Willie spun around to see who had spoken, but he was alone in the sales lot surrounded by shiny new electric vehicles (EVs). Then Electra Carr’s other headlight winked. “Is that car talking to me?” he wondered aloud. Once over his shock, he ventured an answer. “Well yes, I would like to take you for a ride. I’m interested in EVs, but to be honest, I’ve got ‘range anxiety,’” he sheepishly admitted. “What if we go somewhere and you run out of juice?” Willie Gettstuk asked.
Electra had heard that question many times before. “No worries!” she replied. She explained that on average, cars and light trucks in the U.S. get used for only one hour per day and travel only 35 miles according to the Federal Highway Administration. A compact EV like herself with a range of over 140 miles can easily handle that job. Moreover, one recent study showed that more than 1/3 of all drivers could meet all their transportation needs with a small-battery EV like Electra that they plug in overnight at home. EV’s are competitively priced and have low maintenance and fuel costs. So folks who own of a compact EV can rent a longer-range vehicle a couple times a year as needed, and still be money ahead.
But another issue had been bothering Willie. “Some folks say EVs aren’t actually more environmentally friendly than, say, a hybrid gasoline powered vehicle. Are they?” he asked.
Electra told him about a recent analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists.* It compared the lifetime emissions of EVs with gas & diesel-powered vehicles. They counted all the greenhouse gases released in the production and use over the vehicle’s lifetime. Turns out that, on average, EVs beat all gas-powered vehicles, even hybrids. In fact, driving the average EV in the U.S. is like getting 91 mpg, way better than hybrids’ mileage.
Willie’s EV anxieties melted away. Now it was his turn to wink. “Let’s go for a spin, cutie! Who knew that saving money and helping build a cleaner future could be so much fun?” he smiled. “Good thing too because this is the only home we’ll ever know. It’s where we’re all forever…Earthbound.”