• James Fan

Electric cars are nice, but gas is still a lot more convenient...and cheaper

This image illustrates the bumper of a Tesla that fell apart after heavy rain.

Electric cars are fundamentally a paradox. Sure, they don’t create harmful greenhouse gas emissions, they’re usually much cheaper thanks to government tax incentives, and they look unique since they don't need giant gaping radiator grilles. However, these reduced emissions are offset by the cars’ cost of production, limited range, poor quality — and the quirky personality of electric car drivers.

Firstly, the cost of production. The rare-earth materials needed for batteries take a heavy toll on the environment. In fact, most factories like Toyota’s have to implement costly countermeasures to even just equalize the emissions created. Secondly, electric cars are not cheap, even with the rapidly declining tax credits. A fully optioned BMW 530i costs $78,000. With the tax rebates applied, a top-optioned Tesla Model S costs $162,000. You could have two BMWs for one Tesla! The Tesla takes a lot of time as well; it doesn’t arrive until mid 2022. And that’s not counting the quality…

It doesn’t matter which car you choose, all electric cars have problems. The first problem is with the batteries - because they are low mounted to give as much space in the car, they are essentially inches away from dragging along the road and creating havoc. Secondly, all batteries age, which means in about five years driving range with the same battery will decline significantly, and it costs $10,000 to replace. The final issue with batteries: endless charging times. Yes, there are fast chargers that give nearly 90% of juice in 45 minutes, but that’s still not enough when a gas station offers 5 minute pumps with a 100% full tank.

There’s also the quirky nature of the drivers. Tesla’s beta Autopilot program has caused several deaths, because people thought they could watch a Harry Potter movie (Joshua Brown), show off (April 18, 2021 in Texas), and eat food (The Golden Drive, YouTube) instead of attending to, you know, driving the car. These drivers are not only a danger to themselves, but a danger to others as well.

They speak of driving 300 miles on these ridiculous forums, as if that is a monumental achievement, but the truth is TopGear demonstrated you can drive 1320 miles across Europe in a fuel-thirsty supercar and still beat public transport. Gas cars still offer better convenience.

It’s true that gas cars pollute the environment. However, the compromises of the electric car are too much to consider them a true alternative. It seems the automakers are ignoring these compromises and are continuing to sell cramped, expensive, and badly made cars. Only time will tell if another option arises.


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