careers for the automotive and transportation industries

Home Blog Electric Cars: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?

Electric Cars: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?

Published on November 6, 2014 by in Blog, CATI

Auto mechanic collegesElectric vehicles (EVs) are a fast- growing trend and many automotive companies currently offer a selection of eco-friendly options. Graduates of auto mechanic colleges can explain the popular benefits of driving an EV—they are environmentally friendly and aim to reduce our carbon footprint as drivers. Conventional vehicles burn fuels, and emit a variety of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides. These emissions have a substantial impact on global warming, which has prompted the demand for more sustainable alternatives.

But are EVs really better for the environment than traditional fuel-engine vehicles? Are the costs associated with EVs truly worth it? Let’s take a look at some of the recent research on EVs and how they compare with conventional cars.

Are EVs More Harmful to the Environment than We Think?

A study done by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology has found that in some circumstances, EVs can have a greater negative impact on global warming than our traditional, fuel-burning cars. How? The way that EVs are manufactured means that some of these cars can have almost double the impact on global warming. This is because of the raw materials and the intensive energy needed to build the EV’s lithium-ion battery. However, once a new EV does actually get on the road, its impact on the environment improves drastically because it won’t emit any harmful gases while in motion.

Inconsistent Impact of EVs

Someone who has had auto mechanic training can tell you that an EV’s environmental impact can depend on a variety of factors, including:

  • how electricity is generated in the country where the EV is being driven
  • what time of day the batteries of the vehicle are being charged

When electricity is generated at night time, it is less dependent on coal—and because electricity from coal is the most polluting way to generate power, an EV that’s charged at night would have less of an impact on the environment. Another factor to consider is the limited amount of EVs that are currently being produced. Because EVs haven’t caught up with conventional cars in terms of popularity, they aren’t being produced in large quantities. Producing a greater volume of EVs could potentially make their manufacturing process more efficient—and since they’d be created in bulk, the negative impact of production on global warming would be reduced.

Comparing EVs and Conventional Vehicles

So, how do EVs measure up to conventional vehicles? Let’s assess some of the important characteristics that most people take into consideration when purchasing a new car.

Cost of Vehicle: The average conventional car costs about $25,000, while an EV can cost anywhere from $27,000 to $100,000. Recent graduates of automotive mechanic schools can tell you that this high price point is mainly due to the cost of the batteries that keep the EV running.

Fuel/Battery Efficiency: To “fill up” an electric car takes approximately 500 kWh of electricity. At an average rate of $0.15 to $0.20 per kWh, a full recharge would cost about $90. Filling up the average tank of gas would cost approximately $60, which makes fuel-engine vehicles the less expensive option as far as fuel or battery efficiency goes.

Durability of Batteries: The lithium-ion batteries that are used to power EVs are the same as those used in many devices today, including cellular phones and tablets. Anyone with a cellular phone can tell you that after a few years the battery performance begins to decline, and you’ll either have to replace the battery, or the entire phone. The same is true for EVS—after a while, the lithium-ion battery in your EV will need to be replaced, and these batteries can be very expensive.

Do you think that the higher price tag associated with EVs is worth it?

 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share on LinkedIn
Comments Off on Electric Cars: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?  comments