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All About Electric Cars

Electric cars have been around since the 1800s, but only recently, with technological advances and an increase in global warming, have they begun to really gain popularity.
2-3 All About Electric Cars
Image by stux-12364/Pixabay

With a much smaller carbon footprint than traditional gas or diesel run vehicles, electric cars are celebrated as a step towards a cleaner world. However, there are still cons to be considered when looking at electric cars and their future.

How Do They Work?

Electric cars are characterized by the use of battery powered electric motors rather than internal combustion engines. The batteries are often stored along the floor of the cars in order to keep the handling stable and remain out of the way of passengers, while still being accessible for servicing. While electric cars don’t use gas, they do require a recharging. The batteries, usually lithium ion or nickel-metal hydride, can last anywhere from a two-hour jaunt to a 12-hour trip. Each model of electric vehicle has a different battery capacity and material as well as overall vehicle mass. The proper balance creates a vehicle capable of making all your trips a silent joyride, no matter where they take you.


Owning an electric car is a boon to yourself as well as the environment in hundreds of ways. Since the cars use electricity to run, they directly release zero toxic emissions. This preserves air quality and is helpful to humans, animals and plants alike. It also makes it cheaper to keep the vehicle charged and ready for action. With the right appliance, you can charge your vehicle from the comfort of your own home, at work or on holiday, with much less cost than it takes to fill up a tank of gas. Without the internal combustion engine used in regular vehicles, electric vehicles are virtually silent. Say goodbye to a noisy ride, and take a much more environmentally friendly road trip in the process. Electric vehicles generally accelerate faster and have many extra features, most notably extended self-driving capabilities. They also require less maintenance, as they don’t require oil changes or other consumables like spark plugs. Brakes also last longer as electric vehicles use regenerative braking to charge the batteries and use the mechanical brake pads less.


While electric vehicles have many good points, there are a few negatives to consider before owning one. Though you can save money in the long run, electric cars are generally more expensive to purchase than fossil fuel run vehicles. Some governments offer rebates, which can make the cost more comparable. Additionally, in order to charge your car at home you are required to buy and install the proper charger; in some cases, you may need electrical upgrades to your home or other charging locations. If you need to charge the batteries on a longer trip, there are far fewer charging stations than gasoline or diesel stations, and it takes much longer to charge than to pump a tank full of fuel. The lack of emissions reduces the cars’ carbon footprint, but the creation of the powerful batteries still has an environmental impact. Since the batteries are made of metals, they have complex mining and refining processes that damage habitats and release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Also, depending how electricity is produced in your area, the energy used by an electric vehicle could be generated through fossil fuels anyway. So, while electric cars are environmentally helpful during their life, their production and disposal requires improvement before they can be declared free from environmental harm.

Electric cars are an amazing achievement of technology with many benefits. However, it’s important to consider the possible downsides before purchasing one. The negative environmental impacts of their production must be weighed against the positive reduction of fossil fuels while they’re in use. Whether you’re considering owning an electric car or simply examining the new advancements in technology, remember to balance both the positives and negatives in order to see the full potential of electric cars down the road.

CPC-logoThis story was made possible by our Community Partners Program. Thank you Davis Chevrolet for helping to expand local news coverage in Alberta. Learn more.
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