This is the second of our two part series on the good and bad of electric vehicles.
The first article Whats Wrong With Electric Vehicles? 12 Myths & 2 Truths is available as a video HERE and this article will explore the many hidden advantages of electric vehicles.
Of course EV’s have some advantages over internal combustion engine (ICE = gasoline and diesel) that everyone talks about like they are quieter, faster and they are a cool new toy but EV’s have many other advantages that most people don’t consider.
Here is the video version of this article on the benefits of electric vehicles:
1 – Pre-Heat/Cool The Cabin In Your Garage!
If you were to let a gas engine car idle inside your garage to let it warm up you would be filling that garage with poisonous gases; not a good idea. Each of the four EV’s and PHEV’s I have owned allowed me to set the time I expected to use the car and have it automatically turn on the heat (or air conditioning), while in a parking garage 5 minutes before I plan to get in so it is toasty warm or chilly cold for me.
Even better, because the heaters in EV’s are electric and not leaching heat from the engine they start warming the car cabin within seconds.
2 – Electric Vehicles As Power Backup For Your House
Few current generation electric vehicles have 110 volt outlets for you to plug into but Ford, Rivian and many others will be changing that in the next year. Given the high profile power failures in Texas we are sure that nearly all EV companies will be adding in electric outlets to their EV’s. It is estimated that you can run the critical components (space heaters, fridges…) in your house from a typical EV for 2 to 5 days. That type of power backup is worth thousands of dollars and will effect the UPS and backup power systems makers like Generac.
3 – EV’s Are Better In Snow
Because EV’s have:
- the substantial weight of batteries
- that weight evenly distributed between all for wheels
- next generation on-board computers that perform better predictive traction control
electric vehicles are just better in most bad weather conditions like snow and heavy rain.
Take a look at this video we recently produced with a Tesla Model 3 Standard Rage Plus, rear wheel drive, sedan after a serious snow fall on both highway and city roads:
4 – Electric Vehicles Get Executive Parking
If you don’t have an EV, you have no doubt noticed that electric vehicle parking (and often charging) is right at the front doors of many buildings. My kids elementary school has 5 chargers at the front door and my office has chargers on the top level of the parkade. Executive parking is certainly a nice benefit of EV’s today.
5 – No More Gas Stations
So you already know that if you have an EV, you don’t buy gas and that will save most people $1500 to $3000 per year. What you may not thought of is the other benefits of avoiding gas stations:
- TIME: It take the average person 5 minutes to fill up the gas car but that does not include the time it takes to travel to the filling station and if you get you gas at places like Costco, it does not include the time it takes to wait in line. Avoiding the 10 minutes per week traveling to a gas station and filling up that most people spend, you will get back nearly 9 hours of your life.
- COLD: Not having to fill up the tank every week means not freezing your hands off in the winter.
- PANIC: Have you ever noticed that it seems you are always short of gas when you are in a hurry. Because EV’s are nearly always fully charged at home or the office, that is no longer an issue.
6 – Free Green Electricity at Home
One of the arguments used against EV’s is that the source of the electricity can be coal, which while still much better than gasoline, is terrible for the environment. What many people do not know is that coal fired electric power generation has been collapsing over the last decade. Check out this article or just watch the video version below:
Almost no-one talks about the fact the more than a third of EV owners have solar panels today and about 15% more are planning to get them within a year. In Calgary where I live, 80% of the electricity comes from natural gas and 20% from wind but I get much of my juice from my solar panels!
7 – No More Engine Warm Up Idling
Unless you like hearing metal on metal and screaming fan belts, it is a bad idea to drive a gas or diesel engine in cold weather without letting it idle and warm up for a least few minutes. In an EV you just get in and go.
8 – Total Cost of Ownership
This is talked about mostly in the EV echo chamber but does not seem to have resonated with average consumers yet. There are many YouTube videos and articles including ours which you can read HERE explaining that while electric vehicles are more expensive up front purchase price, their total cost of ownership is less. This is because EV’s:
- have virtually no maintenance cost
- have virtually no downtime
- do not require expensive gas or diesel
- have lower insurance rates
9 – Electric Vehicles Have Next Gen Tech
Nearly all EV’s and PHEV’s come with the next generation of cool technology. This is one way EV manufacturers try to justify the high purchase price. Even my base Tesla Model 3 comes with autopilot, automatic high-beams, rain sensing wipers, and completely keyless entry and ignition (not even a FOB is required!) . Sure it won’t change lanes or take off ramps for me like the full autopilot, but the base AutoPilot keeps the car centered in the lane and speeds up / slows down to match other drivers, which is all I need for 90% of my highway driving. The 2022 Chevy Bolt will have Cadillac SuperCruise!
10 – EV’s Have Almost No Maintenance
EV’s have virtually zero standard maintenance. Other than windshields, tires and washer fluid there is almost nothing to wear out. Brakes will likely never have to be replaced on an EV because they all use regeneration to slow the vehicle and capture the kinetic energy.
