First Electric Car!

In Environment, Global Issues on January 8, 2011 at 1:02 am

Electric, cool. Eco-friendly, not really.

So, Ford just released it’s first ever fully electric car, the Ford Focus Electric in the 2011 Consumer Electronic Show.  And yes, I think this is the coolest thing ever, and I can’t wait to buy this (if newer more efficient models are not on the line in 10 years or so) 🙂

Although this is a great concept, I wonder how efficient it really is. Here’s some stuff I find wrong with the idea of an electric car:

  • Considering 66% of our electricity comes from burning coal, petroleum and from nuclear energy generation, I feel like electric cars only put you one step further from the source of your energy. If your car was running on gasoline, you would SEE the gas pumping out every time you visit the gas station. With electric cars, all you have to do is plug the car into any outlet for your car to magically gas up. You don’t know where the energy is coming from, and not a lot of people care. Only about 11% of all electricity actually comes from renewable sources, so aren’t really doing much for the environment with an electric car.
  • You’re still pumping CO2 and other noxious gases into the atmosphere, which makes electric cars just as bad as gasoline-powered cars.
  • As with all cars, these electric cars come with a ridiculous spare parts policy. Mess up one of the 2,000 parts, and you’re looking at sky-high replacement costs. This is partly because the products are DESIGNED to be unique to the company, model, make and year. The concept of planned obsolescence is upheld across the board by car companies, all the way down to the car parts. Also, mostly, when you take your car into the shop, you’re paying for LABOR rather than the part itself (I was shocked to find repairmen get paid up to $80/hour for their talents!) The cost of upkeep of these cars is much higher than the original price you pay for it. Here’s a handy list of 21 car models that are the most expensive to maintain.

When you think about it, it’s only a matter of time before the next pollution-free, renewable-energy-based car is out on the line. I think I’ll wait until 2020 to buy one of those.

What do you think? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think about the Ford Focus! 🙂

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