Are you a car enthusiast and would love to know what the future has in store for the car industry? If that’s the case, this article is for you!
Between science fiction and reality, the line is becoming blurrier when it comes to what the car of the future will look like. Indeed, the car industry is experiencing its biggest upheaval in history, and according to media outlet the Conversation, ‘’cars will change more in the next decade than they have in the past century’’.
These observations are backed up by the significant technological advancements that have occurred in the automotive field over the last few years. As a result, there is little doubt over the fact that cars will most likely look, operate, and be maintained very differently ten or twenty years from now, driven by the “electrification” of the sector.
Are you intrigued?
In this article, we’ll highlight the differences and, more specifically, the pros and cons of electric cars vs. gas-powered cars. We’ll then take a closer look at the future of the automotive industry. Ready for the ride? Jump in, let’s go.
The Pros and Cons of Electric Cars
Pros of Electric Cars
One of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to switch to electric. Indeed, transportation is now the biggest source of Co2 emissions in the US, accounting for thirty percent of all US global warming emissions. And commuting (using gas-powered vehicles) generates a little over 17% of all annual carbon emissions.
On the other hand, all-electric cars produce zero direct emissions, which significantly helps improve air quality in urban areas and reduce overall global warming emissions. As a result, electric cars are providing a sustainable alternative to combustion engines.
Electricity is Cheaper than Gasoline
While electric vehicles might cost more to purchase, they’ll help you reduce your fuel bill every month as the cost of electricity is much cheaper than the cost of gasoline. Indeed, a study carried in 2019 showed that it costs on average $0.11 per mile in fuel to get to work with a conventional car as opposed to $0.033 per mile with an electric car.
Lower Maintenance than gas-powered Cars
Because electric cars don’t run on oil and do not feature combustion engines, they typically have lower maintenance costs, as they will never present any oil or combustion engine-related issues. They’re also cheaper to service as they don’t require any spark plug replacements, emission checks, or fuel filters. Finally, another upside to owning an electric car vs a gas-powered vehicle is that you won’t need to change the brakes as regularly on an electric car. A recent article by Tesloop even revealed that after reaching 300,000 miles or 482,800 km, the maintenance and fuel cost of a Tesla Model X was only about $11,000 in total, providing significant savings compared to conventional car maintenance costs! Indeed, the article points out that for a similar gas-powered vehicle such as a Mercedes S Class, the maintenance and fuel cost would have amounted to approximately $86,000.
Reduce Noise Pollution
Living close to a main road can sometimes sound like you’re living in a Daytona pittstop, with cars zipping past night and day. The great news is that electric vehicles are very quiet, allowing for reduced noise pollution in urban and rural areas. They’re actually so quiet that US and EU legislators have voiced concerns for pedestrian safety and proposed that these vehicles are fitted with a noise emitting device to alert other road users when they’re approaching.
If you purchase a new electric vehicle, you might be eligible for a tax credit of up to $7,500. These incentives are designed to encourage drivers to make the switch. As a result, this can tremendously help you lessen the investment costs. You’ll find more information about tax credits based on the make and model of your vehicle here.
Cons of Electric Cars
One of the main reasons consumers are still favoring conventional vehicles over electric cars is the shorter range that electric vehicles provide. Indeed, electric cars are notorious for having a significantly shorter range than gas-powered cars, limiting the travel distance possible on one single charge. On average, an electric car has a range of between 60 and 120 miles (96 and 193 km) as opposed to 300 miles (482 km) for a conventional car.
However, note that the industry is constantly improving, and in 2021, an increasing number of electric vehicles such as Hyundai, Kia, Tesla, or Mercedes vehicles claim ranges over 250 miles (400 km) and even up to 600 miles (965 km) for the very special Tesla Roadster! Besides, the average commute in the US is 25 minutes each way, which falls well into the range of EVs.
Taking Longer to Recharge
Charging time is another major drawback when it comes to electric vehicles. Indeed, it usually only takes a few minutes to fill your tank at the gas station. On the other hand, charging your electric car can take between four and twenty hours for a full charge! No record breaking pitt stops for electric cars unfortunately!
Charging Station Availability is not Consistent
While this is rapidly improving, with only 26,000 charging stations across the USA in 2020, charging station availability is still extremely inconsistent. Sure, you might live in an area where electric cars are pretty common, and plugs to recharge your car might be easily accessible. But what happens if you decide to take a road trip down the coast or want to visit relatives on the other side of the country? Mapping out charging stations and plugs availability can quickly become a real mission!
However, as mentioned above, the charging infrastructure is quickly expanding, with the number of charging stations doubling in the US between 2015 and 2019.
Higher Purchasing Cost
Shopping for an electric car can be difficult for budget-conscious consumers as electric cars are significantly more expensive than conventional vehicles. Indeed, entry-level cars start at around $30,000 to $40,000 and can go anywhere above $80,000 for luxury models. On the other hand, a brand new gas entry-level car can cost as little as $14,000, and some luxury models start at around $40,000.
