By Guest Blogger Charlie Oszvald
We all know the reasons to consider electric vehicles- they are energy efficient, do not run on gas, have minimal to no tailpipe emissions.
But are electric vehicles affordable to the public, or are they luxury cars that are only available to the wealthy? Read on to understand what is being done to make electric vehicles less costly, and why they might be a better economic investment than gas cars.
Electric cars are generally more expensive than their gas counterparts, mostly due to the higher cost of the batteries that the electric cars run on. Each time the battery is charged, it retains slightly less charge, until it is deemed no longer usable and must be replaced.
This is essentially the greatest cost associated with electric vehicles. Less expensive batteries are being developed, and it can be expected that when these are released on the market, they will greatly lower the cost of electric vehicles. As electric vehicles become more popular, their batteries will become mass produced.
Not needing gas is one of the features that make electric vehicles most desirable. Electric vehicles need only to access a power unit to charge. This allows for less dependence on foreign oil, less vulnerability to ever increasing gas prices, and greater driving economy. Take for example the Chevrolet Volt. It is estimated that the Volt will cost approximately one to two cents per kilometer to run, while a standard gas car will cost six to eight cents per kilometer. This estimate is with gas costing between $1.10 and $1.30 per litre. With fickle and ever increasing gas prices, it is easy to see how the electric vehicle will become more and more desirable as a cost-efficient vehicle.
Maintenance costs will always be lower in electric vehicles. These vehicles don’t use oil, don’t have spark plugs, and have almost no internal moving parts. This leaves general maintenance of the vehicle more or less down to the tires. To compare, a gas vehicle has hundreds of moving parts in the internal combustion engine. With these potential repair costs removed, electric vehicles become more appealing. The primary cost associated with electric vehicles will be the replacement of the batteries. As mentioned earlier, these batteries are becoming more affordable. When electric vehicles are in accidents, there is generally less damage to the key part of the vehicle. The battery is enclosed in a protective cage, and usually sustains minimal damage. This keeps the most expensive part of the car protected, reducing costs for repairs.
Insurance for electric vehicles is generally lower. This is in part due to the demographic of electric vehicle drives. At present time, these drivers are older and more experienced, and therefore not categorized by the insurance companies as higher risk groups. Some insurance companies are now offering premium discounts to electric vehicle owners. This is in part due to the belief of these companies that electric vehicles are less at risk for major damage, and in part as an effort to become the go-to companies for electric vehicle insurance.
Government subsidies are being created in some countries to make electric vehicles more affordable to the general public. Grants, tax breaks, and other economic incentives are being offered to those who wish to purchase electric vehicles, which make it more and more possible for the masses to access electric vehicles.
The reluctance of consumers to pay more for electric vehicles is one of the driving forces behind their continued high price. Car purchasers shy away from the higher price tag of electric vehicles, and are often unwilling to pay the difference between gas and electric vehicles, even if they are environmentally aware. Because of this, the prices of electric cars remain high. As more and more people make the switch to electric vehicles, they will become more affordable. It is only a matter of time until the shift begins, and once the prices start to lower, electric vehicles will in turn become more accessible to the general public.
It is only a matter of time until electric vehicles are affordable to the masses. The technology is evolving and research developments are lowering the prices. When this is combined with lower insurance, reduced maintenance costs, no need for purchasing gas, and outside subsidies, it is easy to see that electric vehicles are moving in the right direction to become affordable to the general public.
About the Author
This is a guest post from Charlie Oszvald. Charlie is writing for Rolec Services, one of the world’s leading specialists in the design, manufacture and installation of both outdoor and indoor electrical connection, hook-up and distribution equipment.