ELECTRIC VEHICLES: HOW FAR IS THE ELECTRIC FUTURE?
Electric vehicles are steadily gaining fame in the 21st century, especially when environmentalists have emphasized the need to curb carbon emissions. Significant technological advancements that have been introduced recently have made them cheaper, conveniently accessible and easier to charge. However, many drivers are dubious about switching to an electric car from a gasoline-powered vehicle. This is primarily due to the misconceptions about what these electricity-driven vehicles are capable of.
Due to the rise in awareness, many people have started realizing the harmful effects of gasoline-driven cars’ emissions and have now begun shifting their preferences towards battery run vehicles. These cars are environment friendly as they do not contain an exhaust system at all and thus reduce the trapped greenhouse gases in the environment. Even those who do not understand the negative externalities of owning a gasoline-drive car realize that electricity is less expensive than gas. Hence, EVs are more affordable to maintain. When people charge their vehicles in their garage, they can cut down the price even further by installing a few solar panels. Gasoline-powered cars require a ton of maintenance with regular oil changes, and so on; electric vehicles don’t contain combustion engine like that in the traditional vehicle and thus cut down the maintenance costs to minimal. Another fact that makes the environment-friendly people do a happy dance is that EVs tone down the noise pollution; in fact, these cars are so quiet that teenagers and youngsters can now drive around without worrying about the complaining neighbours. Now it’s time to make working-classes happy; purchasing a new electric vehicle is accompanied by tax credits. These credits are provided by purchasing an EV; people are cutting down emissions and improving the environment.
However, the above-mentioned bonus points are not enough to convince people to shift towards electric vehicles; why is that so? Well, even while the costs of maintaining EVs can be slim to none as compared to that of maintaining traditional cars, the initial cost of purchasing an EV is exceptionally high. People may end up paying $10,000 to $50,000 more for an EV than for a gas-powered car; customers have also raised doubts on the costs of the battery and the resale value of EVs. Charging the EVs consumes a lot of time; it can take from 4 hours to even a whole day to charge various EVs, and adding to the misery charging stations are not available everywhere. Especially in a developing country like India, drivers are wary of driving cars on the highway as charging stations are not accessible everywhere. Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has brought attention to the fact that with the rise in demand for EVs, the need for electricity will double overtime which might further deplete the non-renewable sources of energy such as coal and petroleum.
Even though the limitations of buying an electric vehicle might make a customer re-consider his decision, it should be noted that the majority of the limitations can be eliminated by improving the charging infrastructure and by increasing the availability of sustainable sources of energy like solar energy, wind energy and geothermal energy. Granted, making such developments will take time and effort, but if the people are patient and understand the merits of shifting towards an EV-driven future, that future will arrive sooner rather than later.