The best way to reduce carbon emissions is to utilize the cleaner, greener, more renewable electric grid to power transportation. Only grid-rechargeable cars can attain the end goal of zero-emissions and ensure fuel price stability. In addition, plug-in electric cars make an investment in solar panels even more economically compelling. But what are other reasons for driving electric?
Electric Vehicles are Efficient
The typical internal combustion engine only uses 20% of it's energy for actual propulsion, the remaining energy being lost as heat during ignition or friction inside the engine and drivetrain. Electric motors and drivetrains are far more efficient with fewer moving parts, allowing more of the energy to get to the wheels for a quick and quiet driving experience. In fact, some of the world's fastest race cars use electric motors due to faster acceleration than can be found in traditional vehicle drivetrains.
Electricity is Affordable and Price Stable
While fossil fuels can ebb and flow in pricing year over year, electricity has remained one of the most constantly priced forms of energy over the last 15 years. The chart below maps out various forms of transportation fuel since 2000; electricity has only increased by 50¢ over that time, while other fossil fuels have fluctuated drastically. At present, electricity costs ~$1.31 per gasoline gallon equivalent nationally. The typical Ohio EV owner also only sees a typical increase of $6-$11 of their electricity bill when charging daily at home.
Electric Vehicles Lead to Security and Sustainability
The petroleum market is priced on the global scale, dependent on factors outside of United States borders. Even as a net exporter of petroleum, our country still faces political and market pressure from other oil producing nations. Since electricity is produced by a variety of domestic energy sources, EVs are able to use energy that is made closer to home. And as the electricity grid continues to shift towards cleaner sources of energy, EVs provide further opportunity for reduced environmental emissions (this includes taking account of emissions produced from electricity generation). Curious to how many well-to-wheel emissions EVs and Plug-in Hybrids produce in your zip-code? Visit the Department of Energy's Plug-In EV Emission Calculator.