Should I be buying an electric car?

Electric cars are no longer the stuff of science fiction, conspiracy theories material against oil producers emporiums or simple golf carts enlarged.

The automotive industry has adopted this new technology and today there are models ranging from the compact Mitsubishi i-MiEV, the family Nissan LEAF and the super sports car Tesla Roadster, to the luxurious Rolls-Royce 102EX, although the latter is still under experiment.

The supply of electric models also includes the commercial vehicle Ford Transit Connect and several manufacturers have already announced plans to sell other models like the Ford Focus and the Chevy Spark EV as soon as 2012, and several industry studies and predicted that by 2020 , about 14 million electric cars will be running through the streets and highways of America.

General Motors also already sells the Chevy Volt, although always operates with an electric motor, also has a small gasoline engine whose function is to generate electricity once the battery runs with the car can travel up to 40 miles.

There are also cars with hybrid system – with gasoline engine and battery backup Power Generators-, such as the Toyota Prius, and variants also allow connecting the outlet of the house to recharge the battery, but these models are part of another category.

The truth is that any driver in the US can now go to a dealer today and change your car with petrol engine with one that simply plugs into the electrical current to recharge your battery as it is done with a cell phone.

But as always happens with any new technology, electric cars still cause some questions that should be taken into account when deciding whether an electric car is a good decision.

Here are some questions that a buyer should do before making the decision.

An electric car is a good investment?

Because that generally the car is the second most important for most Americans after home investment, the first question on an electric car has to do with the price, as they are still considerably more expensive than models similar size and performance.

For example, the Nissan LEAF – the first 100% electric model sold in the United States – is priced at around $ 35.000 and even with federal incentives and tax deductions, it is much more expensive than some compact models for five passengers that pay up to 40 miles per gallon of gasoline.

So unless the price of a gallon of gasoline go up and maintained at an average of $ 5, the initial investment of an electric car may not be the best idea.

In addition to the initial investment, we must also take into account the cost to recharge the battery, but in this line, there is much to worry about because, according to the latest studies the total annual amounts to expenditure made to use a refrigerator, ie between $ 2 and $ 4 for a full charge, much less than what is spent on average per refueling.

How you handle in a day?

Of course, the question and answer on investment, be associated with the daily use of the car.

All electric cars have a range of limited independence, but like most people do not drive more than 40 miles a day to perform daily activities such as going from home to work, according to the latest industry studies tasks, this limitation could not be a determining factor.

The Nissan LEAF has the potential to handle up to 100 miles on a full battery charge, but the total depends on many factors such as outside temperature, driving style and the amount of charge in the car.

The Chevy Volt, has a range of 40 miles on a full battery charge, but can travel more than 400 miles when comes into operation the gasoline engine that generates electricity.

So if the driver who is considering buying an electric car falls between most only manages 40 miles a day, this new technology could be the most appropriate and, at least in theory, never go to the gas station.

Where can I recharge the battery?

This is perhaps the most common question asked by all who are considering buying an electric car. The answer has many variants

Both the Nissan LEAF and the Chevy Volt and the Ford Transit Connect can be plugged into a regular outlet of 110 volts to recharge their batteries, but this method can take up to 16 hours, which may be impractical for everyday use of the car .

The second option is to connect the car to an outlet of 220 volts, such as using an electric stove or clothes dryer that already exist in most homes, which recharge time can be cut in half, is ie full charge can be done in about eight hours.

The third option is what is known as ‘quick charge’ and is done in a ski special recharging with electrical outlets of 440 volts, which can be charged 80% of the battery in just 30 minutes, in the case of Nissan LEAF.

Such stations are beginning to proliferate in the parking lots of office buildings, shopping malls and public parks, where of course have to pay for its use, but like charging at home, the cost will be minimal compared to gasoline .

How long is the battery?

Most manufacturers give a guarantee of eight to 10 years to all electrical system components of their cars, equivalent to the average life of any car, so this point should be deleted from the list concerns when considering buying an electric car.