Top 10 reasons why people love the electric car

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      What’s not to love about an electric car? If you want to go on a hot electric vehicle date, go to the Electric Vehicle Fair 2015 at Science World in the evening of Friday (April 24), organized by the Vancouver chapter of the B.C. Sustainable Energy Association.

      So here are the top 10 reasons why so many people are falling in love with an electric car—and let’s make it personal, speaking directly to the object of our affections:

      1. You’ve got no baggage!

      Unlike your cousin the conventional automobile, you don’t come with baggage. You don’t bring oil spills, pipelines, and tankers to family gatherings, pooping all over the party the way you did in the Gulf of Mexico a couple of years ago, and elsewhere around the world. We prefer our mountains and coastlines without the sheen of petrochemicals, and we’d like Alberta’s boreal forest to remain that way, not stripped of its trees and turned into bitumen. Your cousin doesn’t see things the same way, alas.

      2. You don’t cause climate change

      This is a biggie for anyone who cares about the world. Wherever the electricity comes from zero-carbon sources such as solar, hydro, and wind, you’re a real solution to the climate crisis, and even when it’s partly coal-fired you still produce fewer emissions than your cousin. Because of this I foresee a long and happy relationship, riding together into a safe, sustainable future.

      3. You don’t cause air pollution

      You don’t have unpleasant bodily odours, which can be a turn-off in a relationship. You don’t pollute the air, which means you don’t contribute to cardiovascular disease, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and diabetes. So people have no reason to feel guilty about driving around with you, which has got to be good, since judgment and criticism are a big part of why couples break up. You’re also very quiet: you don’t announce yourself wherever you go. People like that in a relationship.

      4. You’re not an expensive date

      You cost far less to fuel than your gasoline-guzzling cousin—just three cents a kilometre. So at 10,000 kilometres a year you only cost $5 a week. Nor is it a problem finding a place to charge up if you are not already being charged from home or work. The display on your dashboard says where the nearest charging station is and how much further you can go before you need a top-up. In doubt? Check PlugShare to see the location of EV charging stations in North America.

      5. You’re not an expensive shopper

      When it comes to keeping you neat and tidy at the service station you cost 35 percent less than your cousin, the gas-guzzling automobile. Why so? Because you’ve got so many fewer moving parts. Over eight years, doing 8,000 kilometres a year, a typical small car will cost $4,770 in maintenance including oil changes, brakes, tires, spark plugs, and filters, but you will only cost $3,070.

      6. Blush—you’re rather awesome

      Your acceleration is the best. You’re super-smooth and super-quiet. Your drive is four times more efficient than your cousin and almost twice as efficient as your other cousin, the hydrogen car. Driving with you puts a smile on people’s faces. Every time you hit the brakes instead of wearing out the brake-pads, the energy is transferred to your battery pack. This is tough to explain to someone who has never been on a date with you, so if you’re reading this and you’ll be in Vancouver on the evening of Friday (April 24) come on down to Science World. You’d best hurry though, because if a thousand people come there won’t be a date for everyone. Register now to book a test drive.

      7. Your battery is 100 percent recyclable

      That’s important to know, since your critics make a big deal about how your battery is going to die and be bad for the environment, filling up the landfills. Not so. All existing lead-acid and nickel-metal hydride batteries are recycled, and since most lithium-ion batteries will hold 85 percent of their power when it’s time to replace them there’s going to be a market for them. The remaining 15 percent will be taken back by the manufacturer and refurbished or re-used in one way or another.

      8. It costs a bit to marry you, but it’s worth it for a long-term relationship

      It’s your battery that makes you more expensive than your cousin, but within five to 10 years the falling cost of batteries will have eliminated the cost-difference. To entice people into a marriage, there’s a $5,000 incentive plus a $3,250 Scrap-It trade-in allowance in British Columbia. There are also secondhand Nissan Leafs for sale at Motorize in Sidney, near Victoria.

      9. You’re a positive for Canada’s economy

      When people drive your cousin, most of the money they spend on fuel gets spent in the countries Canada imports oil from, supporting jobs there, not here. When people drive you, by contrast, they charge up with electricity generated in Canada, so the money circulates locally, supporting jobs in Canada. And since you cost so much less to run, the money saved on fuel will generate jobs too.

      10. You don’t cause wars over oil

      Fancy that—you don’t motivate nations to invade other nations or try to corrupt their democracies. You don’t motivate oil companies to drill in the Arctic or under the Amazon rainforest. You don’t provoke civil conflict and strife, and when people marry you their wedding trains aren’t soaked in blood and oil. So whether as a date or as a life-long partner, you’re a dream.

      To learn more about your dream date, watch the YouTube video of the webinar BCSEA did with John Stonier in March, Full Charge on Electric Vehicles. And a big congratulations to the Vancouver chapter of the BCSEA for organizing the EV Fair!

