Photo Credits: Evan Brooks
Electric vehicles, or EVs, have become increasingly available, affordable and advanced within the past decade alone. The United States has seen the rise of Tesla, a company that has arguably pioneered the way for EVs, or at the very least pushed the timeline for them to be widely available to the public forward by a substantial margin of time. Either way, EVs seem to be the way of the future, as I personally see more and more electric vehicles — mostly Tesla’s — when I walk around campus and drive around the community.
Overall, electric vehicles should be considered as a viable option for the American public to increasingly buy into, as we have for the past decade or so. EVs are far better for the environment even when you factor in where their energy comes from, they cost less,are incentivized and have less overall maintenance for drivers to worry about.
First, EVs are better for the environment by far, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “EVs produce no tailpipe emissions. While charging the battery may increase pollution at the power plant, total emissions associated with driving EVs are still typically less than those for gasoline cars — particularly if the electricity is generated from renewable energy sources like wind.”
As the world transitions from coal and oil, to natural gas, and then to renewable energy sources, the EV’s will continue to become more environmentally friendly, as their source of energy becomes more so. The biggest environmental factor in terms of cars would be the mentioned tailpipe emissions. An electric vehicle removes the issue of tailpipe emissions altogether, having an immediate positive change in reducing your carbon footprint.
Next, EVs are becoming less of a hassle to maintain than regular cars that consume gas. In fact, according to DriveClean.CA.gov, “electric motors have far fewer moving parts and never require oil changes, new spark plugs or fuel filters. Regenerative braking also extends the lifespan of brake pads by using the electric motor to decelerate the vehicle.”
Regenerative braking utilizes kinetic energy generated from you hitting the brakes on your car, and transforms that energy into something you can either use right then in there, or charge your car to utilize later. In other words, EVs are streamlining the car maintenance process, and making the vehicle more energy efficient along the way.
But what about the expense of the vehicle itself? Since EVs have been increasingly manufactured and become more available, the overall costs of an EV have dropped. As an added bonus, the government is subsidizing your purchases of these environmentally friendly, and energy efficient vehicles. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, from the Alternative Fuels Data Center, “both heavy-duty and light-duty EVs are commercially available. EVs are typically more expensive than similar conventional and hybrid vehicles, although some cost can be recovered through fuel savings, a federal tax credit, or state incentives.”
To reiterate, there are more EVs being made, and so the cost per unit is going down, not to mention the incentives and credits offered to anyone that buys an EV. I believe that sooner rather than later, the upfront cost of an EV will be less than a vehicle that runs on gas, and you can already see that the long-term costs of an EV already make the purchase worth it.
Evan Brooks is a fourth-year Business Management major with minors in Economics and Civic and Professional Leadership EB916132@wcupa.edu.