7 fun facts about electric vehicles

A new Tesla Model 3 owner celebrates delivery of his new EV. [Wikimedia Commons Photo]
editor's blog iconThere is a lot of misinformation and outright anti-Electric Vehicle propaganda circulating on the internet. After all, BIG OIL and its moneyed interests have A LOT to lose if the world converts to electric vehicles which are far more environmentally and health friendly than any gasoline vehicle ever will be.

Don’t believe me on that one? Try the garage-door test – if you dare ==>

Fire up your gasoline car’s motor – with your garage door closed – and sit in your car for as long as you can. Oops, you’ll be DEAD within minutes thanks to the toxic carbon monoxide that will soon fill your closed garage if you do that. And, to be clear, I do not recommend, and I am NOT recommending, that you actually follow through on that test!

Next, fire up your electric car’s motor – with your garage door closed – and sit in your electric car for as long as possible. Better bring a newspaper or magazine – or your smart phone, because you could sit there for hours and hours and hours and hours and hours – and suffer no ill effects at all! Because, of course, EVs don’t pump out any point-of-source toxins directly into your lungs.

Ok, on to the seven fun facts about electric cars now. Oh, better make that eight fun facts as I snuck in a fun fact there right at the start: You can sit in your electric car in an enclosed space with the motor on and suffer no ill health effects at all. Can’t do that in an ICE – and you never will be able to! 😉

Electric vehicles make much more efficient use of energy than gasoline vehicles. [Wikipedia.Org Graphic]
1. EVs are more efficient
EVs convert 59% to 62% of the electrical energy from the grid to power at the wheels. Conventional gasoline vehicles only convert 17% to 21% of the energy stored in gasoline to power at the wheels.

2. EVs are cheaper to fuel
If you drive a pure battery electric vehicle 15,000 miles a year at current electricity rates (assuming $.12 per kilowatt hour), you’ll pay about $500 per year for electricity to charge your battery, but you’ll save about $1,900 in gas (assuming $3.54 per gallon, a 28 miles per gallon vehicle, and 15,000 miles driven). So $1,900 minus $500 equals $1,400 in savings — a 74% reduction in fueling costs. YES, obviously, the savings depend on a number of variables, cost of gasoline where you live, the mileage you would have gotten in a gasoline car, depending on the model of the car, and the mileage you would get in an EV, depending on the EV model. A GENERAL rule of thumb, though, is that you will likely pay at least three times as much, and possibly more, to fuel a gasoline car as an electric vehicle – in the United States.

A Tesla Model 3 in motion
The Tesla Model 3 performance can accelerate from 0-60 in less than four seconds. [Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Peter Stevens]
3. EVs are quicker [A LOT!]
After the fact that I can drive an EV on 100% renewable energy generated electricity and therefore drive air pollution free, the sheer quickness of the electric driving experience is definitely next on my list of reasons I LOVE to drive an EV. EVs have IMMEDIATE torque, which means that there is NO LAG between the time you step on the accelerator and the time that the motor sends power to the wheels. It never ceases to amaze me that so many Americans still have the FALSE VIEW that EVS are SLOW (this may have to do with the another FALSE IDEA that EVS are like hybrids).

Nope, no-how, no way. EVs are WAY quicker, on average than the vast majority of gasoline cars and the higher-end EVs are as quick, or EVEN QUICKER, than a lot of motorcycles. That’s right: The quicker Tesla models are as quick, or EVEN QUICKER, than most MOTORCYCLES. That is . . . Amazing!!!

Here are some 0-62 mph and 0-60 mph times of some EVs to give you an idea of how quick electric vehicles are ==>

Nissan LEAF: 0-62 mph in 7.9 seconds
Kia e-Niro: 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds
Hyundai Kona Electric: 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds
BMW i3S: 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds
Chevrolet Bolt EV: 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds
Audi e-tron: 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds
Jaguar I-Pace: 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds
Tesla Model 3 Performance: 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds
Tesla Model X P100D: 0-60mph in 2.9 seconds
Tesla Model S P100D: 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds
[Source = TopGear.Com]

With an EV, you car will be in the auto shop much less than if you have a gas car. [Pixabay.Com Photo By Ryan Doka]
4. EV maintenance costs are lower
Study after study after study has found that the cost to maintain an electric vehicle is significantly lower than the cost to maintain a gasoline vehicle, up to two-thirds less, actually! The primary reason for the lower costs: Electric vehicles are much simpler than ICEs with about 200 moving parts as opposed to 1,000 moving parts for a gasoline car. Indeed, one reason American car dealerships have been so milquetoast about promoting electric cars – a recent Sierra Club survey found that 74% of American car dealerships do not even offer a single EV model for sale — is because they are afraid it will cost them a lot of business – with far fewer maintenance trips to the dealership for electric car owners than for ICE owners. Well, the dealers ought to be worried, though I have little sympathy for them because I’d rather spend my own money on something other than trips to the dealership to maintain my car – wouldn’t you!?

