By: Guest Contributor, Hailey Robinson
With so many options for cars in the market, you might not understand the differences between hybrid and electric. However, electric cars a great option since they reduce your carbon footprint substantially.
Since electric cars don’t have an internal combustion engine, they don’t produce the same pollution that gas-powered vehicles do. The electricity used to charge the car does use fossil fuels, which produces some pollution. But according to a study performed by the Electric Vehicle Association of Canada, the carbon emission amount of an electric car is approximately half of a traditional car. If you live in an area with clean options, such as nuclear power or hydropower, that number can drop even lower.
If your electric car runs solely on battery power, the cost to drive is approximately 75 percent less than a gas-powered vehicle. In comparison, it costs an average of $11.5 cents per mile for gasoline, at a fixed price of $3.50 per gallon. So if you drive 12,000 miles per year, you’ll spend $1400 on fuel that year. Battery-powered vehicles also don’t have transmissions, so you can save on repairs. And they also don’t require oil changes, fuel filters, or emissions testing. If your car is a hybrid, running partly on gas, there are still many ways to effectively drive to help save on gas costs.
Many electric vehicles contain much simpler systems, such as drive train and brake systems, so they require less maintenance. They don’t have as many parts that can malfunction, which increases the safety ratings and makes them more reliable. As experts continue to study and improve electric vehicle technology, they predict that these cars will become safer and more reliable over the next few years as well. They are also improving the battery life and function in the vehicles.
In some states, the IRS currently offers a tax credit when you purchase an electric vehicle that can help offset the cost by a few thousand dollars. You can check with your accountant or the IRS website to learn more about what form to use, how to file, and whether this benefit is available where you live.
Most people choose an electric car because they understand how much it can reduce environmental damage. In the United States, more than half of the greenhouse gas produced comes from transportation, and more than half of that is from personal vehicles. According to another study, a gasoline vehicle would have to get 73 miles per gallon to compete with an electric vehicle. If your community has options for renewable energy sources, you can further lower your impact on the environment. If that isn’t available in your area, consider working with local authorities to request that option.
Since these vehicles don’t have combustion engines, they run with much less sound. This further helps the factory workers who help build your vehicle, since it reduces the need for medical care from hearing loss and other injuries.
Charge While You Sleep
If you work at night, you can simply plug in your car when you come home for the evening and allow it to charge while you sleep. Since many people across the nation will also be asleep during this time, it reduces the possibility for reaching charge capacity and you can head to work in the morning with a full charge on the battery. If you’re traveling over several days, many stores and gas stations across the country offer recharge stations.
As you consider the benefits of switching to an electric car, you can feel confident that you will have a reliable and safe car in which you can commute, drive family around, or take road trips with friends to see the sights of our beautiful country.
Electric car image via Shutterstock.
Hailey Robinson is a recent graduate with a degree in Journalism. Now that she isn’t face first in books she is trying to travel as much as she can. She writes in her free time between fixing up her new house and teaching people how to live a longer, healthier life.