The Benefits of Owning & Using an Electric Vehicle

The electric vehicle is becoming a much more viable form of daily transportation. The automotive industry continues to improve EV capabilities with better designs. And battery makers are building better batteries that extend the range and produce better power for EVs. Better power and more miles between charges make EVs a tantalizing option for many potential buyers of new cars.

You can buy an EV that perfectly supports your general transportation needs and virtually wipes out your annual fuel costs. Sedans, SUVs, sports cars and now even pickups are embracing the EV movement and moving forward with some truly exciting models that should prove to be very popular and highly functional.

The EV industry is growing rapidly and likely will become the primary source of virtually all private passenger vehicle classes over the next couple of decades and possibly sooner. With charging stations located at many places of work and fast-charging systems going up along highways and freeways, the potential to travel from coast to coast without the need for gasoline is becoming a realistic goal.

Yet, many consumers must consider the benefits of buying a new EV for daily transportation duties or continue with the traditional internal combustion engine. The following are some of the many benefits of driving an EV that might help decide the matter.

Zero Emissions From Fully Electric Models

Possibly the single greatest benefit of driving an EV is that it produces no emissions at all. The electric power enables you to go to and from work and handle other daily transportation chores without sipping a single drop of petrol.

The only emissions that could be traced to the use of an EV motor would be those produced by electric generation. And even those are becoming more environmentally friendly with greatly reduced emissions from coal-fired power plants. The advent of windmills and solar farms is helping to make electricity more available.

If you happen to live near a nuclear power plant or a hydroelectric generation station, the cost of charging a vehicle could be very inexpensive. As more electrical generation methods become viable and join the power grid, the cost of charging the batteries powering electric vehicles should continue to decrease over time.

Federal and State Buyer Incentives

Buying an EV just might wipe out your income tax for a year. The federal government currently offers up to a $7,500 income tax credit when you buy a qualifying EV. The tax credit can be claimed one time and only up to $7,500. If your income tax liability is lower for the year, then the credit that you obtain will be lowered, too. But you still could go an entire year without having to pay the federal income tax.

Many state governments likewise offer tax credits for buying EVs, but you would have to live in a state that encourages its residents to buy EVs. Those states also need to have income taxes in place or offer a tax incentive for property owners. If you live in a state that does not levy an income tax and does not offer tax incentives for property owners, then only a federal income tax break would apply.

You also could benefit from reduced taxes by not having to pay the federal and state fuel taxes that go with the price of a gallon of gas. That potential tax reduction could be even more valuable over the lifetime of your EV ownership when compared to driving a vehicle with an internal combustion engine that needs gasoline to run.

Better Power and Driving Range

The electric motor is capable of producing very impressive horsepower and torque numbers. Many electric motors are putting out more than 200 horsepower and more than 300 pound-feet of torque. Some newer models have two or even three EV engines that send power to the drive wheels. The more engines under the hood, the more power it produces.

The time of short driving ranges due to limited battery power is mostly over for the EV market. While initial EVs could travel about 100 miles per charge, the newer models last about three times longer. With many EVs offering 300-miles of driving range between charges, most people could make an EV a daily driver.

Current batteries for EVs last up to 15 years in moderate climates and between eight and ten years in more extreme climates that see either high heat during the summer or very cold temperatures during the winter. The expected battery lives generally exceed how long most people own a car.

The EV battery industry is improving rapidly and making it possible for faster and more affordable battery replacements that extend the life of EVs. What the current market offers is very different from what it will offer a decade from now. So the cost of replacement batteries will likely go down while the power potential will likely improve.

Continually Improving Charging Infrastructure

While driving range is a primary concern regarding EVs, the ability to recharge quickly and affordably is making them more viable for more consumers. Most people now have access to charging systems while at work and might even have preferred parking available. At-home charging can top off an empty power cell in about 11 hours.

With concerns for climate change and reduced emissions leading to reduced local air pollution, many states are working to improve the infrastructure for EV charging stations. As more charging stations go online, drivers can extend the useful range of their EVs. Someday soon, it might be possible to drive an EV across the nation.

Until that point in time, most people will remain content with driving EVs that handle virtually all of their daily driving needs. With driving ranges routinely reaching 300 miles or more with current-production EVs, a single charge might last the entire workweek for many drivers. Others might have to recharge during the week.

As more charging stations go online, those driving ranges could become moot points, although the continual improvements in batteries and how EVs use available power could extend their ranges even more.

Lower Maintenance Costs

An internal combustion engine has many moving parts and relies upon the literal explosive power of the combustion chamber to produce power. An internal combustion engine has thousands of moving parts that all need to operate as designed to get the best power and fuel economy.

Maintaining an internal combustion engine can be very costly. Regular oil and filter changes, radiator flush and fills, and a fuel tank with gas lines require regular maintenance and occasional repairs to continue working properly.

An electric motor has far fewer moving parts and does not require nearly as much maintenance as its internally combusting brother. You will not need to worry about oil changes or similar commonly done maintenance on an EV. And there is no potential of an EV catching fire during an accident.

An EV will continue to use the same brakes, suspension and steering systems as conventional vehicles. Those types of maintenance are relatively affordable when done properly. The reduced costs of maintaining and operating an EV could continue going lower as the market improves the quality of the engines and the batteries that power them.

Wipe Out the Gasoline Budget and Emissions

Gas prices are on the rise across the nation. That means the cost of owning and driving a vehicle with an internal combustion engine is going up too. Depending on how far you have to drive to work and run errands, the cost of continuing to use an internal combustion engine soon might become too high.

When you can drive an electric vehicle — and especially if you can get free charges while at work — you can greatly reduce your cost of living by wiping out the weekly gasoline budget. If you spent $50 per week on gasoline, an EV would cost just a fraction of that to produce the power needed to make it go.

When you wipe out the gasoline and emissions costs, you also wipe out the potentially harmful effects of driving. Smog and air pollution could be greatly decreased through the increased use of EVs. At a time when some are declaring a climate crisis due to CO2 levels, you can rest assured you are not among those potentially contributing because you are driving an EV.


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