I have driven two electric cars – a leased 2014 Nissan LEAF and then a leased 2017 Chevy Bolt — across six years and 75,000 miles of driving. Here is the maintenance I have had to perform on those two cars: Replace windshield wipers three times, buy four new tires, total, have my tires regularly rotated and balanced, fill the windshield fluid reservoir. That’s it! Nothing else!

A Tesla Model 3 charging at at Supercharger station. [Flickr Creative Commons Photo By Marco Verch]
5. EVs have plenty of range
Most Americans drive 40 miles or less per day. But, even if you are among those who drive say 75 miles per day, 100 miles per day, or even 200 miles per day, there are plenty of affordable electric vehicles out there that can meet your needs from the Nissan LEAF and Chevy Bolt to the Kia Niro and the Tesla Model 3.

And, yes, you CAN do a road trip in an electric vehicle. It’s especially easy if you have a Tesla and can plug in to the Tesla Supercharger Network, which has hundreds of Supercharger stations along all major interstates in the United States, and around major highways in Europe and in other parts of the world as well.

In the summer of 2018, I drove my 2017 Chevy Bolt with my two teen-aged daughters 2,400 miles round trip from Littleton, Colo. to my sister’s in Goleta, Calif. Yes, it did take us an extra day – but that is only because the fast-charging infrastructure was not what it should be/could be in summer 2018. It has gotten better since. In fact, in the end, there really is NO range problem with today’s 200-350-mile electric cars. The true problem – and one that is being worked on and can be worked on further is a fueling infrastructure problem. You’d ALSO have a range problem in your gasoline car without a sufficient gasoline fueling infrastructure. Here’s a list of some affordable electric vehicles and their EPA rated ranges ==>

Nissan LEAF Plus = 226 miles
Kia Niro EV = 239 miles
Tesla Model 3 standard range = 250 miles
Chevy Bolt = 250 miles
Hyundai Kona electric = 259 miles
Tesla Model 3 long range = 322 miles

A view of the open road on I-25 in New Mexico — from inside a Tesla Model S. [Photo By Christof Demont-Heinrich]
6. EVs are more fun to drive
After six years of driving an electric vehicle only – first a 2014 Nissan LEAF for three and a half years, and then a 2017 Chevy Bolt for the past two and a half years – I can personally attest to the fact that electric cars are WAY more fun to drive than gasoline cars – at least MOST gasoline cars that 90% of Americans are going to actually end up driving on a regular basis. EVs are WAY quicker, quieter, smoother, zippier, cleaner, and easier to fuel for a lot of people – for homeowners with a garage, just plug in at home in your garage overnight, and you’re good to go in the morning.

But don’t take my word for it. Take electric vehicle owners’ words for it: According to an extensive survey conducted by Ford, 90% of EV owners say they would not replace their EV with a gasoline car. In short, once you’ve gone electric, you are VERY unlikely to go back to gasoline – because the EV driving and ownership experience is so much better.

A solar-charged electric Nissan LEAF in Aurora, Colo.

7. EVs can be fueled by 100% renewable energy generated electricity
My entire web site, SolarChargedDriving.Com, which I have been doing for 10 years now!, and which has more than 1,300 entries, thousands of photos and dozens of videos, was founded because of the amazing fact that an electric car can be fueled 100% air pollution free AND it can run 100% air pollution free. If the electric grid you plug your EV into is 100% renewable energy powered, your EV is 100% renewable energy powered, and you are, quite literally, driving without any emissions whatsoever. That. Is. Incredible. Especially when you find it very difficult to wrap your head around, as I did, the fact that you do NOT have to burn something, or create a fire, in order to propel a several thousand pound vehicle forward at fast rates of speeds. You just need solar panels on your home’s roof, a wind turbine feeding the grid, hydro energy feeding the grid, etc. Gasoline cars, no matter how efficient, will NEVER be able to be run on renewable energy and will NEVER be 100% air pollution free. NEVER!

EV maintenance costs are substantially lower in Canada than ICE maintenance costs according to a study by the Two Degrees Institute.