It is getting to be that every stop at the gas station is a dreaded stop. The numbers on the gas pump just keep ticking higher and higher. It’s getting so bad that some people who never would have thought of purchasing an electric vehicle (EV) just five years ago are now seriously considering it. Could that be the goal? Are gas prices being allowed to rise uncontrollably just to make electric cars inevitable?
That is a question for political pundits to answer. For our purposes, the more intriguing thing is speculating about what happens to all the used gasoline-powered cars when people start buying electric. It’s not like they are all going to immediately go to the scrapheap.
100K Miles or More
If you are old enough to remember cars like the Ford Pinto and Chevy Nova, you also remember that the family sedans of days gone by were not built to last for 100,000 miles. If you got 100K out of a car, you were either a mechanic or very fortunate. Most cars would top out in the mid to high 90s before being ready for the scrapheap.
Today, things have changed. Reaching 100K is expected for most cars. Remember, we buy used cars throughout San Bernardino, San Diego, and Riverside counties. In fact, we pay cash for cars throughout Southern California. We see a lot of cars with 100,000 miles or more.
Why bring this up? Because a car capable of 100K miles could easily last 10 years. If the goal is to get us into EVs as soon as possible, 10 years might be too long. Anyone who buys a new gasoline-powered car this year may be looking at going to an EV two or three years down the road. But then, how much will the gas-powered car be worth?
The Charging Time Problem
Even if higher gas prices are designed to push us toward EVs, there are a couple of problems that have kept electric cars on the outside looking in. One such problem is charging time. As things currently stand, you can pull into the gas station, fill up, and be on your way in under 10 minutes. No electric car charges that quickly. One possible solution is to go the hybrid route.
It turns out that hybrids account for roughly 37% of all the EVs sold in this country thus far. A hybrid utilizes both gasoline and electricity. With the right engineering, a hybrid gasoline engine can both power the car and recharge a drained battery simultaneously. This greatly cuts down on the amount of time necessary to charge.
The downside is that hybrids still burn expensive gas. So if the idea is to get us completely away from gasoline, charge times must be reduced significantly. The other problem is range, though that is becoming less of an issue as time goes by.
Range Is Getting Better
Range is all about how far you can drive before needing to refuel. A typical compact or mid-sized car powered by an internal combustion engine can get anywhere from 300-400 miles on a tank of gas. That is more than five hours of drive time on the open highway.
Getting that kind of range isn’t yet possible with your typical EV. However, automakers and battery designers are quickly improving things. A couple of hundred miles is no longer out of the question. It probably won’t be long before EV batteries are on par with gas tanks in terms of range.
The problems associated with limited range are exacerbated when there are not enough publicly available charging stations. But truth be told, market conditions will take care of that. The more EVs on the road, the more charging stations you’ll see. The same companies that now sell America its gas will be more than happy to provide electricity when the demand is there.
Infrastructure Is the Big Thing
As a viable business, our big concern right now is buying used cars in San Bernardino County and elsewhere. Your big concern might be buying a new or good used car. But where government and automakers are concerned, the big thing in the EV world is infrastructure.
If higher gas prices are designed to drive us all to EVs, then the same people behind the higher prices need to get on their horses and start taking care of the infrastructure issue. Our electric production and transmission capacity are already maxed out. The grid is already in rough shape. We simply do not have the infrastructure to support millions of EVs on the road.
Don’t forget that the electricity consumed by EVs has to be generated somehow. So while we might eventually be burning less gasoline to drive down the road, we are still going to have to find ways to generate all the extra electricity our cars will need. That requires infrastructure.
The Day May Never Come
Right now, it is fun to speculate about a world with no internal combustion engines. It is fun to imagine electric-powered cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, and even planes. But that day may never come. Maybe in trying to improve and build up the infrastructure, we will discover that there is a better technology out there.
The one thing we do know for certain is that gas prices are getting out of hand. Here in California, we have some of the highest prices in the nation, perhaps with the exception of Hawaii. Everything on the islands is more expensive. Here in California though, it seems like our prices are unnecessarily high.
While we continue to debate the question of high fuel prices and electric vehicles, Car Fast Cash will keep paying cash for cars in our designated markets. If you have a used car you are looking to turn into cash, get in touch with us. We are always ready to make a deal on a quality used car. Tell us what you have and let’s see what we can do.