Electric vehicles are designed to run on electric power, without gasoline – meaning they are emissions-free, cost less to maintain and reduce the need for oil extraction. Without all the moving parts and fluids required by a gasoline-powered engine, EVs often prove more reliable.
The vehicles, however, do have a few drawbacks. Many have a range of about 50 miles, and recharging from a wall outlet can take more than eight hours. Superfast charging stations can rev up batteries in less than 30 minutes, but few cities have sufficient infrastructure right now to support large fleets of these cars. More are installing charging stations, so they will be more hospitable to EVs in the future.
Other critics cite that, while EVs themselves create few emissions, the power-generating facilities from which they draw electricity do, meaning EVs merely move the pollution around. But proponents say that could be a positive thing, diminishing the concentration of pollutants in urban areas. Additionally, EVs are likely to be charged at night when power plants have excess capacity anyway, resulting in more-efficient use of energy.