Issues such as climate change and rising cost of living are forcing a lot of us to make some changes in our purchasing decisions. Particularly in terms of our travel habits, we’ve become a bit more conscious of our carbon footprint, as well as the damage that skyrocketing fuel prices are doing to our hip pockets. Because of this and some legislative measures aimed at reducing emissions, there has been a strong push towards electric vehicles as a cleaner alternative to internal combustion.
As a concept, electric cars aren’t new, they’ve been around since the late 19th century. There was a brief flurry of mainstream interest in the 1960’s but a major drawback was their limited range. Meanwhile, extremely cheap fuel prices led to a surge in popularity for internal combustion, ultimately squeezing electric cars completely out of the market. That was until 2004 when Tesla began developing the roadster, which was delivered to customers in 2008. Since then, battery technology has significantly improved, increasing their range and performance. Meanwhile, improvements in charging infrastructure have led to them being a much more viable option for motorists in recent years.
The upshot of all this is that major car manufacturers are introducing electric vehicles into their catalogues. No longer are they the sole domain of specialist electric car makers. And as more and more manufactures start including electric power into their cars, prices will get more competitive, making them available to more customers.
So, what are some advantages of electric over petrol?
In Australia, transport is the third largest source of greenhouse gases, and cars make up half of those emissions. Electric cars, however, produce zero emissions on the roads. Yes, there’s still a carbon footprint involved in the production of electric vehicles, and the method of electricity generation that is used to power them can still affect overall emissions. But, as these processes improve, electric cars will become a vital part of global efforts to tackle climate change.
An added bonus to their lack of emissions is that they don’t contribute to air pollution. This is a common problem in big cities, and smog can have real effects on people’s health, as well as being generally unpleasant. As cities move towards electric cars, it will be a significant step towards cleaning up the air we breathe.
Naturally, because electric cars don’t go through tanks of fuel, their running costs are significantly lower. Motorists still pay to power up at a station, and an electric car will contribute to the home energy bill, but overall, they will save you a lot of money that would have otherwise gone into the petrol tank.
As well as saving you from fuel costs, they also save on maintenance too. Internal combustion engines have all sorts of moving parts that are exposed to heat and mechanical forces, meaning they are susceptible to wear and tear. Electric motors are much simpler—it’s the battery technology that has held them back in the past, not the drive technology—meaning there is a lot less that can go wrong with the power unit.
Many governments are trying to encourage a shift away from petrol engines and are therefore offering tax incentives for going electric. Along with reduced running costs, as previously mentioned, it could be a pretty good time to make the switch.
Due to the way electric cars operate, many of them are capable of producing incredible amounts of power and torque. A lot of electric cars have multiple driving modes, meaning that if you’re close to a charging point, you can dial the performance mode right up. There are plenty of videos on YouTube of electric family sedans absolutely munching supercars in drag races.
You’d probably opt for a more sensible driving experience most of the time, but it’s nice to know that the performance is there if you need it.
Electric cars are generally pretty feature rich to give the driver a full ‘hi-tech’ driving experience. This includes all sorts of digital controls, driving aids, mobile phone integration and all that fun stuff. The Mazda MX-30 is jammed full of them which you can check out for yourself if you go and visit your nearest Perth Mazda dealership.
Sitting inside an electric car is a pretty fun experience. Between all the hi-tech features, the environmental and economic benefits, and the novel experience of driving in near silence, there is a lot to like about where the future of motoring is headed. Just like petrol cars became ubiquitous throughout the last century, there is little doubt that the same will happen with electric cars, leading to a greener future. So, you may as well get on board early and enjoy the ride!