Why I Drive an EV

Last Updated:01/28/98

My EV saves me time, money, and it is good for the environment

  1. Time

  2. Have you ever been late for work because you had to stop for gas? When I go out to the garage in the morning my car is ready to go. No more gas stations for me. Yeah, but it takes hours to recharge. True, but so do I. It is called sleep. While I am sleeping my car is recharging. Recharging is very simple. Put car in garage. Plug charger into car. Listen to charger hum. Close garage door. Go in house. The charger shuts off automatically when finished. (And this is 20 year old technology!)
  3. Money

  4. While I haven't done any accurate accounting of electrical use I haven't seen any significant change in my electric bill since I started driving an electric. What I also haven't seen are bills for tune-ups, oil changes, and all those wonderful expensive parts my car doesn't have. An EV doesn't have a muffler or exhaust system, a fuel pump, a water pump, a starter, an alternator, a carburetor, fuel injectors, belts, hoses, antifreeze, an air filter, an oil filter, a fuel filter, any emission control system (it is an emission control system) and much more. (Or would that be less.) 
  5. The environment

  6. My car uses far less energy per mile than a conventional internal combustion driven car. Does it simply move the pollution from the tailpipe to a smokestack? Yes and no. My car doesn't emit pollution. My electric company power plant does. Does the amount of pollution it emits in creating the electricity to drive my car equal the amount that my car would emit if it were gasoline powered? No, not hardly. Electrical power plants have several features that reduce their emissions that gasoline fuel cars do not. The emission system on a modern gas powered car doesn't begin to function until the engine and catalytic converter have reached full temperature. This can take as much as fifteen minutes even if the car is in perfect working order. Until it reaches full operating temperature it's emission are completely (and legally) unregulated. This is the cause of the black spot on your driveway or garage wall. It is soot from an over rich fuel mixture being fed to a cold engine. Also, auto emission systems are seldom properly maintained by the car owner, and often are sabotaged "to save gas" or "because it gives me more power". 

    Power plant emissions are regulated by federal law and are routinely checked. Because the plant is always on, there is no warm up period. Unlike car emission control systems, power plant emission systems are not limited in physical size or weight. After all, they aren't going anywhere. Some power plants are all ready completely emission free. Hydroelectric, geo-thermal, wind, and solar power are all available options for an emission free power source to supply electricity. None of these can be utilized by a gasoline powered car. Every few years the emission regulations on cars and power plants are tightened. While this means new cars must be cleaner it does nothing about existing cars. However, these regulations do apply to existing power stations. Less pollution at the power station means less pollution per existing electric car powered by that station. It wouldn't matter if its a shiny new EV-1 or a 1914 Detroit Electric. No national or state emission regulation would have this same trickle down effect for gasoline fueled vehicles. 

    Another often overlooked source of pollution from conventional cars is the oil and antifreeze that leaks out and causes that ugly black streak down the middle of the road. Every time it rains this crud is washed down the storm drains to end up in our rivers and our ground water. EVs don't leak oil and antifreeze because they don't use any. Is there an ugly black stain on the floor of your garage? If you drove an EV it wouldn't be there. 

    One could also mention noise pollution. Can you imagine downtown without all that engine noise? What an idea. 


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