Electric vehicles remain a curiosity for many motorists. While many industry experts predict all cars on the road will be electric models at some point in the future, gas-powered vehicles still outnumber electric cars by a wide margin.
Some drivers may be hesitant to purchase electric cars out of a fear of the unknown. That’s understandable considering the cost of new vehicles, electric or gas-powered. According to analysts at Kelley Blue Book, the average transaction price for light vehicles in the United States was more than $36,000 in early 2018. That makes vehicles a significant investment and perhaps explains why consumers have thus far been hesitant to embrace electric cars en masse. But the benefits of electric cars are many, and understanding just what those benefits are might compel more drivers to make the leap.
Effects on local economies
Many countries, including the United States, import a substantial percentage of the petroleum they consume. For example, the U.S. Department of Energy notes that the United States imports 19 percent of the petroleum it consumes, three-quarters of which is used for transportation. All-electric vehicles can be powered solely by domestically produced electricity, which can benefit local economies in countries such as the United States and Canada.
There’s no denying that purchase prices for electric cars and even hybrid vehicles are higher than those for more conventional, gas-powered vehicles. However, many countries offer sizable tax credits to buyers of hybrid and electric vehicles. In addition, fuel costs for hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles are low, which can help offset the high purchase price of such automobiles.
The DOE notes that electric vehicles produce zero tailpipe emissions. The same goes for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles when they’re operating in all-electric mode. That’s a substantial benefit, as tailpipe emissions pose a significant threat to the environment as well as human health. Common tailpipe emissions include carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, benzene, and carbon dioxide. Such pollutants can lead to further depletion of the ozone and some, such as benzene, are known carcinogens.
Electric vehicles have yet to catch on a wide scale. However, the overwhelming benefits of such cars and trucks makes it extremely likely that they are the future of driving for those motorists who have thus far been hesitant to ditch their gas-powered automobiles.