Electric Cars: How Close Are They?

With rising gasoline prices and growing concern over climate change, electric cars (not hybrids, fully electric cars) seem to be the solution to make our lives better. Right now, there are few electric cars on the road. During the end of 2016 in the United States, electric cars only represented 1.5% of cars bought. To combat car emissions effectively, that number will have to be much higher.

How far are we from electric cars being mass produced and affordable to the public? Will electric cars truly be more beneficial than gasoline cars when it comes to the environment? And how much money could you expect to save by switching to an electric car?

For now, electric cars seem to be owned only by the rich, so when will electric cars be affordable to the average person? It may not be long.

Tesla has made announcements of a new car model, the Model 3, which may be the cheapest electric car yet. It’s starting price may be around $35,000 (manufacturer’s suggested retail price which may seem a bit high, but in the long run will pay off (more on this later). As with any new product, more demand leads to cheaper prices. The price is a significant drop from the last Tesla model, the Model S, priced at $70,000 plus. Other companies, such as BMW, have also committed to mass producing electric cars by 2025. At this pace, electric cars may be the norm by the end of 2030.

Electric cars have proven to be more environmentally friendly than its gasoline powered counterparts. However, electricity is only as clean as the way it was produced. Electricity is often produced by means of gasoline, coal and other fossil fuels. However, electric cars do not give off any emissions. Car emissions in the US as of 2016 account for nearly 30% of the total US global warming emissions. Electric cars can reduce emissions even when the electricity is produced from a non-renewable source. If the electricity is produced from a renewable source, the emission of an electric car will be zero.

When it comes to electric cars, like most things, it’s all about the money. How much can you expect to save by using an electric car? We could look at a current electric car (such as the Tesla model S) and see that we could save more than $27 per 300 miles. If the average person drives 12,000 miles per year, then in a year the savings would add up to more than $1,080. Additionally, these saving are sure to rise as technology improves and the efficiency of electric cars are increased.

Overall, electric cars have several benefits going for them. It is a rare sight, but that will likely be changing soon. Although there is a lot of room for improvement, electric cars are poised to be the next big thing, making the environment cleaner and your wallet happy.

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