While electric cars aren’t exactly common—yet—they’re drawing considerable buzz for their efficiency and environmental prowess. Some electric cars run primarily on batteries with a small back up gas-powered engine and others are completely battery driven.
While the dream of giving up gas entirely—or at least minimizing significantly with a hybrid—sounds like eco-perfection, don’t forget that the energy that generates the electricity that goes to power the car battery comes from somewhere. If your plug-in source gets its juice primarily from a coal-fired power plant, the net environmental benefits of your electric vehicle will likely be lower than if it comes from renewable resources. Ideally the energy used to charge electric cars will come from wind farms and solar panels.
There are a variety of electric cars on the market, and some are even competitively priced—especially after you factor in any government tax credits. If you’re in the market for a car, poke around and see if there is an electric version that works for your driving needs and your budget.
It used to be that limited driving range and battery charging requirements made electric vehicles inconvenient for most of us, but all of that has changed or is changing with improved battery technology.