Some people talk about green technology as if it could immediately solve the entire world’s problems. In reality, green technology usually comes with advantages and disadvantages. This list will help you understand the pros and cons of owning a green car.
PRO: You Save Money on Fuel
Whether they buy hybrids or electric cars, most people find that they save money when they invest in green technology because they spend less on fuel.
When comparing the Ford Focus ST’s and Ford Focus Electric’s fuel costs, Daily Finance found that the electric car’s fuel would cost about $5,067 for eight years of driving (at 15,000 miles per year). The standard gas-fueled version would cost about $16,222. That’s more than three times what an electric car’s owner spends.
CON: Electric and Hybrid Models Often Cost More to Buy
Unfortunately, the money that you save at the pump is offset by the higher prices of electric and hybrid cars. The Ford Focus ST retails for about $34,500. The electric model retails for about $40,000.
The costs start to even out over time, but the initial purchase demands a big financial commitment.
(A Federal tax credit takes some sting out of high prices. Most people who purchase electric vehicles qualify for a $7,500 credit.)
PRO: Green Cars Have Lower Insurance Rates
Insurance rates can vary greatly from company to company, not to mention car to car. Overall, though, you can expect insurance companies to give you better prices when you purchase policies for green cars.
If you need to find a great rate that will protect your hybrid or electric car, search for quotes online to help you find an affordable deal. Autoinsurance.us is a good place to start no matter what kind of car you want to insure.
CON: Electric Car Batteries Could Give You Problems
Despite the arguments against buying a gas-guzzler, at least you know that the technology has been tested over decades by millions of drivers. That isn’t the case with electric and hybrid vehicles.
Case in point, the lithium-ion batteries used to power electric cars often struggle to work properly in cold weather. If you live in an area that gets frigid winters, then you could wake up one morning to a dead car.
That can happen with standard cars, too, but those smaller batteries are a lot easier to charge and replace than the large batteries used in electric vehicles.
PRO: Reduced Carbon Emissions
No form of fuel is perfect. If you drive an electric car, then your fuel likely comes from a coal-fired plant. Even with the latest technology, those plants send dirty, carbon-heavy smoke into the air. Despite this, electric cars still create 25 percent less carbon emissions than vehicles that run on gasoline.
25 percent less isn’t perfect, but it’s a lot better.
CON: Electric Vehicles Aren’t Great for Long Drives
Portland, Oregonmight have plenty of charging stations for electric cars, but you won’t find them during a cross-country trip. Unfortunately, the U.S. doesn’t have the right infrastructure to support electric car road trips.
That’s a bit of a bummer, but it’s not as bad as some critics make it sound. Hybrid vehicles, for instance, have the option to switch to a gas-powered motor once the battery runs out of electricity. Plus, electric cars suit the daily needs of most commuters. Unless you need to drive over 50 miles, practically any electric car can keep up with your schedule.
There’s also hope that car manufacturer will continue to improve electric car technology. This would make the cars cheaper while making them more useful for long trips.
PRO: Green Technology Makes the Country Less Dependent on Others
In 2012, the United States got 12.9 percent of its oil from the Persian Gulf. 19.6 percent came from Latin America. The United States, however, has more than enough coal to generate electricity. That keeps money at home while making consumers less dependent on other countries.
What are your top pros and cons of owning green cars?
Matthew Thompson has been writing about green technology for over seven years. He is also the editor of The Louisville Lip and The Written Craft.
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