In recent years, more and more consumer electric vehicles have been introduced and developed. With more than two dozen models now commercially available, some 800,000 Americans have made the switch to driving electric. These unique vehicles will supposedly help reduce fossil fuel consumption and curb carbon emissions over time. However, is this really the case? What are the benefits of driving electric? Like any vehicle choice, electric cars come with a series of pros and cons.
No Need For Gasoline
When driving an electric car, there’s no need to stop to fill up your tank. When you’re anticipating a drive, simply plug in your car and get ready to go. This ultimately results in reduced carbon emissions from burning gasoline. However, you’ll need to know in advance when you’re planning a trip, since fueling an electric car takes longer than just adding a few more gallons of gas to your tank. Additionally, while you’ll still be saving money by not paying for gas, expect your electricity bill to climb a bit. One thousand watt-hours equals 1 kilowatt-hour. Your utility bill usually shows what you are charged for the kilowatt-hours you use. More than likely, you’ll see increased usage as a result of charging your electric vehicle at home.
High Performance, Low Maintenance
One of the best benefits of switching to an electric vehicle is the changes it will make to your vehicle maintenance schedule. Electric cars tend to require less maintenance than their hybrid or traditional counterparts. Why? In traditional cars, you have much more to worry about, particularly when it comes to caring for the engine and selecting the right oil. According to a recent survey, 89% of lubrication professionals consider an oil’s viscosity index when selecting a lubricant.
However, because electric cars operate differently, you won’t need to worry about changing the oil in your car’s engine ever again. Likewise, electric cars tend to be easier on the brake pads as well. If you’re looking for a car with low impact that’s easy to maintain, an electric vehicle could be a good match for you.
All Energy From Somewhere
While your car might not use gasoline anymore, the electricity your car now uses has to come from somewhere. While many people don’t think about the source of their electricity on a regular basis, not all electricity is necessarily renewable. Forests are often felled for the purpose of clearing space for generating electricity. Since hardwood trees can take upwards of twenty years or more to reach maturity, that clearing alone has a significant impact on the environment. If you want your electric car to really help with reducing emissions, you’ll have to make sure your home’s electricity is coming from a renewable source.
Not So Cost-Friendly
Driving electric might mean you don’t have to pay for gas anymore, but that cost-saving advantage comes at a price. Electric vehicles, generally speaking, still tend to be a bit more expensive than traditional cars. Additionally, because these cars are still so new, it’s much more difficult to find one to purchase used. If going electric is on your to-do list but still outside your budget, you may want to consider waiting a few years. As these cars advance further, more affordable options will start to become available.
All vehicles have their pros and cons, but this is especially true for new electric vehicles. While they might be great for some, they’re not always the best choice for everyone. Can you see yourself purchasing an electric car sometime in the near future, or is this environmental trend just a flash in the pan?
I’m generally a pretty happy person, but this time of year I’ve noticed my spirit has a tendency to drop a few pegs. Probably has something to do with the shorter days or whatever. Who knows. Anyway, it occurs to me that I’m not alone. There are LOTS of unhappy people out there. If you drive on the highways and byways of greater Rochester, you’ll get to meet many of them.
This week I foolishly let myself get drawn into not one, but two ugly squabbles. The first was with a driver who sped up to catch me from behind (in the right lane mind you) and then refused to let me merge when our two lanes became one. So, like a bozo, I whaled on my horn for a while and shook my fist in the air at the guy to make sure he saw me in his rear view mirror…
I asked Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks if our current transportation infrastructure (highways, bus routes, etc.) are adequate to serve the needs and growth of our community moving into the future. I also asked what she thought Rochester mass-transit should look like by the year 2020 and if there was anything she’d like to see changed or improved. Read her response, then please let me know what YOU think…
I grew up on the south shore of Long Island — about a half-mile walk from a Long Island Railroad station. As a teenager without a car I could leave my sheltered suburban Cape Cod style house, and in less than an hour be smack dab in the center of Manhattan. Not only that, but for just a dollar extra I could reach just about any corner of New York City’s five bouroughs by hopping on a subway car. Can you imagine if New York City had scrapped it’s subway in favor of a highway?!
After the Erie Canal was rerouted south of downtown Rochester, the Rochester
Industrial & Rapid Transit Railway (the subway) was built in
its place as a link between the five different railroads and interurban trolley
lines that served the Rochester area. As the industrial landscape of Rochester
changed, and highways replaced the railroads, the Rochester subway gradually
became a relic of a bygone era. In 1956 the subway was abandoned and much of
its route was converted into Interstate 490 built to connect Rochester
with the New York State Thruway (I-90). Read more about the history of the Rochester Subway.
RochesterSubway.com exists to help spark
public dialogue around how we can better connect the neighborhoods of Rochester
NY, surrounding communities, and their cultural offerings. Rochesters
future is written in her past. Let's rediscover it.