May 2016. By now you have undoubtedly heard about electric cars, perhaps you’ve seen one on the road, and if you live in certain regions you might see a good number of them every day. If you haven’t yet driven an electric car you might ask, “What’s it like?”
The posts on this website will give you an idea what it’s like to drive an EV based on my experience over the past three+ years. In May 2013 I bought a new 2012 Toyota Rav4 EV. Not a hybrid. No gas. Totally electric. And a blast to drive.
Fine, you say, it’s a blast, but why should I drive electric? Here are 4 things to think about:
1: Power your car with domestic energy. By driving electric you decrease our reliance on foreign energy. I drive a car powered by 100% American made energy.
Domestic energy = Independence.
2: Pollution is real folks, and it is not good for us. There are 300 million cars on the road in the US. The average person drives 35 miles a day, in a car that gets maybe 20-25 miles per gallon. As a result, we use more than 300 million gallons of gas every day (the actual number is 384 million gallons of gas each and every day). And that’s just for cars and light trucks. Why does that matter? Burning a gallon of gas produces 20 pounds of CO². So that’s 20 pounds times 384 million. Every day. That’s over 7 billion pounds of CO². Yes, that’s billion with a B. 7 billion pounds that we pump into the atmosphere every day. Just from the United States. But that’s not all. Burning gas produces nitrogen oxides; volatile compounds from unburned or partially burned fuel; carbon monoxide; sulphur dioxide; and other toxins like benzene, 1,3-butadiene, acrolein, and formaldehyde. Even if we don’t know those names, we know car exhaust is bad: We wouldn’t let our children sit in a garage with a running car for an hour every day. But we treat the atmosphere like a limitless reservoir that we can fill with billions of pounds of harmful compounds day after day. Every day. I’ll write more on this topic later, but keep in mind that recent research provides more and more evidence for how bad air pollution is for our health, and the health of our children.
3: Electric cars are much cleaner, and get cleaner every year. You might say, but isn’t driving an electric car just trading gasoline for coal? No. There has been a big shift from coal to natural gas, which burns much cleaner. In addition, every year a greater proportion of our electricity is generated from sources like solar, wind and hydropower. Currently 13% of our power comes from these renewable sources and that number increases every year. As a result, each year pollution emissions from generating electricity go down, and the air gets cleaner.
4: Driving an electric car is a blast!