Is the Car Industry Ready?: What Electric Cars Need to Offer All Motorists
The use of electric cars has been touted as an eco-friendly and efficient method of transportation. Electric cars are said to be cheaper to run than their gas-powered counterparts, as well as cheaper to maintain. In addition, electric car manufacturers claim that their vehicles are less likely to roll over, have a reduced chance of experiencing a major fire, and possess a safer body construction. Despite these advantages, the use of electric cars is not widespread.
Many people are not convinced to purchase electric cars because they have a limited driving range. Also, it can be difficult to find a charging station. Other cons include the length of time it takes to get a full charge and the expense associated with the replacement of the battery pack. In order to appeal to a wider range of consumers and make the use of electric vehicles more mainstream, electric car manufacturers need to pay close attention to these concerns and offer new models of electric cars with four main features.
1. Improve the Driving Range of Electric Cars
One of the greatest benefits of electric cars is their low to no emissions, making them much better for the environment than gas-powered cars. As seen over at telletire.com, many states have regulations regarding emissions and cars must be inspected and pass emissions tests on a yearly basis. Purchasing an electric car is a great way to ensure that the car will pass the test. However, the greatest benefit leads to one of the downfalls of this type of vehicle.
While all-electric vehicles have no emissions, they, unfortunately, have a lower driving range than gas-powered cars. In order to convince more people to purchase electric vehicles, manufacturers must work toward vehicles with a longer driving range. The current range for electric cars is up to 370 miles for the most expensive models, while the average range is around 200 miles. In order to be competitive with gas-powered cars, the average range should be closer to 500 miles.
2. Install Plenty of Charging Stations
There are gas stations on nearly every corner of every town in the country. This makes using a gas-powered car a safe choice because a person is always likely to be near a gas station as they run out of gas. On the other hand, there aren’t nearly as many charging stations available for electric cars. Sometimes, depending on the distance and location that a person is traveling, recharging a low vehicle battery may not even be possible.
If manufacturers want to make electric cars more mainstream, they must address the issue of not having enough charging stations. They should actively seek out public locations to install chargers, such as libraries, shopping centers, hotels, restaurants, public parks, and other attractions. Since it can take some time to charge an electric vehicle battery, it is a good idea to put charging stations in locations that give people something to do while they wait.
3. Increase the Speed of Battery Charging
Filling up a gas-powered car takes only a few short minutes. For people on their way to work or for those on a road trip, this is very appealing. When their car is low on gas, all they need to do is pull off of the road at one of the many gas stations available, spend a few minutes filling up, then get back on the road on the way to their destination.
Charging the battery of an electric vehicle is a process that is a bit more involved. Once a charging station is located, it can take anywhere from just a few hours to overnight, depending on the type of battery the vehicle has and the type of charging station being used. Electric car manufacturers need to focus on creating charging station technologies that can charge a vehicle in under 30 minutes. They should also offer this technology for installation at customer’s homes at a discounted rate. This will make the vehicles much more appealing to the average driver.
4. Decrease the Cost of Battery Replacement
In general, electric cars are known to be overall cheaper to maintain than gas-powered cars. This is because they are simply mechanically less complex, possessing fewer moving parts and a single-speed transmission. In fact, there are over two dozen parts in gas-powered cars that eventually need replacing that electric cars just do not have. However, the battery pack of an electric car is one item that could cost up to $15,000, depending on make and model, if it has to be replaced.
The high cost is due to the type and size of the battery pack. It uses lithium-ion technology, which allows it to hold a large charge and maintain the charge while not in use. It is also rather large so that it can hold enough power to run the vehicle for a longer amount of time. Naturally, the potential of having to replace a battery at this hefty price tag scares some potential customers away. Electric car manufacturers are actively working to ensure that electric car battery packs will either last the lifetime of the vehicle or become more affordable to replace if necessary.
There is no doubt that electric vehicles are better for the environment. They are also safer and easier to maintain and are just plain fun to drive. Many individuals, couples, and families have considered purchasing an electric vehicle but are turned off by some of the features, such as the limited range, lack of charging stations, slow charging speeds, and high battery replacement costs. Until these issues are addressed, an electric vehicle might only be appropriate for drivers who drive only a moderate amount and short distances.
In order to appeal to the masses, electric vehicle manufacturers need to address these problems by improving the driving range, providing more charging stations, increasing the charging speed, and decreasing the cost of battery replacement. Doing these things will allay customers’ fears and ensure that electric vehicles have a bright future in both the new and used car markets.