Despite the concept of electric vehicles (“EVs”) being decades old, the industry is relatively new. Consumers interested in reducing their carbon footprint and switching green are positively bursting with questions about the fledgling industry and how it works. To help interested parties get a clearer picture of the EV industry, consumer group Which? Has given expert answers to five of the most nagging EV questions most consumers have.
Are electric cars really that green? You’d be forgiven for thinking EVs produce zero emissions, but we’re still a ways off from that technology. But don’t let that discourage you from going green: research has found that although electric cars are not entirely green, they don’t pollute the environment as much as petrol and diesel-powered vehicles. According to an analysis by BloombergNEF, carbon emissions produced by electric vehicles charged with non-renewable power are still 40% lower than the outputs of cars with combustion engines.
How much do I have to worry about range? Not as much, apparently. While drivers who went green early had to fork over a lot more for an expensive EV with more range, improvements in battery technology have resulted in much more affordable models with extended ranges. Instead of paying a whopping $103,000 on an expensive Tesla so you can travel more than 200 miles on a single charge, you could opt for more affordable models like the Hyundai Kona or the Kia e-Niro that will offer you similar range.
Are electric cars more reliable? Compared to traditional vehicles, electric vehicles have far fewer moving parts, and the assumption is that this makes them more reliable and less likely to break down. However, a 2019 poll found that petrol and hybrid car owners had fewer problems to report than EV owners. Just over one in four owners of EVs under three years old reported an issue. But despite the higher overall fault rate, EV owners are still among the most satisfied car owners.
Are electric cars more practical to run? If you have a home charger and are confident you can charge your EV somewhere off the road, then yes, it would be practical to own an EV. However, if you live in flats or have to rely on the famously unreliable public charging systems, you may find yourself questioning the choice to go green. Unless you drive a Tesla, which has its own charging network, and you cannot install a home charger, you may have to rely on several apps, websites, or a radio-frequency identification (“RFID”) card to gain access to public charging networks.
Are EVs less expensive to own than traditional vehicles? Overall, studies have shown that EVs are cheaper to own and maintain over their lifetime than petrol and diesel-powered vehicles. However, as the initial costs can be quite high, plenty of prospective buyers are unable to go green. Improvements in battery technology over the next five years will make EVs much more affordable but at the moment, customers have to rely on government programs and grants that make buying relatively expensive EVs possible.
Several companies are picking interest in the electric vehicle space with the view to addressing some of the little kinks that still exist in this vehicle segment. One such company that is interesting to follow is Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE). The global financial solutions company is set to complete a reverse merger with an electric vehicle maker.
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