Electric cars aren’t ubiquitous just yet, but with Tesla’s Model 3 slated for delivery to customers in a few months and the likes of Nissan Leaf and BMW i3 starting to dot the roads and highways across America, it’s becoming fathomable that a future where EVs are the dominant cars on the roads is arriving sooner than we think. Electric car leasing is becoming a viable option for many urban drivers.
The Toyota Prius and similar hybrids feel like the transition point to fully electric rides, and scientific research leaves no doubt that EVs and hybrids are environmentally friendly – and speaking of that, let’s not forget Toyota’s marketing campaign for the hydrogen-powered Mirai suggests the giant automaker is serious about that technology.
In one of the parking lots at Los Angeles International Airport, no less than a dozen Level 2 charging stations are available free of charge for EVs. There is also a single Greenlots-operated ChaDeMO DC fast charger, which allows a Nissan Leaf to charge to 85 percent of battery power in about 25 minutes. Did we mention that the charging session is also free? The $3 parking fee is a nominal amount to pay for the convenience of having a fully charged EV, ready to drive out to the nearby Santa Monica Beach or even to Pasadena.
Above the LAX charging stations is a banner that touts a message that the City of Los Angeles clearly wants the public to internalize: “EVs are cleaner than any gas-powered car for 97 percent of U.S. drivers.” This statement wasn’t derived out of thin air, but supported by quantifiable data. The Union of Concerned Scientists recently released a map that shows the MPG-equivalencies gasoline cars would need to be on par with EVs.
Accounting for different U.S. regional electric grids, the data set shows that even in the lowest-carbon grids of the West Coast and the Northeast, gasoline cars would need to produce 70 mpg or better to be as clean as the electric cars. Considering that the Toyota Prius Two Eco hybrid comes in at 56 mpg and the Hyundai Ioniq Blue is 58 mpg, it’s evident that the EVs are the way to a greener future … faster. Leasing electric cars is a prudent thing to consider when given this data.
Despite these advances towards a greener status quo, the typical chatter in the media is that charging EVs can be a hassle, that there aren’t enough public charging stations, that EVs don’t have the range or the power of their fuel-powered automotive peers. However, considering federal and state tax rebates combined with constantly improving public charging infrastructure, many of these qualms are without merit. Again, motorists would be remiss not to compare electric or hybrid vehicle when at the dealership.
Each driver’s preferences – specifically, miles range, torque, horsepower – serve as the central points when choosing an EV over a hybrid or a hybrid over a traditional gas vehicle. Electric car leasing or buying may not be for everyone everywhere, but given the fuel savings, these cars are more pragmatic now than ever – and not merely because they are greener, but because they save drivers the green in their wallets.
Photo Credit: Tesla