Zero-emission vehicles - you might have heard this term for quite some time now. But what is it? What are the advantages and disadvantages of owning one? All these in this article.
So What Are Zero-Emission Vehicles?
A few years back, they are called electric vehicles (EV) because engines used are battery-powered. The car's engine runs through electricity to transmit power to the wheels, as opposed to fuel. Electric vehicles, unlike fuel-powered ones, don't emit chemical substances and disperse it to the atmosphere. Because of this characteristic, many people call it nowadays as "zero-emission vehicles". These vehicles run by different types of batteries, two of which are lithium-ion and ICE/Electric batteries. The batteries are, of course, rechargeable, and recharging can take from 20 minutes to a few hours, depending on the battery type and size.
A Brief History
People might perceive electric vehicles as a modern invention, but it's not as modern as anyone would think. With that, we are going to take you back to the 1800s. Throughout history, there are many claims as to who conceptualized the first electric car. But one of more well-received claims is that of Anyos Jedlik, a Hungarian inventor and engineer. Jedlik developed a small car that was powered by an electric motor. And in the 1830s, Scottish inventor Robert Anderson created a much larger electric car model used to draw carriage.
In America, Vermont native Thomas Davenport created the first American DC electrical motor back in 1834. He then installed in a small car unit and can move via an electrified track. Electric vehicles then became popular, but development and demand declined by 1920 as people favor fuel-powered ones more.
50 years after the decline, people opened up the idea of using electric cars once again due to gas price hikes. But it wasn't until the 1990s that the idea came full circle. There were a few electric car models released in public, two of which are the GM's EV1 in 1996 and Toyota Prius - the first hybrid car - in 1997.
People are beginning to switch to hybrid or electric cars due to gas-powered ones' impact on the environment. Arguably the most popular electric car company today is Tesla Motors, a Silicon Valley startup, which started back in 2006. Not the ones who want to be left behind, Nissan and GM followed suit, with the LEAF model and Chevy Volt, respectively.
Today, a good percentage of Americans are starting to ditch fuel-powered vehicles for electric or hybrid cars. According to the Department of Energy, switching to zero-emission vehicles can help minimize our dependence on foreign oil by up to 60 percent while minimizing carbon pollution during the process.
One of the most prominent advantages of electric vehicles - and the one manufacturers use as their selling point - is that it's more sustainable and environment-friendly. But here are a few more advantages when you make the switch.
Cheaper to Run and Maintain - Electric vehicles are relatively more cost-efficient than cars run by fuel. Comparing equal costs, EVs can run up to 30% more. Also, you can charge your car at the comfort of your own home instead of driving to the gas station, an activity that spends fuel in the process. Maintaining it is also relatively much better because there are fewer parts to consider. When an electric vehicle needs fixing, it doesn't require much time to service it.
Doesn't Produce Noise As Much - Electric car engines are quieter and can provide a much smoother drive even when it's accelerated high. Because of this advantage, many environmentalists favor this because it doesn't contribute to noise pollution.
Tax Credits - Owners of zero-emission vehicles enjoy tax credits for the effort in lessening environmental impact. The tax credit rate depends on the car and model, but it can go up as high as $7,500.
Disadvantages of Zero-Emission Vehicles
Not all things are perfect, including zero-emission vehicles. Here are some disadvantages you may want to know.
Higher Electricity Bill - Though cheaper than gasoline, electricity doesn't come for free. If you're not going to check the manuals, chances are your electric bill may experience some surge month after month. And if you live in a place where there's a regular power outage, you may not want to consider getting one until your local government fixes the issue.
Short Ranges - Although some electric vehicles can go long ranges, most EV cars can't. A significant number of these cars can go only as far as 100 miles on a single full charge. So if you're going on a coast to coast trip on an EV, you have to charge it numerous times. But that's just one problem; another problem is where can you charge it.
Electric Vehicles Are a Major Investment... For Now - Though zero-emission vehicles are a good alternative, you may have to save up some first before switching. The cheaper models range from $30,000 to $40,000 while the high-ends are at the $80,000 and up bracket. Prices of these cars may go down soon, but for now, it's a significant investment you have to consider before purchasing.
So what do you think of zero-emission vehicles? Do they deserve a two green thumbs up or no? If you're looking for one, we have pre-owned Tesla cars available. Check them out by clicking on the link.