Switching to an Electric Vehicle
Transitioning to an all-electric or even partially-electric vehicle can be daunting. We understand that the infrastructure for these vehicles is still being developed, and there’s a lot of confusion on whether switching to electric is the most cost-effective option. Needless to say, there are a lot of questions that we all have about electric vehicles. So let’s take some time to cover what we can.
Will an Electric Vehicle Save me Money?
Pulling up to the gas pump is a lot like paying rent (at least for us). There are plenty of things you’d rather be spending your money on, but you don’t have much of a choice. Gas prices have recently fallen to a more affordable price, but that doesn’t change the implications of continuing our dependence on gasoline. It’s a finite resource that’s harmful to the environment and therefore harmful to us.
But which is more expensive, gas or electric? Thanks to the Department of Energy, we now have an answer. Energy.gov has an eGallon calculator that compares the cost of driving an electric vehicle in your state to the cost of driving a gas powered vehicle. The calculator takes the distance you can go on average (28 mpg) on one gallon of gas, and using regional electricity prices, calculates how much it would cost to travel the same distance in an electric vehicle.
Currently, the calculator shows that, on average, North Carolinians are paying $2.11 to drive their cars the same distance that $1.04 will take you in an electric vehicle. You can find the calculator on Energy.gov if you’re interested in learning more or don’t live in North Carolina. The calculator adjusts to current electric and gas prices, so you may want to check how things have changed since the time of this post.
So there you have it. Compared to electric, gas is twice as expensive. If you’d like more information, you can view a few articles on the subject here and here.
What About the Infrastructure for Electrical Vehicles?
Until charging stations are more common and electric vehicles don’t take so long to charge, taking electric vehicles on long road-trips may not be an option. Currently it takes anywhere from 2 to 8 hours to charge an electric vehicle. The technology has already come a long way, but it will have to make up significant ground to compete with the convenience of refilling at a gas station.
Until then, electric vehicles are more suited for shorter trips. They can still make the long hauls, but it will require some creative planning. The travel range of electric vehicles varies pretty significantly between brands. The Tesla Model S can travel 208 to 270 miles depending on weather conditions, but a Nissan Leaf will only take you 84 miles on one charge.
We’d like to add that Audi’s fully electric e-tron quattro concept – unveiled this year at the Frankfurt International Motor Show – will have a travel range of 310 miles and a charge time of 50 minutes with Audi’s Charging Column.
In addition to the e-tron quattro concept, and Audi’s Charging Column, Audi announced a very exciting piece of technology at the Frankfurt International Motor Show: the Audi Wireless Charging system. This technology uses an induction plate to wirelessly recharge your vehicle every day. All you have to do is park your car above the plate and leave it to charge. It’s all part of Audi’s approach to sustainable motoring, e-tron.
Audi’s e-tron program is a complete system of sustainable motoring. In collaboration with solar panel manufacturers, SunPower®, Audi is creating a package that equips customers with solar panels and charging stations in their own homes. The goal is to reduce their carbon footprint by capturing solar energy and using it to power their vehicles. It’s a system that will save owners even more money down the road and empower them to become more energy-independent. You can find out more on Audi e-tron here.
If you’d like to know more about what Audi is doing to create more sustainable and cost effective vehicles, please don’t hesitate to call or visit our dealership. We would also love to hear your thoughts and feedback on Facebook or Twitter. We’re posting all the time, so keep an eye on the blogs for more updates on the future of electric motoring.