You are on page 1of 10

Morrow 1!

Ryan Morrow

Malcolm Campbell

UWRT 1104

8 November 2018

Go Electric, Save the Earth, and Pass the Gas

“Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is

disaster.” These wise words are spoken by Elon Musk, the a guru of the electric car. There It is

no secret that the gasoline-powered vehicle produces an alarming amount of emissions which are

harmful to the environment. Fortunately, the future is here. With the success of the electric car

company Tesla, and the promise Volvo has made to make all their start shifting their cars toward

being electric by the year 2019, an enormous step toward the future of transportation is

happening right now. According to Loren McDonald, an expert and avid writer of the electric car,

there were about “one hundred electric cars on the road in 2010.” Fast forward to current day,

there are now “over one million electric cars on the road” (McDonald). You may find yourself

asking questions such as: So what? Is the electric car all that it is said to be? To answer this in the

most simple simplest way possible, yes.

Just recently, one of my neighbors has purchased an electric vehicle. After a couple

months of owning the car, they constantly express to me how amazing the car is and how they

cannot see themselves going back to the traditional gasoline-powered vehicle. For them, the best

part of owning their electric car is knowing that they are producing zero emissions, a concept

that needs to be embraced in order to ensure the environment is preserved for future generations.

As the world continues to develop, more and more fossil fuels are needed in order to keep the
Morrow 2!

world running. Unfortunately, the burning of fossil fuels has contributed many different factors

in regards to the destruction of the environment. For this reason, the demand for the electric car

has experienced its largest boom in the past couple years. This boom can be best illustrated by a

chart Loren McDonald includes in her article. This chart shows how only one percent of cars

were electric in 2015. By 2018, this number has doubled to two percent and is expected to

become three percent by late 2018. This alone shows how the demand for the electric car is only

increasing as time goes on. There are so many benefits to the electric car that it and will only

continue to boom until one day it surpasses the gasoline-powered vehicle. because of all the

benefits it provides.

The Benefits

In a scholarly article written by Andre Bacard, Bacard illustrates what the future will look

like with the electric car when he states, “No tune-ups. No corroded mufflers. No oil spills. No

smog. Imagine a world without gasoline cars. Envision a planet with electric cars purring quietly

and cleanly along our roadways.” In other words, look at all these benefits of the electric car

compared to the effects of the gasoline-powered vehicle; and this is not even close to all of them

the benefits it provides.

One of the major benefits of the electric car is that it pollutes the amount of pollutants

emitted through the exhaust pipe and into the air are significantly less compared to the rivaled

gasoline-powered vehicle. Due to the high concentration of vehicles in urban areas, such as most

notably cities, most a majority of the pollution from cars found in these kinds of areas come in

the form of smog. However, with the increasing desire of the electric car, pollution within urban

areas will see a drastic decrease. Bacard provides specific an eye opening statistics about the
Morrow 3!

decrease of pollution with the increase of the electric car when he exclaims, "The California Air

Resources Board estimates that, compared to gasoline-powered vehicles, electric-powered

vehicles emit 98 percent less hydro carbons (the key contributors to ozone depletion and smog),

89 percent less nitrogen dioxide, 99 percent less carbon monoxide, and less than half as much

carbon dioxide.” These pollutants alone have the ability to cause respiratory problems for

humans such as emphysema. They also hinder plant growth which effects our crops and forests.

Yet some people are still convinced that the electric car does not have what it takes to surpass the

gasoline-powered vehicle. Crazy, right? The ability for all these pollutants to be decreased with

the use of the electric car only furthers the argument of why the electric car is going to one day

be as common as gasoline-powered cars are now.

Another major benefit is that electric cars conserve energy. On one hand, there is the

gasoline-powered vehicle which uses energy, the burning of fuel, non-stop while it is running.

Even when you stop a car at a red light, or park out front of a friend’s house while you wait for

them to come outside, energy is being used to run the car the whole entire time. It is said that

“twenty percent of fuel in gasoline-powered cars is lost” while sitting stationary (Bacard). On the

other hand, however, the electric car does not require the use of energy, and obviously does not

burn any gasoline while sitting stationary, or anywhere else for that matter. Because of this the

ability for electric cars to conserve energy while sitting still, “Tests indicate that an electric car

consumes about 35 percent less energy than the equivalent gasoline-powered car (Bacard). This

ultimately proves how much more efficient the electric car is compared to the gasoline- powered

vehicle and how it conserves so much more energy. The result of this means the demand for

fossil fuels, in regards to the gasoline-powered vehicle, will over time decrease decrease over
Morrow 4!

time and there will be a shift in the need for more renewable energy sources which can be used to

produce the electricity needed to charge electric cars. In the long run, the switch from gasoline-

powered vehicles to electric cars will ultimately help save the environment, thus further proving

why the electric car will take over the gasoline-powered vehicle.