      Comments

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      8 Comments

      ursa minor

      Apr 21, 2015 at 1:41pm

      #11 - Companies like Tesla cutting out the middle man and selling cars directly to consumer.

      J.M.T.

      Apr 21, 2015 at 2:12pm

      I'm not a big fan of the electric car myself. I would never want to travel very far in them for one thing. Road trip into the Rockies with an electric car? Forget that idea.

      Jordan W

      Apr 21, 2015 at 2:26pm

      A couple issues I have with electric or hybrid cars:

      1. The resources it takes to produce an electric car and its batteries currently outweigh any harmful emissions a gasoline-powered car produces. That electrics or hybrids are an envionmentally-friendly alternative is just superficial. Dig a little deeper and you'll see why.

      2. In BC we use hydro power, which is good. Elsewhere in the world including our American neighbours, most people use coal or nuclear power, thus these seemingly environmentally-friendly electric cars are using coal and nuclear power for their engines, which, arguably, is not good.

      J.M.T.

      Apr 21, 2015 at 3:53pm

      I can't wait until we get an electric Boeing 747. That should be a huge hit.

      Kim

      Apr 21, 2015 at 4:26pm

      The Tesla will take you to the mountains if you have $69,000.00. I've read that its like being in a glider all you hear is the rush of air. If I just had the 69000.
      Cheers

      Bruce

      Apr 22, 2015 at 3:15pm

      @Jordan

      Your concerns about electric cars are valid if the car is charged with energy generated via coal.

      However, if the car is charged with electricity generated from natural gas, the emissions are still only about half that of a gasoline car. This is due to the far higher efficiency of an electric car battery + drivetrain, and the high efficiency of large-scale NG plants.

      However, even in a region using coal power for baseload, it's unlikely that an electric car is causing more coal to be burned. The reason is that coal plants tend to be run at 100%, as base load, because they're very expensive to stop and start or run at idle. The varying loads, or any marginal increases in generation, tend to come from natural gas generators.

      So even if your region is powered 80% by coal, that doesn't mean that if get an electric car, 80% of its power comes from coal. The coal plant is probably already running at 100%. They're not going to build another 0.01% of a coal plant to power your new car. They'll just run the NG plants a little more. Effectively, if there is any "peaker" NG generation powering the local grid, electric cars are NG powered, and have half the emissions of gasoline cars.

      And the analysts and politicos that claim electric cars pollute know this. They're lying for the sake of propaganda.

      Bruce

      Apr 22, 2015 at 3:40pm

      @Jordan

      And this claim is simply false:

      "1. The resources it takes to produce an electric car and its batteries currently outweigh any harmful emissions a gasoline-powered car produces."

      Generally it's only the far-right making claims like this. Usually by tricks like using absurdly low vehicle lifespans.

      The emissions from making an electric car are higher than for making a gas car, it's true. But in both cases, the manufacturing emissions are dwarfed by the use of the car over its lifetime.

      See page 8, "Lifecycle Analysis Comparison of a Battery Electric
      Vehicle and a Conventional Gasoline Vehicle, California Air Resources Board":

      http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&ua...

      It's all horse puckey...either way

      Apr 24, 2015 at 10:57pm

      Let's say EVERYONE in the lower mainland went to electric cars. 1. 4 million of them so we no longer burn gasoline or diesel or propane or nat gas for our 1.4 million cars. Let's say BC Hydro finishes up site C and we use that extra power for our new shiny electric cars.
      MM the feels good so...
      Let's say we try to figure out the CO2 emissions 'offset' by going electric.

      Let'say we convert to electric in order to use the emissions 'offset' to offset coal fired emissions somewhere. How many coal plants could we offset?

      1.4 million cars x 4 tons CO2 average per year = 5.6 million tons CO2.
      1 coal fired plant ( average ) = 15 million tons CO2 per year.

      So... if everyone in the lower mainland goes electric car ( all of us ) then we offset barely 1/3 of one coal fired plant's emissions somewhere in the world, cuz that's all the emissions that all of our cars in all of Metro Vancouver make. It's dick all... because:

      China is in process of building 350 new coal plants, India 460, the rest of the world 200 more.. in total about 1000 world wide.
      Oh but we are gonna lead the world!!!
      Of course, if you do happen to get the Chinese hooked on the electric car model, they might need a lot more coal plants to charge them up with. They might NOT use coal for that though. They might use nuclear. China today operates 26 nuclear power plants, and has 23 under construction. Plans for 50 more are in the works. Maybe a hundred more for electric cars?
      hmm.. or maybe cars running nat gas from BC isnt such a bad idea.

      These electric toys sound cool but that's all. Canada isnt a real player anyway. There just aren't enough of us and there aren't going to be enough of us to matter.
      What we do emissions wise, is pretty much irrelevant. It's just Green propaganda Earth Day or any other day.

      But hey. Enjoy your Tesla. Just dont try telling us it's saving any planet from Thermageddon.