Many new technologies get off to a modest start when compared to the current status quo. For example, the first horseless carriages performed rather modestly compared to horses. Over time, a new technology can improve to the point where it becomes a viable competitor with and sometimes preferable to the more established technology. However, the public’s perception often fails to keep pace with this improvement. When this happens as in the case with electric cars, the old perceptions become nothing more than car misconceptions. Here are three of them:
Electric Cars Can’t Compete with Gas Cars on Acceleration and Speed
Electric motors give you an almost instant torque the moment you apply electrical power to them. The bigger the motor, the larger that instant torque becomes. Most electric cars on the market have decent sized motors (many have one for each wheel). Because gas-powered motors are slower at building up torque, electric cars can out accelerate them from a dead stop. After several seconds, the gas-powered motor catches up and starts producing more torque.
For pulling out into traffic which is a common maneuver in city driving, the electric car has the advantage. The top speed of electric cars are respectable and exceed all speed limits that you will encounter in the USA. For example, the Chevrolet Spark, which targets the average consumer, has a top speed of about 110 mph.
Electric Cars Will Leave You Stranded
This depends on your trip. The Chevrolet Spark has a range of about 80 miles. For most round trip job commuting, this is sufficient. An overnight recharge allows you to “top off” your battery charge for the next day’s commute. For longer trips, you will have to rely on electric car charging stations, the number of which will depend on where you live. You will certainly have to plan long trips carefully.
Electric Cars Don’t Add Greenhouse Gases into the Atmosphere
Although the car itself doesn’t emit CO2 or other greenhouse gases, your local electric grid may run off of power stations that do produce these gases. There are still quite a few coal-fired power plants in the USA. However, in some areas of the country and in the world, the electric grids get their energy from solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric and other eco-friendly (in terms of greenhouse gas emissions) power sources.
Electric cars aren’t a passing fad. People like them for a number of reasons such as the convenience of charging them overnight at home instead of making periodic trips to gas stations, and the fact that electric motors are simpler and have fewer moving parts than the internal combustion engine. Expect electric cars to become more mainstream in the future.
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