Op-Ed: Why I’m Pro EV, But Not For The Reasons You're Probably Thinking
I remember the day when I saw my first Tesla Model 3 in person, in the wild. It was a marker day for me. It ranks up there with other historic events. That was less than five years ago, before my first article here on InsideEVs. I recall how, in those days, seeing an EV was a rare event. It was something to take note of. I used to count how many EVs I saw in a day. Often I’d see none. But sometimes, if I were lucky, I’d see three.
Now everything has changed, everything is different. I’ve stopped counting. I see so very many electric vehicles every day (mostly Teslas), most everywhere I go. I haven’t done an official study, but it seems like I encounter Teslas on the road more often than I see Volvos. With the way things are going, it may not be long before I see them more often than Subarus. EVs seem to be on track to take over the auto industry much quicker than many analysts project.
Recent Anti-EV Conversation
With the growth in EV adoption, you might think that most people are warming up to EVs. And that is beginning to be the case. But there are still those who don’t think EVs are the cat’s meow.
Recently, I had a conversation with a structural engineer who brought up some of the old tired arguments against EVs, including studies that supposedly show that EVs are NOT green. I countered by stating that for each of those studies he could cite, there are other studies that show that they are in fact greener than IC vehicles.
I capped my comments by explaining that for me, as a marketing person, being green isn’t the main reason that I’m pro-EV. The main reason I see EVs taking over the market is that they are just straight-up a better product. Just like digital photography overtook film, EVs will replace IC vehicles. They are just better and consumers will adopt them because of that, no government incentives or other motivators are needed.
EVs Are A Better Product
For all their advances and the wonderful things that internal combustion vehicles have given us, they are, at their core, just put-puts. You know, those go-cart-type vehicles kids drive at amusement parks. It’s true IC vehicles are very advanced, sophisticated put-puts, but still put-puts, just the same. Their basic means of propulsion hasn’t changed in over 100 years.
The advantages EVs hold, on the other hand, are several. The driving experience is so very different. EVs are slick, and smooth and just feel futuristic. There is, of course, the most celebrated aspect of driving an EV, acceleration, acceleration, acceleration. But there are other advantages too, no more oil changes, no more emissions tests, no more engine tune-ups, no more worrying about cold engine starts, a quieter driving experience, and lower energy costs to name a few.
The “Full Tank” Convenience
Among all the advantages EVs have, the one that I see as most apparent and beneficial, and which I believe will be the feature that will, in time, win over the greatest number of people is the ability to never visit a gas station. To be able to wake up every morning with a “full tank”. I explained this to my EV-doubting acquaintance this way. Imagine the following scenario.
You have a mobile phone. You love it. It gives you so much freedom. But, you have to visit a special charging station every week or so to power it up. The charge only takes four or five minutes. But you have no choice, you must make time to visit the special station, every week or two. How convenient is that phone, really?
Now compare that to your friend who recently bought one of those new-fangled phones that he can fill up at home. He NEVER visits the special station. Imagine the convenience of that. No more special visits. How likely are you to want to ditch your old phone and get one of the new ones?
This one feature alone is a very good rationale for many people to switch to an EV. Add to this the other benefits EVs offer and they are just very simply a better consumer product. As EV sticker prices continue to come in line with IC vehicles there will be no shortage of buyers. The more likely scenario is that manufacturers will be materials-constrained and not able to keep up with the demand for the next 10 years or more.
EVs’ Economic Advantages
There is still one more advantage that EVs offer. They are economically efficient. In other words, they introduce an efficiency factor into the economy. Not only do they save their owners money, which increases their discretionary buying power, but their net efficiency has a positive effect on the entire economic system. But … that is the subject for another article.
What do you think? What is your number one reason for loving, or not loving EVs?
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