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The Car of the Future is Here, and it’s Electric!

The Electric Age Is Upon Us

by Keith langston

The era of Tesla having the only high-performance electric vehicles is becoming a thing of the past.

Image Courtesy of Audi of America

High-powered electric cars are becoming available all over the world, from Ford’s new electric Mustang to the Jaguar I-PACE.

There is a new age of electric cars hitting the market. The era of Tesla having the only high-performance electric vehicles is becoming a thing of the past. While Tesla is by far still the frontrunner in electric cars, drivers now have many more options. High-powered electric cars are becoming available all over the world, from Ford’s new electric Mustang to the Jaguar I-PACE and Audi e-tron Sportback. And with it, travelers can now feel free to roam with a fully electric vehicle.

And forget the stereotypes you may have heard that electric cars are bare-bones. Many electric vehicles (EVs) now come equipped with lots of horsepower, regenerative breaking, touchscreen displays, and luxury features like deluxe surround sound, park assist, and power sunroofs.  Whatever assumptions you’ve had about electric cars in the past, forget them! This is a new generation of electric vehicles.

Mustang Mach-E (Photo Courtesy of Ford)

 

Why electric vehicles are so important

For decades, the complaint about electric cars was the range. For example, GM’s original electric car, the EV1, which was released briefly in the 90s, only had a range of about 78 miles per charge. But now, drivers can not only feel comfortable taking their electric vehicles to work, but with all modern EVs having ranges of over 200 miles, they’ve become perfect for day trips and weekend getaways as well.

And making EVs with better range is critically important for our planet. The better range the car has, the more people will want to buy it. And the more EVs we have on the road, the less pollution we have in our air…just imagine a day when Los Angeles isn’t covered with smog. Also, EVs are way more efficient than gas-powered cars. EVs have about 77% efficiency, whereas conventional gas engines only have an efficiency of around 12%-30%. That is a huge difference!

There’s also one component to EVs that make them more convenient than gas vehicles…they can be charged from anywhere – from your garage to the parking lot and even dedicated charging stations. In a world of EVs, the landscape of how we “refuel” can change. Just imagine if your car was always charging whenever you weren’t in it. When you’re at home, at the grocery store, at work… You’d never have to worry about when and where to recharge your car, because, with electricity rather than gasoline, it would be easy to install a national network of charging ports everywhere.

Electric car charging (Photo: Smile Fight)

Going electric is also critical politically and for national security. America’s dependence on fossil fuel is what keeps our country tied to the Middle East, and it’s one of the main reasons why oppressive governments, like that of Saudi Arabia, are so wealthy and wield so much power.

And beyond the points of politics, fossil fuels are dirty. Drilling for, refining, and burning them is really messy stuff. Habitat is destroyed, runoff makes its way into our lakes and rivers, toxic emissions burn into the air, our oceans become more acidic, and the greenhouse cycle continues to worsen. The sooner we can drop our dependence on fossil fuels, the better and healthier our planet will be. Electric cars have so much potential because there’s a multitude of ways we can produce the electricity, including things like wind, solar, hydroelectric, and more.

 

Traveling with electric cars

Switching to an electric vehicle doesn’t mean giving up the fun of a luxury car.  With many models having ranges of over 200 miles (and some even have ranges of over 300), they’re now perfect for everyday city driving, as well as tons of day trips and weekend getaways. For example, a day trip from downtown Chicago to Starved Rock State Park is only 94 miles, meaning a roundtrip drive is well within the range of almost every modern electric vehicle.

Audi e-tron route planner (Photo Courtesy of Audi of America)

For longer trips, you’ll just need to stop for a charge the same way you’d stop for gas in a traditional car. Some cars even help you find charging stations. The Audi e-tron, for example, offers the e-tron route planner. This app works both on the car’s touchscreen display and can also be downloaded onto your phone, and provides you with the quickest route to your destination along with showing where every charging point is along the way (the US Department of Energy says there are now over 22,000 EV charging stations around the country, providing more than 55,000 individual charge ports).

Hyundai also offers some great road trip features. Their EV, the Hyundai Kona, comes equipped with features like Driver Attention Warning, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning, a Blind Spot Warning, and more. It’s the perfect car for any family looking to stay safe during long trips on the road.

And all EVs come loaded with the great features that make for an epic road trip experience. From Serius XM capability to high-def sound, Bluetooth, and more, you’ll have all the luxuries of a traditional car, plus, the added benefit of a much quieter and smoother ride since there’s no combustion engine.

 

A new era of electric vehicles

These days, electric vehicles are popping up everywhere. Everyone from Porsche to KIA has at least one EV on their roster, and as the years go by, you’ll continue to see more and more on the road. If you’re an avid traveler, things to keep in mind when choosing your electric car are range, how long it takes to charge, and of course, how comfortable the car is to drive.

Tesla charging station (Photo: Sheila Fitzgerald)

And as more and more charging stations pop up around the country (Tesla has even started installing them in my hometown of Toledo, which is not wealthy or forward-thinking, so they truly are popping up everywhere) and as EVs get better range, we’ll begin to see more and more on the market. And it’s absolutely critical that we as an entire population switch over to cleaner automobiles. Fossil fuels are unrenewable resources and they’re extremely toxic. There’s never been a better time to go electric, not to mention there are some pretty awesome subsidies out there for people who buy electric cars (almost all EVs make you eligible for a $7,500 tax credit).

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to hit the road in a new EV. This country is a beautiful place and nothing rejuvenates the soul quite like travel. If you’re looking for some day trips ideas, check out our articles on the best day trips from cities like New York, Seattle, Honolulu, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, more!

Looking for your first electric car? Here are 10 EVs with the best ranges (how many miles you get per charge):

Audi e-tron Sportback – 218 miles

Nissan Leaf – 226 miles

Jaguar I-PACE – 234 miles

Hyundai Kona EV – 258 miles

Chevy Bolt – 259 miles

Mustang Mach-E – 300 miles

Tesla Model Y – 326 miles

Tesla Model 3 – 353 miles

Tesla Model X – 371 miles

Tesla Model S – 402 miles

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