Living with Technology: More drivers get charge from electric cars
Updated 5:50 am, Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Electric cars have been around for a very long time.
Most of them haven’t been very practical for a variety of reasons.
Hybrids (cars with both an internal combustion engine, an electric motor and batteries) have been on the roads for more than a decade. The best known of these is the Toyota Prius.
There are many problems with electric cars, most notably small size, short distance between charges and the need to recharge frequently.
Many of these obstacles are being addressed. And Tesla is arguably the best known provider of electric cars that get people’s attention. Tesla has been known for high-end, expensive electric cars with a dizzying array of features.
Tesla’s recent introduction of the Tesla Model 3 with a base price of $35,000 is the first entre into the realm of affordable, usable daily driving fully electric cars.
Not to be outdone, Chevrolet is also preparing its Chevy Bolt (not to be confused with Chevrolet’s earlier electric car, the Volt).
What’s making these cars get the attention of the public in general is that people are starting to see electric cars around and are able to talk to people who own them … and really like them.
The range on these cars is getting to the point where people can easily commute back and forth to work without having to charge them, although some people will want to charge them at the office. Two hundred miles is now typical range on a battery charge.
Performance is also becoming what people are used to — if not better than their current vehicles. Cars that accelerate quickly, handle nicely and can perform well in snow and under other driving conditions are making electric cars attractive.
Price is a huge motivator. While some tax credits may have offset the huge initial costs of electric cars, having cars that cost $35,000 without any tax credits opens up the market to far more consumers.
As more and more charging stations are popping up, people are starting to accept a new lifestyle of electric cars. Some of the chargers even have higher power to charge batteries more quickly, meaning less time for a stop.
It will still be a while before the majority of the cars on the road are electric, but the numbers are growing nicely and there are some major benefits for people who are buy and drive them.
I know I just put in my order for an electric car. I only have to wait two or more years to get it. That should give me time to put the charging station in my garage.
Mark Mathias, a 35-year information technology executive, is a Westport resident. His columns can be read on the Internet at http://blog.mathias.org. He can be contacted at email@example.com.