With electric car choices increasing and improving, more and more people are making the switch to drive an eco-friendly car. An electric car is a vehicle that doesn't rely on petrol for its primary source of power, instead it is ran by a rechargeable battery. Another eco-friendly option, asides from the all-electric car, is a plug-in hybrid car; a vehicle that relies on two forms of power to propel it, both electricity and petrol.
Chevrolet have created the Volt as their market leader of green cars. With being less damaging to the environment and acquiring a lower carbon footprint, electric cars have been deemed the cars of the future.
Advantages of owning an electric car
- They are more economical to run - Electric cars incur very few maintenance costs due to having no catastrophic mechanical repairs or oil/transmission fluid changes. They also by relying on electricity, manage to avoid the stresses of low fuel and rising petrol costs.
- They are environmentally friendly - Electric cars do not emit toxic chemicals that can degrade air quality.
- Vehicles must pass a strict safety test before being driven.
- Electric cars are best suited to urban owners - As they typically range between 80-100 miles when fully charged, electric cars are deemed great for commuting and day to day driving.
- Electric car batteries can be conveniently recharged by easily plugging the car into a charging outlet. It takes no longer than 8 hours for the car to fully recharge, but this depends on the type of charging station you are using.
- Level 1 adds 5 miles of driving for every hour the car is charging, this is provided through a three-prong household outlet.
- Level 2 adds 15-30 miles of driving for every hour of charge using equipment unique to electric cars.
- Level 3 (DC fast charging) adds 80 miles of driving for every half hour the car is charging, this is through an industrial, gas pump sized station that quickly transfers electrons into your car battery (it is important to note that excessive use of quick charging facilities can negatively impact your electric car, shortening it's battery life).
However, there are a few concerns that arise with new electric vehicles. Although more economical, electric cars still incur some hefty costs. The large batteries of electric cars after a certain time period, usually between 7-10 years, have to be replaced and this can be quite expensive. As these models are still relatively new, manufacturers tend to provide long battery warranties and within the battery's life span it is expected that the price of a new one will drop considerably. It is thought the cars are best suited to urban driving, yet many that live in the city cannot afford the amenities to suit recharging facilities within their own homes, an issue that is still trying to be tackled by car-makers and local councils.
Either way, electric cars do prove to be better for the environment and can be a great purchase for those who are not intending to travel great distances. With the initial low costs and helpful subsidies from the state, they can be an economically viable means of transport to get you around the city.