Why Your Next Car Should be Electric

On Sunday, July 11, People’s Church will be hosting an in-person electric vehicle (EV) event featuring Dr. Paul Pancella, Chair of the WMU Dept. of Physics, as well as an expo of electric vehicles put on by the Kalamazoo Electric Vehicle Association (KEVA). 

Like our previous Eco Forums (remember the old days, pre-pandemic?), Dr. Pancella’s presentation will take place in room 19.  The Green Sanctuary Committee will provide refreshments.  The EV expo will be in the front parking lot and will feature a variety of electric vehicles hosted by their owners who can tell you about their EV ownership and driving experiences.  The EV charging stations (located in the back parking lot up the hill) will be installed by then, and we will be demonstrating their use for the curious.

As a bonus, there will be information about People’s solar photovoltaic system as well as the Net Zero programand the phase 1 insulation retrofit.

Dr. Pancella provided us with the following:

“Here are 5 top reasons you might want to go electric next time you are buying a car.  Different people might rank these differently, and there are other good reasons, too, but here’s my list:

1)  Batteries powering electric motors turns out to be a much more efficient way to use energy than the internal combustion engine we are all used to.  At least 80% of the energy stored in gasoline ends up being dumped from your car as heat, and doesn’t contribute to forward motion.  Once you’ve charged a modern battery pack, only about 10% of the stored energy is lost in that way.

2)  Electric vehicles are much better for the environment per mile traveled, even when we take into account resource recovery, manufacturing, and the sources of electric power generation.  This is true for traditional pollutants from burning fuel, as well as greenhouse gases like CO2.  Not only that, but as our electric power transitions to more renewable sources, the impact of a given EV actually improves over the years it is driven!

3)  Purchase prices for EVs are coming down, and fuel price per mile is only 30%-50% of that for comparable gasoline cars.  This means total costs are already about the same over 5-7 years of ownership, even though EVs still cost more than gas cars to purchase initially.

4)  The EV powertrain is drastically simpler than what is needed for internal combustion. There are hundreds fewer moving parts, and entire complex systems that must be maintained in the average car are absent from the EV (fluid cooling by radiator, exhaust management with noise and pollution controls, oil bath lubrication, fuel pumping and injection, etc.).  This translates to less money needed for routine maintenance and fewer mechanical failures.

5)   An EV is much quieter in operation, with less vibration, and no idling at stop signs or lights.  The whole driving/passenger experience is much better in an EV for a variety of reasons.”

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