Electric cars solve a lot of problems. They don’t pollute, they can be recharged at home overnight, and they save owners money by eliminating the need for gasoline.
The trouble is, electric cars could end up being remembered as the right cars that happened at the wrong time.
The quality, reliability, comfort, and driving range of electric vehicles are better than ever before. They offer a gas-free way to commute to work and the peace-of-mind of driving on clean energy.
What EVs don’t have is the right timing. Gas prices are still hovering around $2 per gallon, so it’s hard for car buyers to justify the added cost and limited range when compared to a gas-powered car.
For an electric car to succeed in an era of cheap gas, it needs to have something special. Keep reading for the electric cars that should thrive regardless of gas prices.
Whether it’s the Model S, Model X, or upcoming Model 3, anything with the Tesla name on the trunk is a guaranteed success. Owning a Tesla doesn’t just say, “I like electric cars,” it says, “I’m a successful, cutting edge person who is just a little cooler than you.”
The fact that Teslas are electric is almost an afterthought. As long as it has that “cool” factor, Teslas will sell even if gasoline costs less than electricity.
The Leaf makes the list for one reason: affordability. With a starting MSRP of under $30,000 and a $7,500 tax rebate on top of that, the Leaf is about as affordable as any entry-level gasoline-powered car. Nissan’s EV has proven itself over the years and has a range of about 100 miles, making it perfect for running errands around town or commuting worry-free to and from work.
I know, it isn’t all electric, but that’s why I’m including it here. Classified as a plug-in hybrid, I think the Volt will survive cheap gas because it does a great job of making the most out of the fuel it needs. Plus, it can function perfectly fine as a pure electric as long as you live within 25 miles or so of the places you go most. It has a range of 53 miles on electricity, and a range of 420 miles with a full charge and a full tank of gas.
Granted, this one isn’t on the mass market yet, but it’s one of those unique electrics that offers something beyond electrification. It provides the ability to reduce commute times by a significant amount while still being freeway-capable and even allowing for a two-person carpool. Plus it’s the only narrow commuter vehicle that has four wheels and drives like a regular car. Would you rather pay $2/gallon for gas and have a 60-minute commute, or pay nothing for gas and have a 20-minute commute?
Here’s to hoping the Tango finds its market.
Beyond these electrics, I’m not convinced there are others that will survive a prolonged era of cheap gas. Most electric cars are priced much higher than their gas-powered counterparts, without any added benefits other than not needing to buy cheap gas.
Electrics might be the right way to help save the world, but their timing couldn’t be much worse.
Would you buy an electric car when gas prices are $2 per gallon?
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