4 Reasons Why The Electric Car Is Not Ready For The American Driver
by Becky Graebner
Although an increasing number of Americans are buying electric vehicles, I am skeptical that Americans will completely make the switch. It isn’t America’s own cautious nature delaying the transition into electric cars; we have real reasons to be dubious that electric cars can fully accommodate our needs. In short, electric cars are not ready to meet the needs of American drivers.
1. “Reliability” is not its middle name.
As consumers have sought relief from climbing gas prices, interest in electric vehicles (EVs) has increased. In turn, rising sales has put more pressure on EV-manufacturers and dealers to expand service and offer more reliable cars… creating headaches and growing pains for the fledgling industry. Electric cars are still a new idea; thus, not all the bugs have been worked out. Case in point: Tesla.
If batteries start on fire due to salt-water exposure or are possibly compromised due to more extreme air temperatures, electric cars are going to be fighting an uphill battle to prove their usefulness. In fact, in some areas of the country, they might not be possible to operate. Sorry, hurricane-prone areas, the “mini- arctic” in the north of Wisconsin and Minnesota, and the oven-like states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, you live in EV nightmare-land. State-by-state analysis of EV viability isn’t going to fly — these cars need to work everywhere –otherwise, why buy them?
2. It needs more stops than your toddler in potty-training.
The current lack of charging stations in this country, compounded by the requirement that they exist within 200 miles of each other, everywhere in the 3,794,000 sq. miles of the continental United States, makes charging even one of the longest-range EVs available an annoying requirement and a dangerous gamble. If you are unable to afford a Tesla, which have the longer-range batteries on the market, then your EV will most likely need charging stations every 75-100 miles. … Electric cars need batteries that go at least as far as gas-powered cars… otherwise, what’s the advantage of buying them if you can’t drive them more than a few miles? …
4. “Electric” Comes at a “Luxury” Price.
Did Home Depot have a sale on money trees that I didn’t know about? Apparently some electric car manufacturers have been distorted by this magical plant blooming in their dealerships because the majority of these cars are out of reach for most car-buying Americans.
Look at the base MSRP prices below. The most affordable is still over $20,000 and the average price of these electric vehicles is $49,316.67. Mid-$40ks is considered “luxury range” in cars… the average here is almost at $50,000. … if the push to get away from gasoline-powered cars is real, then the alternatives need to be affordable to the average consumer.
No product is perfect — especially something as complicated as a car. But in order for electric vehicles to really take off they must fit into the lives of the people driving them. Right now electric cars are a dream of what we WISH Americans were like on roads: driving 10 miles a day (maximum), rejecting anything gasoline, and never having cause to drive across the country. Sorry to burst the eco-bubble, but Americans do not act like this — and are not likely to give up family road-trips to grandmas or commuting 20+ miles via car.
… In order to be a real contender, EVs need to match, if not exceed, the mileage range of gas-powered vehicles and meet a variety of price points. They also need to not explode or refuse to start due to our hometown climates. U.S. infrastructure also has some growing to do in order to support mass-use of EVs across the country. Until these issues are solved, electric vehicles will continue to be a utopian dream that never quite fits into the American way of life.
A good summary!