The first four-wheeled vehicles with an internal combustion engine burning a petroleum derivative (that qualifies as a car as we know it) were built in the late 1880s by several German engineers – Karl Benz, Gottlieb Daimler, Wilhelm Maybach (their names might sound familiar for a reason – they were the pioneers of internal combustion engines and the founders of Daimler and Benz, two car manufacturers that finally merged into the Daimler-Benz corporation, the maker of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, in 1929). While engineers have been experimenting with other propulsion systems, the petrol-powered engine became the norm, powering all of the most reliable cars in the world (and the unreliable ones as well). The major problem with these engines is, in turn, that they emit a ton of polluting substances with direct effects on our health and our environment.
Recently, in turn, a viable alternative to internal combustion engines has emerged: the electric car that doesn’t rely on burning fuel to be propelled, making it the far more environmentally friendly option today. This is the first of the reasons why you should at least consider switching to an electric car – but wait, there are more where this came from.
One of the highest costs associated with cars today is that of fuel. The bigger, faster, more powerful a car is, the more fuel it consumes. The same goes for electric cars – but at a completely different cost, of course.
“If electricity costs $0.11 per kilowatt-hour, charging an all-electric vehicle with a 70-mile range (assuming a fully depleted 24 kWh battery) will cost about $2.64 to reach a full charge. This cost is about the same as operating an average central air conditioner for about 6 hours,” the website of the US Department of Energy reads. According to their calculations, driving a Tesla Model 3 Long Range for a year (around 12,000 miles) will boost your electricity bill by $578 – that’s under $50 a month. These costs vary, of course, but they are significantly lower than those associated with a fossil fuel-powered car.
Tax breaks and government incentives
Electric cars are much friendlier with the environment than their petrol-powered counterparts. In this day and age, when environmental friendliness and reducing your carbon footprint are constantly in the spotlight, governments are offering a variety of incentives for people to switch to the “greener” alternative. In the US, those who buy electric get a tax break of $7,500 (while it lasts), and in most other countries, there are tax cuts and funding initiatives associated with the purchase of an electric vehicle.
Charging stations all over
As electric cars are becoming more common, the question of the charging stations is finally resolved as well. For a while, the lack of an extended charging infrastructure has contributed to the so-called “range anxiety” – people were afraid of running out of juice between two chargers. Now, as the battery capacities of EVs are increasing and the charging stations are emerging like mushrooms after the rain, this is no longer an issue. You can go on a cross-country road trip in an EV with even a limited capacity. Of course, charging an EV takes much longer than refueling a traditional car – but with a bit of planning, you can time your pit stops and lunch breaks to coincide with charging your car.
A decade ago, electric cars were closer to science fiction than to mainstream – today, in turn, they are no longer a novelty. Instead, they are becoming increasingly common and cool.