- Published: Thursday, 08 May 2014 12:09
5 Reasons Electric Vehicles Are Gaining Popularity
by Arlissa Vaughn
[Photo Credit: Morrhigan]
Consumer interest in Electric Vehicles (EV) of all types is increasing worldwide. While the production of these cars remains in the early stages as far as availability and affordability, more and more people are beginning to research their options. Here are five reasons why Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), and Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)cars are gaining popularity:
- More Millennial Consumers - The most recent Deloitte study found that 80% of Millennials, aka Generation Y, have plans to buy a car within the next five years. Not only that, but 56% of them prefer that car to have an alternative engine -- whether HEV, PHEV, BEV, or other type. Greener energy is an especially important value to the Millennial ideal and as more of this generation begin to make up the average consumer base, their values will inevitably drive sales.
- Cheaper Energy Consumption - At this time, most residential electric companies offer discounted rates for off-peak energy consumption. Charging a PHEV or BEV during those off-peak hours will add only minimal cost to electricity bills -- about as much as adding a small beverage cooler to the list of home appliances. EV owners are more likely to reduce their overall energy use in other areas of the home too, generally offsetting any added costs from EV overnight charging.
- More Stable Energy Prices - Not only is electricity more affordable, but it is currently the most stable form of retail fuel, according to a recent analysis by the U.S. Department of Energy. Residential electricity saw a 51% rise in price over a 13-year span, as opposed to the landslide increases of 172% for diesel and 127% for gasoline.
- Less Maintenance - Most EV manufacturers are offering warranties of 4-8 years for the electric powertrain components; compare that to the usual 2-3 year warranties for traditional Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) vehicles and you can easily guess that EVs require less maintenance. BEVs, in particular, are the simplest in design and require less moving parts, while HEV and PHEV models still need some of the usual ICE tune-ups. Furthermore, the above referenced U.S. Department of Energy study indicates that EV motors of all types are still 3.4 times more efficient than ICEs.
- Decreasing Retail Prices - According to a market forecast study by Navigant, prices of HEVs and PHEVs are expected to decrease by 10-26% in the next six years. By the same study, BEVs will likely remain the same in retail price, but improved design and range will increase overall value. Government incentive programs are expected to remain in place to encourage new purchases of EVs.
Looking at the three currently available EV engine types, Navigant says that PHEVs will lead the compound average growth rate for the industry, with BEVs coming in at a very close second. North Americans and Asians are to be the highest probable consumers of EVs.
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