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Some Truths about Electric Cars
For many people, the idea of their owning an electric car means they are helping to reduce air pollution
and also their reliance on fossil fuels. These aims, of course, are great ideas. Many future-minded
consumers have no qualms even with the inconvenience of charging their vehicles overnight, just as
they do with their mobile phones. For them, it’s all part of creating a cleaner environment and a
healthier world to live in. They also have the hope that the cost of the electricity needed to charge them
will also be more economical than the ever-increasing price of gas. Therefore, on the surface,
purchasing an electric car sounds like the smart and green thing to do.
Unfortunately, environmentalists have suggested that, quite possibly, the well-meaning public are being
mislead by both the auto-manufacturing and energy-producing industries. Here are some considerations
that green-minded consumers should know:
The electric needed to charge one of these new vehicles must come from somewhere, just like the
power in homes. In many areas, electric producing companies will provide that electricity using
traditional power plants that burn coal and other nonrenewable natural resources. This means that these
power factories will still continue to pollute the environment for many years to come.
In fact, these toxic power plants may have to work even harder, burning more fossil fuel to keep up
with an ever-increasing demand. Moreover, electric cars tend to convert approximately 75 percent of
the chemical energy that is stored in their batteries. Gasoline-powered cars, on the other hand, convert
only 20 percent of the energy stored in their liquid fuel. This suggests that these vehicles may not be as
green as their gasoline-powered counterparts.
To keep up with the expected demand, it is most likely that new power plants will have to be built. Of
course, this might also mean increasing the number of nuclear-power plants, which present a whole
other range of dangers for the environment, as well as to our health.
It may be true that, based on today’s electricity prices, running an electric car might be somewhat
cheaper than operating a traditional car. However, any economist will tell you that when demand
exceeds supply, prices tend to rise. Electric-car manufacturers claim they will be able to produce the
millions of vehicles needed to meet consumer demand in the near future. Unfortunately, the availability
of charging stations and the electricity-producing infrastructure needed to supply homes, office
buildings, and all those charging stations will be a long-time coming. This means higher demand for
electricity and, therefore, higher prices. Although drivers like to complain about increasing fuel prices
at the gas pumps, the cost of charging and operating an electric car may not be much of an
improvement, at least in the near future.
The truth about electric cars has left some environmentalists to suggest that fully-powered electric cars,
are not as ideal as they sound, and that they should probably be left to the pages of science-fiction books.