Electric Car Vehicles Fuel the Conversation

Range anxiety and cost continue to dissuade automobile consumers

What if you can drive to work and save the planet at the same time? Electric cars are continuing the debate on whether consumers should spend the big bucks on environmentally-friendly transportation.

The electric cars’ recent surge in popularity comes from many factors such as the fortification against climate change, reducing one’s carbon footprint, and saving money over time. Many experts, like former NJ Assemblyman, Dr. Tim Eustuce, a longtime electric car owner and advocate, believe it’s time more drivers make the switch. “There’s no reason not to have an electric car at this point,” said Eustace, who once sponsored legislation calling for refueling and electric vehicle recharging stations at rest areas along the New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway.

“There’s no reason not to have an electric car at this point.”

Former Assemblyman Dr. Tim Eustace

Consumers in several states have not adapted into purchasing environmentally friendly cars because of range anxiety. According to EVAdoption, in 2018 rural area states such as Wyoming, Alaska, North and South Dakota all ranked in the bottom five. These states also rank bottom in population density.

Eustace has own several electric cars over the span of years and claims range anxiety is not an issue to consider when buying an electric car. “It’s just like a car with gas. You watch the gauge. Most people don’t drive more than twenty-five miles a day. Most people don’t leave their local area.”

Eustace says the newest electric vehicles have more than enough range for everyday use, “Every car qualifies for the twenty-five miles.”

Former Assemblyman, Dr. Tim Eustace, cruises to work in his Tesla model 3. -Photo taken by Carly Henriquez

The new electric infrastructure bill encourages drivers to purchase an electric car and not worry about the lack of charging stations.

Total amount of Electric Charging Stations located in North New Jersey.

Planning for and developing this infrastructure can help create jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our reliance on foreign fuel, according to a recent report in TapInto.

Range anxiety concerns consumers like Dr. Marylou Naumoff, Assistant Professor at Montclair State University but she says the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

“If there was more of a demand for hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles the auto industry would respond by creating more of those types of vehicles and the cost would go down for everyone,” said Naumoff.

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a long-term forecast of 56 million car purchases will be for electric vehicles by 2040. 

Chevy Bolt electric vehicle parked at Schumacher mechanics in Little Falls, NJ. -Photo taken by Alex Greco.

Electric cars are the automotive industry’s answer to climate change. More companies that traditionally sell gasoline cars are giving their consumers the option to buy an electric car. With Chevrolet offering the Volt and Toyota offering the Prius, the environmentally-conscious consumer can now get behind the wheel without creating harmful carbon emissions. 

Dr. Marylou Naumoff loading her grocery bag in her Toyota RAV4 Hybrid vehicle. -Photo by Carly Henriquez

Naumoff saw the benefits of making the switch to a hybrid vehicle when the amount of gas used in her environmental car was a fraction of the cost compared to her previously owned gasoline cars. 

“I was spending anywhere from 380 to 420 dollars on gas every seven to ten days,” said Naumoff.

For some consumers like Naumoff, the idea of owning a hybrid or electric vehicle is about both being environmentally conscious and being cost-efficient.

The total amount of electric and hybrid vehicles accounted for in NJ from 2017 to 2019.

According to energy.gov, the standard gasoline car creates pollution through direct emissions that are emitted through evaporation from the fuel system, and during the fueling process. This is opposed to the electric vehicle, which produces 43 percent less emission. 

Luis Apaza walking into work at his local catering hall in Nutley, NJ. -Photo taken by Alex Greco

Luis Apaza, Little Falls resident, does not own an electric vehicle but wishes he did.

“I try not to have less than three jobs at a time,” said Apaza, who still feels like electric cars like Teslas are unaffordable. “I would like to own an electric car because they’re good for the environment.” Apaza continues to remain hopeful about the costs for electric cars to eventually come down.

Most Americans believe global warming is real and 77 percent also believe CO2 should be regulated, according to studies conducted by Yale. Which proves that most people do care about the environment and that the prediction of the increase in sales to the Bloomberg report is not far off.

As the Earth continues to warm at a rapid pace, consumers have noticeably given electric cars a second chance outweighing their fears of range anxiety. And one way people can reduce their carbon footprint is by choosing electric vehicles.

Our primary focus of this project was essentially to focus on climate change and the effects technology has in our environment. We wanted to narrow our research on how specifically electric/hybrid vehicles are cutting down on our carbon footprint and if consumers are purchasing or not purchasing these environmentally friendly form of transportation.

Story and work by: Carly Henriquez and Alex Greco
Montclair State University
Professor Franklin’s Multimedia News Production TVDM 441

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