Are Electric Cars Really Feasible in 2018?

by: Tony Haring

In Geoffrey Moore’s Crossing the Chasm, Moore describes what he calls the technology adoption lifecycle. This lifecycle is essentially a graph depicting the growth of adoption in a given market as well as the resistance it faces as a greater portion of the market begins to adopt the technology. 

Electric vehicles also have one of these adoption curves:

Like any early technology, electric vehicles have their ~haters~ (luckily not as many as cryptocurrency). This article will attempt to impartially address some of the various concerns posed by the would be “early adopters” of electric vehicles.

“I Drive too Much to Own an Electric Car”

The average commute length in America is actually only 25 minutes each way. Assuming you’re going at highway speeds for the entire length, this is only about 35 miles each way, which is very feasible for electric cars currently on the market.

“Well, what if my commute length is 50 miles or more each way?”

Then you my friend classify as a “mega-commuter” and you’re right- a purely electric car may not be right for you. A plug-in hybrid, however, may fit your lifestyle perfectly! Plug-in hybrids like the Honda Clarity and Chevrolet Volt have about 50 miles of pure electric range in addition to a gas tank, providing a 420 mile combined range. 

Even with long commutes, as battery technology improves and range increases on car models released each year this objection will eventually fade away. Tesla plans to feature 620 miles of range on their 2020 Roadster, we’re really excited about this! 

Many companies are also installing Level 2 chargers in their lots, making longer commutes more feasible for fully electric vehicles. This brings us to our next point.

“There isn’t Enough Charging Infrastructure”

More public charging stations are being installed every day, in fact, California recently agreed to spend $738 million on charging stations in alignment with the Transportation Electrification Accord which is supported by over 50 U.S. companies. The accord encourages utilities to install charging stations, and ideally, it will be acknowledged nationwide. 

Additionally, PlugShare has a great app showing almost every charger nationwide. They color coat them by type and you can read reviews about each charging station from other EV owners. 

Still not enough? 

Many states offer incentives for home chargers and chargers at the workplace. In fact, the national average cost to buy and install a Level 2 Charger at home is only $653! ClipperCreek has an excellent breakdown by state of the incentives available here. 

“Electric Vehicles don’t Actually Help the Environment”

Yes- production of electric vehicles leave a carbon footprint. Yes- powering an electric vehicle with energy doesn’t mean the energy comes from a clean source. No- the impact of electric vehicles on carbon emissions is not negligible. 

According to the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) about 60% of the carbon emissions from the transportation sector come from passenger vehicles. Given current projections, this means that an 80% reduction of carbon emissions from passenger vehicles can be accomplished by 2050. It is critical that the grid also cleans up during this period, and given new technology and regulations, this is certainly a possibility. 

Even in a conservative approximation, the EPRI estimates that 45% of passenger vehicle emissions can be eliminated by electric vehicles in the next few decades. 

Now that sounds like something worth being a part of.

“It’s too Expensive to Go Electric”

Did you know that you can actually save money driving electric? According to a research report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, EV drivers save an average of $800 a year. This average was taken from data collected from 50 U.S. cities nationwide. This number depends on gas rates and electricity rates, but on average MPG fuel efficiency is lower than miles per kWh.

Additionally, there are incredible discounts being offered by auto-manufacturers and the federal and state government(s). With a federal tax credit of $7,500 being offered for qualifying vehicles, now is a great time to buy and take advantage- the money won’t last forever!

Here are some of the discounts being offered by auto-manufacturers:

$10,000 off a BMW i3

$3,000 off a Nissan Leaf

Want to learn more? Check out our showroom for deals on some new EVs and follow us on social media for new EV content every day.

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