Here are some answers from electric car users:
Michael Nickerson, Driver of 2014 Tesla Model S and builder of Honda del Sol EV conversion.
”I have two electric cars and have driven a combination of about 75,000 miles on them. I have a home conversion and a Tesla Model S. I think this makes me more involved and knowledgeable than many others, but with an obvious bias towards electric vehicles.
I think electric cars will dominate soon because:
- Electric vehicles are fun to drive. Daily driving (commuting, running errands) doesn’t usually leave much room for fun driving. That is the place where EVs shine. Every stop light is a chance to zoom off again. The acceleration is different. It isn’t roaring, noisy, or flashy. It is quiet, no drama, press you back into the seat and things come towards you faster acceleration. At every stop.
- Low operating costs. Operating costs for an EV are about one-fourth to one-half the cost per mile of a gas vehicle, or less, for fuel. Maintenance costs may make the difference in operating costs even more. For example, my electricity costs 7.2 cents per kWh at night. I get about 3.3–4 miles per kWh, so my electric fuel cost per mile is less than 2 cents per mile. Gasoline costs about $2.75 per gallon here. My Volvo V70 gets about 25 mpg, so its fuel cost is 11 cents per mile. My 3/4 ton Suburban gets 12 miles per gallon, so its fuel cost is 23 cents per mile. My electricity is somewhat cheaper than normal and my gasoline cars aren’t particularly efficient, which is why driving my gasoline vehicles costs me 5–10X my electric vehicles. However, for most people, the 2X-4X cost multiplier are pretty typical.
- Most people don’t consider the weekly gas station trip that inconvenient, but it is really nice to get that time back. Plugging in an electric car only takes a few seconds per day. Also, as people understand their driving needs better, they realize that most of their driving needs fit within the capability of an electric car.
- Lower environmental impact. Even where the electrical grid is highest in coal generation, an electric car has the greenhouse gas emissions of a gasoline car that gets 35 mpg. With coal plants being rapidly retired, that is quickly improving. In the best parts of the country, an electric vehicle has the equivalent emissions of 100 mpg or better. Owners can also get solar panels to improve their environmental impact, even in areas with a relatively dirty electric grid. Gasoline car owners can’t improve their impact except by replacing the car with another that gets better mpg.
- Longer lifetime. It remains to be seen, but electric vehicles should last longer because of their simpler drive train. The next several years should help everyone see how the drive trains and battery packs hold up.
Initially, most people had no experience with electric cars, so it was hard to see these benefits. As more electric cars are on the road, more people and their friends start to see the benefits. They start to see how an electric car could work for them. As competition increases and costs come down, electric cars will be the right answer for more people.
That is why electric cars will dominate personal transportation soon.