of the Waco Tribune-Herald on July 15, 2020.
The transportation sector was the largest source of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the United States in 2019, producing 37% of total carbon dioxide emissions. Since automobiles are the primary mode of transportation in the Waco area, driving an electric vehicle (EV) instead of an internal combustion engine (ICE) car is one of the most powerful steps Wacoans may take to combat the climate crisis.
- EVs are often less expensive to drive because of lower fueling and maintenance costs. A study in Corporate Knights found a Nissan Leaf EV was $2205 cheaper to drive over 10 years than the comparable Honda Civic, and the Hyundai Kona EV was $5000 cheaper than the comparable Toyota RAV 4.
- Minimal EV maintenance, including no oil changes, saves valuable time and is more convenient.
- Absence of tailpipe pollution would prevent 53,000 premature deaths annually in the U.S., according to a study from MIT. Cardiopulmonary health would improve, including that of children with asthma, and associated medical expenses would decrease.
- Absence of tailpipe pollution helps prevent non-compliance with EPA air quality standards in Waco, which often has borderline air quality in the warmer months.
- Electric vehicles are extremely quiet, slashing local noise pollution.
- EVs are enjoyable to drive, with instantaneous torque that produces outstanding acceleration.
- A larger EV fleet (with charging stations) in Waco would improve the City’s image to prospective residents and businesses.
- Long life of electric cars is expected, as moving parts are very few. One Tesla has now traveled 420,000 miles.
- Mini Cooper SE. compact hatchback, $20,750 (after federal/Tx incentive), 110 mi range, FWD (front wheel drive), seats 4, 0-60 mph in 6.9 sec., trunk 7.5 cu ft. The electric Cooper would make an economical city car, with an exterior that exudes British charm. The interior best accommodates 2 adults and small children, with fascinating but dated analog instrumentation.
- 2020 Nissan Leaf. hatchback, $22,525 (after fed/Tx incentive), 149 mi range, FWD, seats 5, 0-60 mph in 7.4 sec., trunk 15.4 cu ft. The Leaf is an excellent value, with 10 years’ maturity, solid technology, and an updated pleasing body style.
- 2019 Kia e-Niro. crossover, $29,620 (after fed/Tx incentive), 239 mi range, FWD, seats 5, 0-60 mph in 7.5 sec., trunk 15.9 cu ft. The e-Niro would make an excellent family car, with substantial range, generous space for passengers and cargo, and a reasonable price.
- 2020 Chevy Bolt EV. hatchback, $34,995 (after Tx incentive), 259 mi range, FWD, seats 5, 0-60 mph in 6.5 sec., trunk 16.9 cu ft. The Bolt has excellent range, a roomy cabin, admirable electronics and safety features, with uninspired body style.
- 2019 BMW i3. hatchback, $35,445 (after fed/Tx incentive), 153 mi range, RWD (rear wheel drive), seats 4, 0-60 mph in 7.2 sec., trunk 9.2 cu ft. The i3 boasts German engineering, and has a convenient heads up display, impressive graphics, and a controversial body style.
- 2020 Tesla Model 3. midsize sedan, $36,600 (no incentive), 220 mi range, RWD, seats 5, 0-60 mph in 5.6 sec., trunk 19.1 cu ft. The Model 3 has an elegant sporty exterior, luxurious minimalist cabin, good range, superior safety features, and optional cutting-edge autopilot. (Note: these six cars are the entry level models. Upper models have additional features and longer range. Tesla, in particular, sells 9 more EVs, with range up to 391 miles).