Electric Vehicles: The White Elephant That Belongs in the Zoo!

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, throw away your driving or motorcycle gloves for the sake of driving an electric vehicle.

Electric vehicles are simply a quick fix to the current system. Yes okay, we are all going to have to use less energy which could also arguably include using less plastic junk and being more rational with our everyday vehicle usage. But, electric vehicles are not the answer! Electric vehicle development still belongs in the laboratory and we need to find better ways to store and refuel electricity.

Most of the latest electric cars can do about 85 miles an hour. But, for a range of only about 90 miles and an eight-hour recharge. One lap at the Isle of Man TT and an electric bike is flat! How could you watch that? How could you even justify the action of pulling on a pair of leather motorcycle gloves to do that? The sight of a racing bike leaning into a sweeper without the characteristic sound of accelerating internal combustion power is completely incomprehensible. Sacrilege even! No, only when something better is invented, is it time to develop serious bikes and cars.

Despite their ‘green’ image, electric vehicles are less efficient and more polluting than petrol ones they want to replace. They are not very ‘green’ at all. They are ‘white’ and they are elephants! The electric vehicle craze is no more than a craze. Let’s be honest, the only race an electric bike will ever win is against another. How dull is that? Forget the protective clothing and motorbike gloves…it’d be slower than watching lawnmowers race, or turtles! Why? Because batteries are heavy and inefficient.

Don’t kid yourself by sitting in the ‘electric bike crowd’ and think that by doing so, you are doing your ecological, environmental and ideological best for society. The planet will still warm! Despite what most people believe, a high percentage of the world’s electricity is produced using ‘dirty fuels’ like oil and coal. And this is NOT going to change anytime soon. In fact, the more electric vehicles that are produced, the more the world will rely on ‘dirty fuels’ to keep up with increasing demand for electricity. And another interesting fact for you to ponder is this. Even with silly government subsidies, electric vehicles are all priced higher than their petrol or diesel equivalents.

Electrics as a first car or bike is useless. Sure, you can commute in or on one, but as soon as the weather drops and you flick on the car heater and your range halves to about 30 miles, your likelihood of being stranded on the freeway during peak hour doubles. The answer, commute in your petrol equivalent and do everything else too, at any time, over any distance. Don’t spend all day getting to work!

Pull on your motorcycle gloves for one reason… common sense.

Natural Gas Vehicles (NGV)

Today I am writing about NGV’s or “natural gas vehicles”. I have always had a fascination with cars and engines. When I was attending Cal Poly in the 90’s I picked Natural Gas Vehicles as the topic of my senior project. I took my small Toyota pickup and converted it to run on Natural Gas. I was able to do the conversion myself and I drove the truck around until I sold it. I really enjoyed it because the fuel was cheap and it burns a lot cleaner and I have been following the topic ever since.

About ten years ago I drove a Honda Civic that ran exclusively on natural gas and it had another really big benefit. I could drive in the carpool lane. I was going back and forth to Irvine so that saved me about an hour of driving per day.

What is a Natural Gas Car?

Basically it’s just like a regular gasoline car… it has the same kind of engine and when you are driving, it feels like a normal car. But… instead of running on gasoline, it runs on the same gas that comes out of your stove. You could actually get a filling pump installed in your house and fill up at home! You could never need to go to the gas station. But if you didn’t have the home fueling system, then you would need to find a natural gas filling station near your home or work. It takes a little more planning because the last thing you want to do is run out of fuel. If you do, you have to get towed to the station.

Let me tell you 4 good reasons for driving a natural gas vehicle:

  1. For me the biggest advantage of driving an NGV would be the fuel price. That’s because I’m cheap. Right now a Gallon-Gas-Equivalent (GGE) is $2.44. Actually NGV’s require fewer oil changes and the spark plugs and engine parts last longer because the gas is burning cleaner. So again if you’re cheap like me, you like low maintenance.
  2. They pollute a lot less than a gasoline car. Natural gas vehicles emit 13-21 percent fewer GHG emissions than comparable gasoline and diesel vehicles. If you are an Al Gore fan, then you’ll like them. An NGV has higher emissions than an electric car, but electric cars have lithium ion batteries which will eventually go bad. The replacement of the battery is around $5000. For the most part we really don’t know how long they last. It might need to be replaced once or twice in the car’s lifetime and we don’t really know how much impact that will have on landfills.
  3. You support the American economy. Gasoline comes from oil. The US imports 9 billion gallons of oil a day!!! That’s about $17 billion per day. I don’t know if everyone is aware of this but we have all the energy we need right here at home in the form of natural gas and our vehicles will run very nicely on natural gas.
  4. You can drive in the carpool lane by yourself.

In Conclusion

My hope is that with this short article, you know a little more about natural gas vehicles.

  • They save money on fuel and on maintenance (no batteries to worry about)
  • They pollute a lot less – Transportation accounts for 27% of our greenhouse gas emissions so this is a good way to reduce global warming
  • It’s good for the American economy – We can be less dependent on the Middle East and we can produce our own energy for our cars
  • You can drive in the carpool lane by yourself

For some reason, the US is lagging behind the rest of the world. I would love to see the US start using natural gas instead of gasoline. Maybe you can consider it now especially when prices start going up at the pump.

The Benefits of Electric Vehicles

With the popularity of electric vehicles, the costs of owning one are coming down rapidly. The reason is that drivers can enjoy a lot of benefits by making the switch. EVs offer a lot of benefits, such as savings on tax, fuel, and maintenance costs, just to name a few. These cars can save you tons of money. Let’s take a look at some common benefits of an EV.

Cost of Electric Cars

EVs provide excellent value for money over the long term. If you are looking for a cheaper but more efficient way of traveling, EVs are your best bet. Based on the model you want to opt for, the cost of this purchase varies. However, you can buy a model within your budget limits.

Cheaper Maintenance

Although the prices of electric vehicles are similar to diesel or petrol cars, they don’t cost that much as far as running them is concerned. They come with tax incentives, government grants, better fuel efficiency, and reduced maintenance costs.

Vehicles that run on battery power offer the highest fuel efficiency. Typically, these cars have three primary parts: motor, inverter and the on-board charger. So, the car doesn’t go through a lot of wear and tear.

Better for the Environment

Electric cars have no tailpipe emissions, which makes them better for the environment than traditional vehicles. A plug-in hybrid vehicle has an electric motor and a small battery that can allow you to travel for 30 miles.

The advancement in technology helps make vehicles that are more eco-friendly, quieter and efficient.

Quick Charging

You can charge your EV at your home in an efficient manner. After you have installed a charging unit outside your home, you can charge your electric vehicle in a few hours. Most EVs can be charged in just 8 to 12 hours. With rapid chargers, the charging time can be reduced to under an hour.

High-end models can provide a driving experience of up to 500 miles after the unit has been fully charged. So, you can have tons of fun for hours.

A Quieter Driving Experience

When you start an electric car, one of the major things that you will experience is the quietness of the car. Since there will be no vibrations, you can enjoy a relaxing, comfortable driving experience.

All EVs feature instant torque. You will get a quick response from the car the moment you will hit the accelerator. So, these vehicles are an ideal choice if you drive mostly in the city.

The Future of Vehicles

Since EVs offer numerous advantages over traditional vehicles, they will replace the conventional vehicles down the road. With the passage of time, the charging time will be reduced to minutes and the range will be extended significantly. So, people will only buy electric cars.

So, if you are thinking of buying an electric car, we suggest that you go ahead and make this purchase. Although these cars cost more to purchase, they can save a lot of money on fuel and maintenance.