I’m Afraid of Electric Cars (not)

The new Mini Cooper SE 3 Door

There's no Woolf to Fear with Electric Cars

I remember visiting relatives in the Maritimes some years ago. They didn’t have access to natural gas for home heating and hot water at the time, but it was coming and they had all kinds of questions. “Aren’t you afraid your house will blow up?” Well, no, we’ve been using natural gas for some 50+ years in Ontario and that type of event was extremely rare. “Won’t it smell?” Actually, a rotten egg smell is added to natural gas so that you can smell it. It doesn’t normally have an odour. 

When people are surveyed on why they won’t buy an electric vehicle, they predominantly claim that they’re afraid of running out of power and not be able to get home. My anecdotal conversations go something like this:

Them: “I’m afraid I won’t get home”
Me: “How often has that happened when you drive a gas-powered car?”
Them: “Well, never.”
Me: “So how would that change with an EV?”
Them: “I can go farther on a tank of gas than on a battery.”
Me: “That’s debatable with the larger batteries available now, but, tell me, how far do you drive in a week?”
Them: “About 400 kilometres.”
Me: “How much in a day?”
Them: “Usually about 100 kilometres.”
Me: “Then a 2014 Nissan Leaf would be perfect for you. Just plug it in over night, and you can easily go 100 kilometres every day.”
Them: “Why would I want a six year old car? I don’t want a 2014 Nissan Leaf.”
Me: “That’s okay, because even the base 2020 Nissan Leaf SV will take you more than 200km on a single charge.”
Them: “Really?”
Me: “Yup.”

At this point, they now have a lot to think about.

Lookin' Back and Forth

The original Ford Model T went about 100 miles on a fill up. Gas stations were few and far between. Fast forward 100 years. Early electric vehicles (Teslas notwithstanding) could go about 100 miles on a charge. EV ‘filling stations’ were few and far between. Today, there are literally thousands of public charging stations in Canada and the U.S. Most EV owners charge up at home, and are ready to go each day with a fully charged battery.

The Arguments Are Disappearing

Once my relatives Down East got comfortable with how practical and low-cost natural gas could be, their worries went away. Similarly, the practical arguments against owning an electric vehicle are getting weaker every day. In a future post, we’ll discuss long-range travel with an electric vehicle. In the meantime, use our Automobl Comparison Tool and check the cost of fuel driving an EV versus a gas-powered vehicle. The economic arguments are getting weaker, too. 

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