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Ten Reasons Why You’ll Really Enjoy Owning an Electric Car


Taken in Bristol, UK. Photograph taken by Phil Bambridge. Used with Permission.

Taken in Bristol, UK. Photograph taken by Phil Bambridge. Used with Permission.

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This month has seen a lot of witty articles about the pros and cons of electric transportation, usually titled ‘Ten reasons why electric cars...’ followed by: "suck" or "don’t work" or "will change your life" ... or even reasons why it’s not worth arguing about it at all.

The focus has been largely centered around the environmental and political merits of electric cars.

While I’d be the first to admit that was why I got into ‘electrics' in the first place, after a year of owning a pair, I’ve mellowed out a little. Now I've found 10 entirely new reasons that you’d enjoy owning and driving an electric car if you had one.

1. Torque: the revenge of the muscle car

Back in the Sixties and Seventie, big hairy-chested men plied the roads of America in big, torque-y Muscle Cars. They didn’t need no stinking SUV with ‘heated, seats’, 'sat nav’ and, 'carpets' to prove how tough they were, just several hundred foot-pounds of torque and a 0-to-60 time of under 5 seconds.

1977 Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon, photo by Wikipedia user Vegavairbob

1977 Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon, photo by Wikipedia user Vegavairbob

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That was the domain of the American Muscle Car: “powwwwerrrrrrr," as some would put it. Of course, October 1973 killed it dead. The first oil crisis did muscle cars in, and instead of 400 cu in. and 300 ft-lbs of torque, we soon got the Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon and waved goodbye to 200 of those ‘torques’.

Torque is what produces that shove in the back that only displacement used to bring. These days, see your local EV for those torgues, because that’s where they're all found now.

Better yet, we get access to all of them, right off the line. Yes, the Tesla Roadster will light up the rear end like the best of them. Even the modest MINI E and the 2011 Nissan Leaf will spin a wheel if you’re rough with them.

They may look all cute and cuddly, and sound like they couldn’t hurt a fly but, ladies and gentlemen, take a firm hold of the wheel of an electric car. You have been warned.

2010 Chumpcar Texas Motor Speedway, Friday Garage Photos

2010 Chumpcar Texas Motor Speedway, Friday Garage Photos

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2. Clean garage

The modern car represents the pinnacle of fossil-fuel combustion technology, and while they don’t usually drip oil like your dad’s car did, they still have to emit some junk out of the back.

The thing is, that happens the most when they’re cold or when they’re not feeling well, 'cause their smog trap is full or their cat’ is ill.

And, that’s usually when they’re tucked up in the garage at home. Ever stood in the garage while someone starts up a cold car? Want to stay there long? My local Tesla dealer has a workshop in a former art gallery. Yes, they’re that clean, and they certainly don’t soil their own bed.

3. Always full

Each morning I get up and unplug the car. At first it was odd, having to plug in each night and disconnect every morning, but it quickly melted into the background of the daily routine.

To be honest I can’t even remember unplugging this morning... I hope there isn’t a power cord trailing out of the side right now.

And it means that every morning, I start with a "full tank". No worries.


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Comments (17)
  1. It's true. As a Tesla Roadster owner for over 8 months now, I can agree completely with the advantages that you have stated about owning an electric car. Always full, clean, fast...I love it! But...what about reliability? The Tesla is not yet a reliable car. I have had many visits from Tesla technicians since purchasing. My motor has been replaced. Transmission gone bad. And now, my battery has to be replaced. My car completely lost power while I was driving it the other night. I had to come to a stop, start it again -- 6 times over a 4 mile stretch to get home. Had I been on the highway, it would have been extremely dangerous. I am an electrical engineer, so I know, like every complex technology, it has to mature. I will keep driving it, but everyone needs to know the positives and also, unfortunately, the negatives.
     
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  2. great article. i just sold my Zenn to make room for my Leaf (#258) which should be here in a month. i cant wait and i think we also have to consider the difference between a $10 bump in the electric bill verses $60 a month in gas... then again, gas went up AGAIN!@!
     