The Cost

Due to the obvious and major differences between the electric car and the gasoline-

powered vehicle, the cost of the two cars are going to be different. When electric cars first began

to hit the streets, the cost of the car was much higher than the competing gasoline-powered car.

In a scholarly article written by James Healey, a writer for USA Today, Healey illustrates the

price difference difference in price between the electric car and the gasoline-powered vehicle

when he states, “Ford's electric Focus starts at $39,995, or $30,495 after the $7,500 tax credit and

a Ford rebate of $2,000. The gasoline Focus with automatic starts at $18,090 and has more trunk

room because there's no big battery back there.” In other words, the sticker price of the electric

version of a Ford car is much more than the sticker price of the gasoline-powered version of the

same car model. However, this does not necessarily mean the electric car is more expensive and

certainly does not mean the electric car will not ever become cheaper than the gasoline-powered

car vehicle. Like most new innovative technology, the price in order to possess the technology

starts off at a very high price due to the lack of competition. As time goes on and newer

technology is developed amongst many different car companies, the prices begins to decrease. I

suspect the same exact this concept will be mimicked when it comes to the electric car. Rebecca

Matulka, a writer for Energy.gov, futures furthers this thought when she expresses, “Currently

more than 3 percent of new vehicle sales, electric vehicles sales could to grow to nearly 7 percent
Morrow 5!

-- or 6.6 million per year -- worldwide by 2020, according to a report by Navigant Research." As

of now, the electric car is fairly new and slightly more expensive, but as time goes on and the

electric car becomes more common, the price of the car will drop and eventually become cheaper

than the gasoline-powered vehicle. For example, Tesla currently dominates the electric car

industry and has recently released the Tesla Model 3 electric car. As competitors, such as Ford

and Nissan, began to release their version of electric cars, Tesla quickly found themselves

needing to offer a more affordable electric car. According to Tesla’s website, prior to the release

of the Model 3, Tesla did not offer an electric car less than seventy-five thousand dollars. The

Model 3 can be purchased for roughly thirty-five thousand dollars, a price most a higher percent

of Americans can swallow.

Even though the sticker price of electric cars is currently higher, the cost of the electric

car is much cheaper compared to the gasoline-powered vehicle. Once a person purchases an

electric car, there is the instant and obvious fact that the person will not spend a penny on

gasoline for the duration of the car. Think about this. I currently drive a 2015 Jeep Grand

Cherokee which requires me to fill up two to three times a month for sixty dollars each time with

the current price of gasoline. So in one year, if the gas prices remain the same and do not spike to

almost four dollars like it has in the past, I will be spending about twenty-two hundred dollars

minimum on gasoline per year. A person with an electric car would only be spending a fraction

of this to charge their cars. With an electric vehicle, people only have to pay for the use of

electricity which does not fluctuate in price daily like gasoline does. It also does not spike in

price like gasoline has been known to do. This ultimately allows a consumer to almost know

their exact annual cost to charge rather than estimating an annual cost of gasoline. Andre Bacard
Morrow 6!

expresses the savings experienced with the ownership of an electric car when he writes, “Electric

cars require almost no maintenance. Their electric motors are run by batteries, which can be

recharged, usually overnight, in one's garage. The cost to recharge these batteries (one must pay

for electricity) is roughly one-fifth the cost of gasoline.” In other words, the lack of expenses

experienced when owning an electric vehicle makes up for the sightly more expensive sticker

price which, as I stated before, will eventually not be an issue.

Common Arguments Against the Electric Car

Since the electric car is challenging the traditional gasoline-powered vehicle, many

people feel the need to defend what they are use to rather than embracing the future. Others will

simply defend the gasoline-powered vehicle due to a lack of knowledge when it comes to the

benefits of the electric car. No matter what a person’s reason is for condemning the electric car,

there is an abundance of information and evidence that can refute the arguments against the

electric car in order to show why the electric car is better than the gasoline-powered vehicle.

One of the main arguments people bring up in regards to the electric car has to do with

the range the car can travel per charge and how long it takes the car to charge before being able

to drive again. As electric cars first began to emerge into the market, the average distance a car

could travel on one charge was about one hundred miles. In order to charge the car, it could take

anywhere from two to twelve hours depending on the size of the battery and how much voltage

the charger can produce. The result of this is that people are always worried whether or not their

car will die while they are out driving and if it did, they would not be able to quickly charge it. In

an article by Edward Schumacher-Matos, this idea of people worrying about their car dying

while driving is refuted when he claims, “A recent study concluded that most consumers driving
Morrow 7!

electric will cease to experience range anxiety within three months of driving their EV.” In other

words, once people are use to their electric car, they will know its abilities and how far they can

go on one charge. All it takes is getting use to something new, which is the same with all

technology. As technology continues to improve, so does the electric car. Let’s take the electric

car company Telsa and use them as an example. As of now, Tesla offers three different kinds of

cars, the Model S, Model X, and Model 3. According to Tesla’s website, the minimum range one

of these cars can travel is 295 two hundred ninety-five miles. The maximum mile range is 335

three hundred thirty-five miles. In order to charge these cars, it takes only thirty minutes to

receive enough charge to travel 170 miles. Any normal day around town will easily be

manageable and and a long road trip would only require stops that take the same time as getting

food. Where technology is at right now, there is no reason to worry about the range of the electric

car and how long it takes to charge. It will only improve in the future which proves why the

electric car has the ability to surpass the gasoline-powered vehicle.

