To quote Mr. Bob Dylan, the times, they are a changin’. The zero carbon movement is in full swing. People are switching to wind or solar for their electricity, recycling and composting their trash, walking or biking to their destinations and trying to live as environmentally conscious as they can. You and your young family are doing so as well…at least to the best of you ability. You eat fewer processed foods, bike to your destinations with your kids and keep the air conditioner at 78 degrees or higher. You think you’re doing well, except for the type of car you drive.
Right now your young family travels in a standard vehicle that runs on fossil fuels and costs you thousands of dollars in gas and repairs. With the growth of your family you need a new vehicle. Here’s the question — what type should you purchase? Do you go for the standard or try a hybrid or the ever-growing models of electric cars? Let’s help you by providing a breakdown of their pros and cons.
Pros: The combustion engine has been the standard for automobiles since Henry Ford launched the Model T more than 100 years ago. Tens of thousands of gas stations dot every corner of the globe, permitting a driver to fill up anywhere they can get to. And with the new oil boom in North America, gas prices have stabilized over the last year or so.
Cons: Gasoline supplies are not infinite. Add a geopolitical situation or a hurricane that closes drilling platforms in the Gulf and gas prices can sky rocket or even be in short supply. In addition, despite continued advances in technology, the average mileage for a family-sized car is still quite low, making trips to the gas station more frequent.
Pros: Many hybrids get their battery power from the amount of pressure applied to the brakes, which means you can build up a good deal of power in a city drive. Hybrids also get excellent mileage. You could drive a 200 mile round-trip journey on half a tank of gas.
Cons: It still needs gasoline, especially when the battery power is low. You won’t go to the gas station as much, but it could still cost you a few thousand dollars a year depending on the amount of time driving. Another down point is a lack of cruise control while in battery mode in some makes of vehicle.
Pros: Actor Ed Begley Jr. is no longer the poster child for driving electric cars. The popularity of these types of vehicles is growing with new models coming out each year. In other positive news, the amount of car charging stations is increasing and spreading across the country. This is seen at sties like the Alternative Fuels Data Center, which allows users to enter a zip code to find locations for charging stations.
Cons: These types of mass manufactured cars is still new enough that many cost more than the average fuel-powered vehicle. There is also a higher resale value on them, meaning there won’t be much of a discount if you purchase a pre-owned. And you may not want to purchase an electric vehicle more than a few years old as the technology may be too outdated.