5 Reasons to Drive an Electric Vehicle
April 11, 2022
With fuel prices going through the roof, many drivers are considering swapping out their gasoline-powered car for an electric vehicle. While saving money on gas is an obvious plus, electric vehicles offer many other advantages. Let’s look at some of the top benefits of driving an electric vehicle.
1. Electric Vehicles Have Lower Fuel and Maintenance Costs
“Eliminating your fuel expense is an obvious advantage to driving an electric vehicle. EV drivers could expect to save an average of over $2,000 a year on fuel costs over an equivalent gasoline-powered car,” notes Jesse Toprak, Chief Analyst for EV subscription service Autonomy. The higher the prices climb at the pump, the more attractive the savings from driving an EV become.
In addition to gas savings, the cost of maintenance is much lower when you drive an EV. Electric vehicles have fewer moving engine parts, are less likely to break down, and require less regular maintenance. Their lack of engine fluids means no oil changes and no transmission flushes, among other benefits. Their regenerative braking systems help recharge the battery, provide additional range, and significantly reduce wear and tear on the brake pads and calipers. In addition, the battery, motor, and associated electronics require little to no regular maintenance. According to research by Consumer Reports, an electric vehicle costs about $4,600 less to maintain over the life of the vehicle.
In fact, research shows that when the total cost of ownership is considered — including such factors as purchase price, fuel costs, and maintenance expenses — EVs are cheaper than traditional cars, especially in more affordable vehicle segments. With car subscriptions to EVs, like the Tesla Model 3, drivers can maximize the savings of EVs, offloading the price of maintenance for subscription fees that are cheaper than a lease.
2. EVs Can Help You Save Time
Driving an electric car allows you to drive solo in the carpool lane (as long as you have an HOV sticker) which can cut significant time off your daily commute. On average, commuters reduce drive time by about 10% when cruising in the carpool lane. Add up those daily savings for the year, and drivers can take back days of their lives by not getting stuck in traffic.
Not going to a gas station can also save you time. Assuming you use a credit card and pay at the pump, it takes about five minutes to put 10 gallons into a gas tank. That doesn’t even include how long it takes to get to the gas station and wait for an available pump and how long it takes to go inside when paying with cash.
If you fill your gas tank once a week and spend 10 minutes in the process, that equals nearly nine hours a year.
EV drivers can eliminate this task by installing chargers in their garage or driveway. Some commuters may be able to connect to electric chargers at their workplace. If you want to save on electricity bills, you can even add solar panels and battery storage capacity to your home.
And who wants to touch those dirty gas nozzles anyhow?
3. Acceleration and Handling Are Superior in Electric Vehicles
Because their electric batteries provide instantaneous torque, EVs boast more responsive acceleration. In fact, most electric cars on the market can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in under 8 seconds; some, in under 3 seconds.
And that quick acceleration doesn’t necessarily have to cost more: Believe it or not, the Nissan LEAF Plus and Chevrolet Bolt accelerate to 60 mph in the same amount of time as the Mercedes-Benz B-Class hatchback and BMW i3. So whether you choose premium or practical transportation, all of these vehicles can get to freeway cruising speeds from a standstill in about 6.5 seconds. The Tesla Model 3 can accomplish the same in just 5.6 seconds.
EVs handle better too, because mounting their heavy batteries lower in the chassis reduces their center of gravity, improving their stability when turning and reducing their chances of rolling over.
4. An Electric Car's Smooth and Quiet Ride Makes Driving More Pleasant
Many EV owners find their daily commute to be less stressful. You’d be surprised by how nice it is to drive a quiet vehicle that doesn’t go “VROOM.” Interior noise levels of electric vehicles can be as much as 6 decibels quieter inside than their conventionally powered equivalents, an audible difference.
Many electric vehicles allow “one-pedal driving,” requiring only the accelerator to stop and go. If you often drive in bumper-to-bumper traffic, this might be the feature that makes your commute a little less tiring. Plus, the regenerative braking that occurs when you lift your foot off the go pedal recharges your batteries and adds range to them.
Charge Point America cites research showing a lesser-known benefit of going electric lies in its potential to reduce stress while on the road. Using an electroencephalogram to measure the brain waves of professional taxi drivers on the busy roads of central London, they discovered EV drivers exhibited reduced stress, sharpened focus, and fewer distractions. The experiment revealed that the improved working environment for EV drivers increased their happiness.
Who knew that driving an electric car offers its own kind of therapy?
5. New Technology, Safety Features, OTA Updates, and Vehicle-to-Grid Power Supply Are Just Some of the Advantages of Electric Vehicles
Most of today’s electric vehicles tout the latest in-vehicle technology, with such features as semi-autonomous driving assistance, over-the-air software updates, and a variety of passive and active safety advancements that can make driving less stressful and tiring.
Vehicle-to-grid technology, sometimes known as bidirectional charging, means you can use your electric vehicle’s batteries to power such electronics as a television, power tools, and even your home in an emergency.
Your car could even give electricity back to your neighborhood’s power grid. General Motors is partnering with PG&E in California to pilot the use of its electric vehicles as on-demand power sources for homes in PG&E’s service area.
Ford is also joining the California program with its F-150 Lightning and Intelligent Backup Power bidirectional charging capabilities, which can provide up to 10 days of power to its owner’s home during an outage.
The program will begin testing the pilot’s first vehicle-to-home–capable EV and chargers this summer. GM expects to have more than 1 million units of EV capacity in North America by 2025 to respond to the growing demand nationwide.
Longtime auto industry analyst Jesse Toprak is now the chief analyst at Autonomy, the electric vehicle subscription platform from Scott Painter and Georg Bauer. His auto analyst roles included being the chief analyst at Cars.com, the vice president of market intelligence at TrueCar and the executive director of industry analysis at Edmunds. Toprak was most recently the chief executive officer of CarHub and the vice president of corporate strategy for Hertz..