get stuck on the road with a car that’s as useful as a chocolate teapot!
TRUE AND FALSE. Yes, it’s true that the most affordable electric cars have a charging capacity of 100 miles. This mightn’t sound like much, but the average daily commute for Americans is 40 miles. That’s plenty of battery to get you to and from work, with a stop off at the store to pick up dinner on the way home!
Where does the false part come in? Even if you did run out of charge, there are 18,500 charging stations across the States. There’s no way you’d find it hard to charge when you’re out on the road. Check out the Alternative Fueling Station Locator to see the stations near you.
On average it costs less than $550 a year to run an electric car.
TRUE. The average cost of electricity in the US is 12 cents per kWh. Unlike gasoline, this doesn’t vary much because it’s produced at home and isn’t affected by international instability. The average person drives 15,000 miles a year, bringing the total charging costs to $540.
For the cost of driving an EV to equal the cost of driving a gasoline car, electricity costs would have to quadruple to a massive 48 cents per kWH. Assuming it costs $1,962 to run a gasoline car for a year, EV drivers are making a significant saving.
Electric cars are expensive.
TRUE AND FALSE. This is just like saying “gasoline cars are expensive”. Some are, and some aren’t. You can spend $100,000 on an Aston Martin, on $1,000 on an older pre-owned car.
Typically, a less expensive EV will drive for fewer hours than a more expensive electric car. But, just like gasoline cars, there are several manufacturers of electric vehicles. These companies manufacture cars targeted at drivers who expect different levels of quality, different appearances, and different ‘optional extras’. This list of the 10 EVs with the best range gives you an idea of the price range.
You need to leave more time for your journey because electric cars are slow.
TRUE AND FALSE. Some electric cars have a top speed of 40 km per hour. There’s a special type of EV known as a ‘neighborhood electric vehicle’ that’s limited to roads with speed limits of 45 miles per hour. Brands such as the Polaris Gem and the OKA Auto are popular Low Speed Vehicles (LSVs).
The most popular type of EV – highway capable cars – has a top speed of around 150 km per hour. These are the electric cars you’re most likely to see on the roads. The fastest brand of EV in this category is the Tesla. With a top speed of 225 km per hour, Teslas certainly aren’t cars that anyone could label ‘slow’!
You’ll have noticed that most of these statements were partly true and partly false. Just like gasoline cars, there’s a wide range of electric cars, each designed for different drivers with different needs. Like any form of technology, advances are constantly being made, so the electric car scene is changing all the time. Watch this space!
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