Following a brief piece on electric cars I’ve received several emails about the idea of converting or purchasing them. I’ll look at the many aspects of converting existing cars in a future article; for now though, here are 10 Electric cars you can buy right now.
There are pro’s and cons of course (advantages and disadvantages of electric cars), but by far the biggest advantage is the impact on the earth. There are also lots of options to choose from in the various models.
A few pros and cons
Before the list itself, a few words on the advantages and disadvantages of electric cars. If you’re thinking about making the switch, a few things to consider are :
- Cost : As the number of these vehicles is still tiny when compared to their gas-guzzling cousins, they usually cost a little more up front. Of course, the running costs can be greatly reduced.
- Range : For regular trips to work or the shops, these cars are often an ideal solution. For longer journeys, however, the limited range (before recharging) is worth keeping in mind.
- Reduced top speed : Although very few people put their car’s top speed to the test, some just like to know it’s their. In many cases, electric cars will have a reduced top speed.
- Frequency of ‘refuelling‘ : This is a necessary evil – and relates to the car’s range and how you use it. Something to consider.
- Availability of refuelling points : While there are several cars (listed below) using similar technologies, the recharging methods are not always the same. Take a look at the method your preferred car uses, and take a look around to see how many refuelling points there really are.
- Conversion of your current garage : The simplest way to recharge your car is usually just to plug it in at home. In some cases, this will require a small amount of up-front work.
- Lack of noise : The first time you drive through a small town you’ll notice the impact of a low-noise vehicle. When people don’t hear it coming, they are more likely to step out in front of it (when crossing the street, for example). A little noise can be a good thing.
NB : Despite these minor disadvantages, I believe the benefits completely outweigh the drawbacks. Particularly since a number of the points above are gradually being reduced.
The most obvious advantage, of course, is a reduced impact on the environment. A smaller carbon footprint if you like.
In addition to this, however, there is another benefit which is certainly worth thinking about – they can be much, much cheaper to run. Especially since a number of these vehicles also qualify for a myriad of parking and road tax rebates.