A report released on Monday by the Union of Concerned Scientists circulated by Reuters has confirmed that electric cars are cheaper to run than gas powered cars as well as being less polluting. The report shows that ‘Drivers should feel confident that owning an electric vehicle is a good choice for reducing global warming pollution, cutting fuel costs, and slashing oil consumption,’ said Don Anair, a senior engineer on UCSs clean vehicles program.
UCS said the study is the first to analyze emissions from vehicles charged on a power grid of electricity made from fuels such as coal and natural gas. According to the report, owners of electric vehicles can save $750 to $1,200 a year based on 11,000 miles of driving, compared to drivers of a gasoline-powered vehicle that gets 27 miles per gallon at $3.50 per gallon. For every 50 cent rise in the price of a gallon of gasoline, an EV driver can save an extra $200 annually, the report said.
Car companies themselves are realising the global demand for electric cars that rely on less fossil fuels and although hybrid sales have remained strong, the market for electric only/battery operated cars is buzzing. Recent figures from China show a strong market for electric vehicles, however, three years ago, the Chinese government unveiled policies to propel sales of all-electric vehicles (ie, ones that can’t use petrol at all) to 500,000 by 2015 and 5m by 2020. But barely 8,000 electric cars were sold last year, almost all going to government fleets.
To quote an article this month’s Economist magazine: “Novel business models to deal with electric cars are emerging. Better Place, an Israeli firm that promotes swapping batteries rather than recharging them, has a tie-up with Chery, a Chinese car firm, and China Southern Power Grid. Hertz, a car-hire firm, and GE, an industrial giant that makes charging stations, have struck a deal with BYD to lease its electric cars to drivers in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Beijing.”
And if we look at a recently released list of the top ten cities by numbers of electric cars, it’s obvious that the recent policy changes in Europe relating to carbon emissions have really encouraged innovation, as well as new economic thinking.
The demand for family cars, sports cars and business fleets hasn’t showed any signs of slowing down, so the automotive industry must learn to adapt if they’re to capture further gains in the market, along with urban sales.
Kevin O’Connor is a freelance writer and web media analyst from Ireland and working in London. He has written on a wide range of issues in a number of print publications as well as online. When he isn’t working, he enjoys making the most of nature, as well as reading and world cinema.
Electric car image via Shutterstock