Did you know that at this very moment you, yes YOU are standing at the gateway of a new automotive era? This moment in history is called the electrification of transportation. Under the banner of electrified transportation, you will find passenger vehicles; light, medium, and long-haul trucks; motorcycles; and school buses— all using battery stored electricity as their “fuel” source.
It’s natural that the idea of an electric vehicle raises our curiosity. To some it’s outlandish, if not impossible. What inquiring minds really want to know is, “How will electrification transform the future of our beloved, yet gasoline thirsty cars and SUVs?”
I’m glad you asked the question. The most straightforward response is Electric Vehicles aka (EVs) will disrupt ways Americans travel, energize, and maintain their cars in the future.
FIRST and fundamentally, most electric vehicles currently manufactured today (there are plans for over 55 new models by 2023), are very similar to operating the rechargeable remote-control car you received “back in the day” as a holiday gift. Do you get the picture? Electric vehicles that travel on our roadways weigh thousands of pounds more and are not controlled with joysticks. These cars are operated by drivers who are everyday people. These folks will turn steering wheels, push accelerator, and brake pedals, and shift the gearboxes, just as they would in a traditional car. However, there are points of differentiation. Allow me to give you simplified explanations how EV’s differ from traditional gasoline fueled automobiles.
Electric Hybrids or Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) have two motors. PHEV’s utilize two fueling sources. One of the motors is powered by a traditional internal combustion engine (IC engine or ICE). The second is powered by an electric motor. These vehicles have the capabilities to switch back and forth between fuel sources on the fly. Most PHEV drivers operate their cars on electric power when they are taking short trips within the electric battery’s mileage limits, which is usually between 25 to 50 miles. PHEV drivers have the flexibility to flip a switch and select gasoline power when they are ready for an excursion exceeding the electric mileage threshold.
On the other hand, 100 percent EV’s (aka 100 percent electric passenger cars and SUV’s) have one to two motors, both fired-up with electricity that is stored in the vehicle’s battery pack. What’s obvious about a 100 percent EV is there is no throaty hum typical of gasoline engines, and no carbon emissions spewing from the tail pipe. Water droplets are the typical exhaust product from an all-Electric Vehicle. They run quiet and clean.
Not all EV battery packs are equipped to travel the same mileage range. A 100 percent EV described, as a “City” car is a short distance automobile that may travel 100 to 120 miles when the batteries are 80 —100 percent energized. Mid-range and long-range EV’s are equipped with larger battery packs. Mid-range drivers can enjoy nearly 250 miles per full charge. The 400-mile mark will soon be the standard for long-range EVs.1 Eventually, Range Anxiety (the fear of getting stuck on the road aka RA) compels PHEV and EV drivers recharge their batteries at an Electric Vehicle Charging Station (EVCS). My firm, DaiTechCorp installs EV charging stations for residential and commercial settings. One of our prime objectives is to help potential EV drivers from urban areas overcome RA by equitably increasing their access to EVCSs.
Predictably, the costs of purchasing or leasing a PHEV or EV, is tens of thousands of dollars more expensive than our remote-control car example. Moreover, the upfront costs of buying or leasing an EV, is more expensive than a similar ICE version, or a comparable gas-fired competitor. However, studies are showing that the overall cost of EV ownership is less.
The savings add up after the initial purchase and over the lifetime of the electric vehicle.
Here is the rundown:
- Most EV’s are eligible for federal tax credits (up to $7500) upon presenting a bill of sale.
- A few states are still offering cash and incentives for investments in electric automobiles.
- The cost per mile is less vis a’ vis electricity versus petroleum.ii And, the bonuses continue to pile up when you take into consideration:
- EV’s require less routine maintenance and trips to the mechanic. The wear and tear on EV’s are significantly reduced, because the number of moving parts drop by nearly a factor of 10. EV powertrains are normally built on 20 moving parts, the same functionality for IC engines requires nearly 2000 parts.iii
- There is a new freedom associated with EVs. You can energize an EV in places where you live, work, and/or play. AND, there’s a good chance that once you go electric, you may never return to a gasoline pump again.
“Is the EV Disruption Starting Without You?” is a three-part series that will get you thinking about electric vehicles and their ecosystem. In this series, I’ll share why EV’s are good news. I’ll also explain why exploring the impact of this new automotive technology will unfold phenomenal benefits for you and African American communities at-large.
Sheryl E. Ponds is a Clean Tech Entrepreneur and Electric Vehicle Charger Infrastructure developer. She is the founder and CEO of Dai Technologies Corporation, the nation’s first, if not only Black and woman owned firm that specializes in supplying, selling and installing EV charging stations for residential and commercial applications. For more information, visit: www.DaiTechCorp.com.Connect on Instagram @DaiTechCEO.