Think about all the time, money, effort and fear saved not having fan belts that squeak, oil that leaks, rad hoses that fail and more of all performing all those oil changes.
11 – Electric Vehicles Have Longer Warranties
Because EV’s are just built better and to get consumers to trust them nearly all electric vehicles come with double the warranty of gas vehicles. Today, the default warranty is 8 years on the EV components.
12 – EV’s Have More Cabin Space
Because all-wheel-drive or rear-wheel-drive gas powered vehicles have their engine in the front, they need to consume a substantial amount of cabin space to accommodate the drive shaft that connects the rear wheels. EV’s just have to run wires so the drive shaft “tunnel” does not exist giving EV owners a notable amount of additional leg room inside the cabin.
13 – EV’s Are More Reliability
It is completely unfair to say that electric vehicles NEVER brake down, but I can tell you that after six years of own EV’s and PHEV’s, I have never had an EV failure and I have never met anyone who had one. A gas/diesel engine has about 200 individual parts while and an electrical motor has about 20. EV’s have 30% fewer parts in total, but the parts that are missing are the ones that fail. Head gaskets, spark plugs and altinator belts are designed to fail at some point. EV’s just don’t have those parts.
14 – Electric Vehicles Are Easier To Repair
Because EV’s are designed using a “skateboard” and “top hat” model their parts are generally easily accessible. I read a few weeks ago that under perfect conditions takes a Tesla mechanic only 20 minutes to remove and replace an electric motor and while I cannot say that is a fact, it stands to reason.
15 – EV’s Will Have A Longer Life
EV’s have not been around long enough to know for sure, but nearly all analysts think that because EV’s have so few moving parts and those are easy to change out, electric vehicles will last 25% to 100% longer than gas engined vehicles. The flip side of that is, like all vehicles, they do not get better with age. In the case of EV’s the number of miles your can store in the batter deteriourates over time. My 300 mile (400K) Tesla Model 3 will likely provide only half that driving distance in 10 years. That would not bother me at all as I only need 30 miles per day to get to work and back. If I kept my Model 3 for 10 years, it would be my city car which I would still use for 95% of my driving needs.
… And Now for the Esoteric Section of Why EV’s Are Better
16 – Dictators
Many dicatorships, from Russia, to Saudi Arabia, to Venezuala are propped up by oil revenues. Without those revenues to pay for social programs and to pay the military, opressed citizens will rise up and overthrow their dictators. Watch this short clip from a Russia expert explaining that sanctions against Russia hurt but what will cause the regime to fall is the transition to electric vehicles:
VIDEO: Coming in the next three days!
17 – Uncalculated Green House Gas Reductions
When comparing ICE vehicles to EV’s it is common for EV critics to search out every tiny source of GHG’s that can be attributed to EV’s. We recently produced the video below explaining that EV’s are in fact substantially better for then environment that gas / diesel vehicles after just three years. Those calculations, however, do not take into account all the tiny sources of GHG’s that can be attributed to gas powered vehicles like:
- How much CO2 gas stations building produce from their heating and electrical usage
- The volume of GHG’s produced by gas tanker trucks required to fill ups gas stations tanks.
- The amount of green house gasses and garbage produced by the manufacturing, packaging and distribution of all those disposable parts, like oil filters, fan belts, air filters and oil iteself
18 – EV’s Provide Public Health Benefits
Outdoor air pollution kills 4.2 million prematurely each year (WHO stats). Tailpipe emissions from vehicles account for about 11.4% of these early deaths (385,000 early deaths in 2015). This is significant in all urban centers. One look no further than the photo’s of major urban centers before and during COVID19 to see this is no joke:
19 – Innovation Forces Innovation
The drive to make EV’s even better is relentless and companies are competing with never before seen levels of investment. Tesla fan boys will say Tesla is 5 years ahead of everyone else and that is likely true for some important components, however, GM is spending $27 Billion and Ford just announced they will DOUBLE their investment to $29 Billion in EV’s and autonomy by 2025. That competition moves the entire market forward.
There are issues with EV’s but most of them are in the rhealm of perception rather than reality as we explain in THIS article. However, there are few important use cases in which EV’s don’t compete. If you own only one vehicle and have frequent long distance drives off of major highways, if you don’t have the up front purchase money or if you live in an apartment and can’t charge up at home or the office, an electric vehicle might now be for you.
However for nearly everyone else, it is clear the electric vehicles provide clear advantages to internal combustion engine vehicles. To deny that is to deny that the sun will come up in the morning.
By the mid-2020’s the up front purchase price of EV’s will match that of ICE vehicles and by the end of the decade most apartments and many off-the-beaten-path roads will have chargers at the ready to take care of 75% of those odd use cases.
EV’s are coming and if you are a car person or politically concerned or environmentally minded, that is a good very thing.