Electric cars have been the subject of scepticism ever since they were first mooted. As electricity needs to be generated from another source of energy, it seemed to be an inefficient step in the process of energy conversion. According to experts, the result would be vehicles that are less efficient than the existing generation of vehicles powered by gasoline.
A Changing Trend
The Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf are a pair of first-generation electric cars that were relatively unsuccessful in the first two years of release and it seemed as if motorists did not believe electric vehicles were capable of changing the transport landscape. Yet companies such as Volvo, Ford, Mitsubishi and BMW began to develop electric vehicles regularly so it suddenly became apparent than these legendary companies saw something in electric cars.
BMW Concept Electric Car. Image: Dreamstime.com
Electric Cars Are The Future
Manufacturers have very good reasons for developing electric cars that the general public are wholly unaware of. Below, we look at 6 reasons why electric cars are ultimately going to be the vehicle of choice for drivers of the future.
Electric vehicles are much better than traditional vehicles when it comes to turning energy into the amount of miles driven. Electric drivetrains are far more efficient than internal combustion engines (ICE) drivetrains. ICEs are limited by the heat cycle they operate under and there is no way past these basic limits. In contrast, even the first generation of electric cars can travel around 40 miles on 11 Kilowatt-hours (KWH) of electricity. When the average cost per KWH is taken into account, you could be looking at the equivalent of around 120 miles to the gallon. How does your car compare?
Electric cars consume around 33% of the energy of a gasoline-powered car in operation and are greener no matter what fuel is used to generate the electricity. The majority of a regular vehicle’s carbon production comes during operation rather than production. When electric cars are powered by solar, hydro, nuclear or wind energy, they produce zero carbon when operating.
Multiple Energy Sources: Electric cars can be powered by hydro, nuclear, wind, solar, biofuel and fossil fuel sources like natural gas, oil and coal. For nations that produce these energy sources, this is great news as electric cars can support their respective economies.
There is an effective and efficient distribution network for electricity in most developed nations and this compares favourably to next-gen vehicle fuels such as hydrogen and natural gas.
Range: Those who rally against electric cars say they don’t travel far enough on a single charge. The majority of motorists seldom go on journeys beyond 40 miles and electric cars of the future will be able to travel hundreds of miles before needing a charge. Electric cars with advanced designs allow you to carry fuel as per a normal vehicle which can be used to power the vehicle should you run out of electric charge. According to Chevy, drivers of the Volt travel 80% of their distance using the energy stored in the car’s battery and only use up a gallon of gas for every 177 miles they drive. For now, it is possible to use less fuel and have the unlimited range of a traditional car.
Other next-gen vehicles will still use electric drivetrains to propel the cars. Even fuel cell cars will need an electric drivetrain so there is no getting away from the soon to be all-encompassing nature of electric cars.
Simply put, electric cars are set to dominate the landscape so you better get your head around it and embrace an era of greener transport!