Yet, a recent study revealed that electric cars should cost the same as conventional vehicles by 2024. Indeed, as electric car production moves towards mass-production and electric battery costs drop, the cost of electric vehicles is expected to reach parity with gas-powered vehicles in the near future.
The Future of the Automotive Industry
Electric Vehicles Have a Bright Future
As mentioned above, while still significantly experiencing some major drawbacks, the advancements in the electric car field are both quick and enormous, fuelled by environmental concerns.
Scientists around the world are working hard to develop fast-charging batteries, and new research has revealed that they’re very close to a breakthrough! Indeed, according to a study based on recent advancements, electric cars could be charged in as little as 10 minutes in the next few years. Besides, Automakers worldwide are planning to invest $90 billion over the next decade to improve the range and the cost to adapt to a shifting automotive industry.
As a result, the gap between gas-powered cars and electric car purchase cost is rapidly narrowing. The range is also continually improving, and the advantages of owning an electric car will soon overtake the benefits of owning a gas-powered car.
As international agreements such as the recent Paris Agreement increase the pressure on governments around the globe to reduce their carbon emissions, the future of electric vehicles seems bright.
Some governments and states have already started to phase out conventional vehicles implementing concrete action such as tax and usage incentives to encourage drivers to switch.
Norway is leading the way with a definite goal of 100% zero-emission new cars by 2025 (the country’s new car purchases was already made up of 42% of electric cars in 2019). Other countries committing to banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030/2035 include the UK, Israel, or Iceland.
Note that California has recently announced a plan to completely phase out the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035, stating that, by then, all new passenger cars and light-duty trucks will have to be zero-emission vehicles.
While combustion engines will still be around for a while as phasing them out completely might take decades, increasing environmental concerns are leading to the development of more eco-friendly combustion engines and hybrid cars on the market. The near future will most likely see a coexistence between all-electric vehicles and eco-friendly combustion engine alternatives.
Connected and Autonomous Vehicles
Connected and self-drive cars are the two biggest trends in the automotive industry. And while the current autonomous car market is estimated to be worth $54 billion, it’s expected to increase tenfold in the next seven years.
Indeed, from small start-ups to big automotive brands and tech giants, companies around the world are massively investing in the research and development of self-driving car technology. The idea is for these autonomous cars to combine sensors and software to control, navigate, and drive the vehicle.
Various self-driving technologies have been developed by Google, Nissan, Tesla, or Uber, to name a few. Audi, for example, is planning to spend up to $16 billion to develop driverless cars by 2023.
While many prototypes of self-driving cars are currently in trial programs, the advent of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT) technology, and 5G could soon make autonomous cars a reality. Indeed, 5G brings the fast speed and greater bandwidth needed for smart traffic systems and truly autonomous vehicles. As for artificial intelligence, its power resides in modern machine learning systems, teaching the computer good driving behavior. Finally, the Internet of Things (IoT) technology will make driverless cars safe, allowing for rapid vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-roadside unit communications. With such technologies, the cars will be able to communicate with each other, recognize and interact with upgraded traffic lights and road signs, see around corners, improve traffic flow and safely transport passengers from point A to B.
As engineers are getting closer to working around current limitations preventing driverless cars from being commercialized, the potential benefits appear countless. Indeed, autonomous cars will allow us to have more free time, significantly increase safety on the road and reduce the cost of driving a car by eliminating the need for a driving license (or even a driver for taxi companies). Thanks to self-driving vehicles, disabled people will also have increased autonomy.
Auto Recycling on the Rise
Another trend emerging across all industries, including the automotive sector, is recycling. Indeed, the recycling of auto parts has grown exponentially over the last few years. And according to a study led by Wheel for Wishes, 25 million tons of material are recycled from cars every year, and over 12 million cars are recycled each year in the US alone. As the world is becoming more environmentally conscious, the number of people selling their junk cars or damaged cars to junk car dealerships is rising.
Besides, not only is it good for the planet as it reduces waste, but it’s also great for your wallet! Indeed, junkyards and junk car dealerships offer cash for junk cars as well as cash for damaged cars, allowing you to make some money from your old car.
If you own an old damaged car that has been sitting in your driveaway for ages because it is not worth repairing, a junk car dealership might be the solution. Indeed, if you’re thinking ‘’I should sell my car or junk my car’’ but I don’t know how to proceed, some professionals such as Best Price Cash For Cars offer reasonable cash for cars. They can even pick up your old car, so you don’t have to do anything. The great thing about these kinds of companies is that they can reuse some parts, recycle metal, and prevent hazardous chemicals from seeping from your car into the ground and water supply.
Junk car dealerships fit right into a more ‘’eco-friendly’’ approach to life and consumption by reducing pollution associated with new car part manufacturing and protecting ecosystems from harmful chemicals.
We hope this article has shed some light on the future of the automobile industry and has inspired you! While there is still uncertainty about the future of autonomous and connected vehicles due to technical limitations, the only question regarding more eco-friendly car options, including electric vehicles, is not if they will overtake gas-powered cars one day but when.
Do you own a junk or damaged car? If that’s the case, don’t hesitate to get in touch here as we’d happily take it off your hands and give you some cash for it!