Electric vehicles are a relatively new concept to hit the automotive world. It’s true that some manufacturers have based their entire models around being proactive and replacing the use of fossil fuels with electricity. However, most companies have, until recently, offered hybrid cars that work off both sources of energy. Going full electric seemed like a too big of a gamble to many.
As more and more of plug-in cars get adopted by the world population, their impact on life on our planet will start to be felt far and wide. For instance, at a personal level, an electric car such as the Tesla Model S, the Nissan Leaf or the Chevrolet Volt is a great way for you to not only save lots of money but also help contribute towards a green and stable environment.
On a global scale, this technology is predicted to be disruptive enough that by the early 2020s it’s expected to cause ripples in the market. In fact, there are people who believe that the next crisis to hit the oil industry will come from the use of EVs.
With battery prices continuing to fall - including decreases up to 35% in 2015 alone - many believe that a major shift is underway that will see consumers adopting electric cars extensively in the next decade. Indeed, last year alone saw EV sales growing by around 60% across the globe. The debut episode of Bloomberg’s “Sooner Than You Think”, made some interesting speculations. According to them, the effects of this growth (if it continues at this rate) could see displacing global oil demand. It’s estimated to be at least 2 million barrels per day by the year 2023. This is capable of creating an oil glut similar to what triggered the last major oil crisis in 2014.
While EVs make up only about 0.001% of global car sales in 2016, this is expected to rise to as high as 35% by 2040. Since battery packs account for up to a third of the total cost of building an EV today, for green cars to achieve widespread consumer adoption, one of the four things below must happen:
- World governments must offer subsidies or incentives to bring costs down;
- Plug-in car manufacturers must be willing to accept extremely low-profit margins;
- Buyers must be ready to pay more to go electric, at least for now;
- The price of EV battery packs must come down.
So, what should you consider when purchasing a plug-in car? Here are some of the most important factors to know:
- Currently, plug-in cars have a shorter range, i.e. they still can’t travel as far as petrol cars (though they’re tremendously improving by the day, as well as the number of charging stations throughout the world).
- EVs require less maintenance since they have much less moving parts relative to a gas car’s traditional combustion engine.
- While gas cars take just a few minutes to refill, electric car batteries can take from 20 minutes for the latest Tesla to eight or nine hours for some older models.
- Lastly, EVs have the potential to save you lots of money in the long-term, depending on where you live and the relative costs of electricity and petroleum in your country.
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