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  3. Not only taxis in NYC but trucks too. They used Nickel Metal Hydride batteries that today we call NiMH's.
     
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  4. I guess even Tesla can make a lemon :-(
    I've had my Ford Ranger EV for over 3 years, and the only thing I've had to do is replace windshield washer fluid, and that old-school lead acid auxiliary battery. I will have to replace the tires soon, not because they are worn out, but because the rubber is old, and the tire sidewalls are looking weirdly lumpy. I'm worried about age failure, not wear.
     
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  5. Thanks for this list--I've been debating about getting an electric vehicle, but hadn't known if it would be more inconvenient than useful--but this shows that it's not!
     
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  6. I love this lists. As EV advocates, we need to get better at sizing people up and deciding which arguments to use. For the "greenies" we can talk environment. For the conservatives, we can talk about getting off of foreign oil. For the tech geeks, we can talk about the cool tech of EVs. Too often I make the mistake of talking about the environment first. Perhaps I should lead with the technology.
     
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  7. We can expect MUCH more of this positive feedback. The only thing the naysayers have had going for them is .. virtually no-one actually drives an EV. Once this kind of word-of-month gains momentum as more people buy EVs it will become a land slide. Point#11 It costs /10th as much to 'fill' an EV compared to a muscle car.... Once news of that fact alone becomes word-of-month endorsement... Nissan and others will be flat out making EV for decades.
     
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  8. @Paul - Regarding your point on cost savings, we just launched an app that calculates how much money you'd save driving an electric car to work vs your current vehicle. You can try it out at http://apps.facebook.com/costtodrive
     
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  9. Is this just an ad for Tesla? Because it reads like one. I like Teslas; if I could afford one I would be an owner, but you don't need to pander to them this much.
     
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  10. You need to make a bigger deal about lack of needed maintenance. Those required 30-day new-car checkup ($50+ each) can kill your love of an ICE machine.
     
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  11. hi, I love the sound of an electric car, but here are my concerns:
    1-why do I need to plug 'er in? Why doesn't it recharge as I drive?
    2-Being surrounded by Electromagnetic waves while driving seems a bit dangerous to me...what did Tesla do to make sure the drive is safe.
    3-how much would it really cost in Monthly bill if you drove 100km per day every day.
    cheers,
     
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  12. What gives? All these comments date from 6 months ago, and the article is dated two days ago?
    Agree with all the positive points EXCEPT the one about being warm on a cold day. Our Leaf (VIN #320) has a pathetic heating system even for the moderate California winter. My wife pretty much now refuses to drive it for her commute when it is below 55 degrees outside; she uses our Volt which has seat heaters at least!
     
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  13. I look forward to getting my EV (either Leaf of Ford EV) but the range limit is a problem. My drive patterns are erratic. Mostly short days but one or two long ones every week or so.
     
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  14. now that i am approaching 5,000 miles on my Leaf i have to dispute #5. A/C yes, but heat?? not in my Leaf. but who cares? i am not a "heat" person anyway
     
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  15. Michael...how about domestic 'local' production of the energy! ENERGY SECURITY...Do you ever go to the EEVC meets at Plymouth Whitemarsh HS? I'd like to meet with you..
     
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  16. @ Dennis. Local production of power has moved from #3 to #2 in my own personal feelings about the value of EVs. What I like about EVs though is my number 1; EVs are just nicer cars to live with and use. EEVC meet looks interesting... and in range!
     
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  17. This all sounds well and good. What about the pollution that the power plant making your "clean" energy. Coal creates pollution too, and our politicians don't want to support nuclear power. And please come try your heater in the midwest, our your AC for that matter. I have heard many things, even the electric heaters in hybrids are said to be weak. I am all for alternative modes of transportation, but they must be practical. I guess we will wait and see how the $30-$40,000 EV's do. Not all of us can afford a Tesla Roadster.
     
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