According to Bjorn Lomborg, former director of the Danish government's Environmental

Assessment Institute in Copenhagen, “It is time to stop our green worship of the electric car. It

costs us a fortune, cuts little CO2 and surprisingly kills almost twice the number of people

compared with regular gasoline cars. It is advertised as a zero-emissions car, but in reality it only

shifts emissions to electricity production, with most coming from fossil fuels.” Lomborg, along

with many other electric car skeptics, believe emissions are only shifted from the car to the coal

plants making the electric car not as “green” as people tend to believe. Although it is true that

burning coal, a fossil fuel, is a main source for how electric cars are charged, this does not mean

the amount of fossil fuels being burned is anything to worry about. Andre Bacard refutes this
Morrow 8!

argument when he states, “Assume that a car lasts for 100,000 miles. Over this lifetime, the

cleanest gasoline-powered car currently on our roads will emit roughly 200 times more pollution

than an electric car!” Which one sounds worse now? That is what I thought. The electric car

emits a significantly less amount of pollutants compared to the gasoline-powered vehicle. On top

of that, the ways to obtain energy for charging electric cars is only going to improve as people

are always looking for more renewable resources and better ways to obtain electricity. According

to Tesla’s website, their company’s electric car fleet alone is saving 3,784,071 tons of carbon

dioxide worldwide and this number continues to grow every second. I think it is safe to say that

there is not enough of a negative impact on the environment for the electric car to not succeed.

The electric car is greener than any other car on the market in most ways, and it will only

continue to become greener as energy production turns toward renewable resources that are

much better for the environment.

In Conclusion The Verdict

The electric car is here to stay and will soon be the dominant type of car driven around

the world. Loren McDonald predicts this will happen by the year 2040; however, it is truly hard

to give an exact year because introduction to new technology can spike sales for the electric car

anytime before that. Whether or not a person completely agrees that the electric car will surpass

the gasoline-powered vehicle, it is a simple fact that the electric car is the future. The electric car

is much more environmentally friendly, cheaper in the long run, and conserves more energy than

the gasoline-powered vehicle. I am not saying the electric car will surpass the gasoline-powered

vehicle in a blink of the eye, but one day in the near future gasoline-powered cars will not be as

common as the electric car. I believe as more and more people begin to purchase electric cars,
Morrow 9!

they too will be as happy as my neighbors are with their car. The future is here. So lets go

electric, save the environment, and pass the gas together.


Morrow 1! 0

Works Cited

Bacard , Andre. “Electric Cars: A Drive Toward Fresh Air.” Humanist, vol. 54, 3, May 1994, p.

43–44, http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?

vid=0&sid=3a39ff8c-0aba-465c-9bb4-27b4dba8e911%40sdc-v-

sessmgr01&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#db=a9h&AN=940

6031595. Accessed 3 November 2018.

James R. Healey, and USA TODAY. “Electric Cars vs. Gas Cars.” USA Today. EBSCOhost,

librarylink.uncc.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com.librarylink.uncc.edu/

login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=J0E124353845113&site=ehost-live&scope=site.

Accessed 21 October 2018.

Lomborg, Bjorn. “Electric Car Benefits? Just Myths .” USA Today , 19 Feb. 2015, p. 07a.

Matulka , Rebecca. “The History of the Electric Car .” Energy.gov, 15 Sept. 2014, https://

www.energy.gov/articles/history-electric-car. Accessed 21 October 2018.

McDonald, Loren. “14 Experts Share Their 2018 Electric Vehicle Predictions.” Clean Technica,

11 Mar. 2018, https://cleantechnica.com/2018/03/11/14-experts-share-2018-electric-

vehicle-predictions-developments-2/. Accessed 3 November 2018.

Schumacher-Matos, Edward. “Mailbox: Electric Cars Have a Future, But Some Still Doubt”

Ombudsman. 21 December 2011. National Public Radio. https://www.npr.org/sections/

ombudsman/2011/12/21/144088377/mailbox-electric-cars-have-a-future-but-some-still-

doubt. Accessed 3 November 2018.

Tesla: Electric Cars, Solar Panels & Clean Energy Storage. Tesla. https://www.tesla.com.

Accessed 3 November 2018.