Fuel Savings or Not, It’ll Still Take a lot of Convincing for Americans to buy Electric Cars

Electric Vehicle

“Many consumers are not sure what to expect from an electric vehicle”  -The American Automobile Association (AAA)

In case you are toggling with the idea of buying a car, what about a Battery-operated Electric Vehicle (BEV)? The advantages of the BEVs are many but still, they have not been able to convince the American buyer of a purchase. According to the American Automobile Association (a privately held not-for-profit federation of motor clubs throughout North America with over 58 million members in the United States and Canada) vehicles of all forms, including plug-in hybrids, BEVs, and conventional hybrids shared barely 5% of the American new car market last year. Highlighting the concerns, Greg Brannon AAA’s director of automotive engineering adds- “But, like other new vehicle technologies, Americans don’t have the full story and that could be causing the gap between interest and action.”

Not so Keen

The CEO of Subaru laments that Americans are just not interested in EVs and potential buyers have shown very little interest in Subaru’s first plug-in hybrid, Crosstrek. Echoing the sentiments, a report by AAA says, “most consumers still say ‘thanks, but no thanks’ to automakers’ future self-driving and electric vehicle offerings.”

Busting the Myths

There is still an air of confusion to what electric vehicles can and cannot do, this confusion persists not only in the US but across Britain as well. A survey of British motorists threw some interesting findings, with over 42% saying that BEV can’t be driven through a car wash. But the truth remains the opposite, as some of the new models, like the Jaguar I-Pace, can sustain even in moderately deep levels of water.

Higher Costs and Charging Concerns

So, what are the factors that refrain from the mainstream adoption of battery-electric vehicles? Experts argue them as higher costs, lack of public charging infrastructure and limited range. Answering the concerns, many manufacturers have come up with new models which cost under $40,000.

Another concern about BEV’s includes charging feasibility which remains a major issue, a majority of the consumers think that electric vehicles are not suitable for long-distance travel, due to the lack of charging stations on the way.

Public charging points for BEV’s are indeed limited, especially when you travel in the middle of the country. To fill the demand and supply concerns, companies like Vgo, Electrify America and ChargePoint have come up with plans to invest billions of dollars over the coming decade. The latest versions of their high-speed Level 3 chargers have the potential to deliver as much as 20 miles of range per minute cutting the full-time charging time to 10 minutes which is roughly equivalent to the time what it takes to fill a gas tank.

Fuel and Cost Savings 

Do you know that a compact electric vehicle just costs $546 to drive 15,000 miles per year? According to a report from the American Automobile Association (AAA), it costs $1,255 (or 130%) more to drive the same distance in a gas car, are you convinced to buy an EV?

According to a study undertaken by the U.S. government’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the average U.S. household spends nearly one-fifth of the total family expenditure on transportation. The government department even offers a calculator on its website to explain the savings one will ascertain using electric cars for different states which means big savings on the family budget.

Cheer about the Less Maintenance Costs

Here is another major plus to cheer about BEVs, they require much less maintenance if you compare them with gas-powered cars. AAA says that if the EVs are maintained following the automakers’ recommendations, they will cost $330 less than a gas-powered car.

Here is a catch, through the maintenance costs are less, and the overall fuel consumption costs are low, the upfront cost can be high for the BEVs. Anyone who has purchased a Tesla can vouch. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy asserts that “While the operating costs of EVs are substantially lower, EVs can be more expensive to purchase than their conventional counterparts.”

But keeping the negatives behind, as more EVs are lunched and arrive at traditional dealerships from established carmakers, thus the new decade will see some exciting advancements in the way we drive our car.

As Tesla ramps, the production of its new cars like the Model Y crossover, the proven advantages of EVs could potentially convince the consumer and wear off the resistance.