Switch from gas to electric vehicle: pain or perk?

dreamstime_l_3005625-Boy_Businessman— by Mia Yamauchi

As a gas car driver, you might feel that the switch from gas to electric vehicle doesn’t quite make sense. I can’t blame you since my first car ran on gas and I felt it was the only practical option at the time. So how did I end up with the job of talking to gas car drivers about how great electric vehicles are? I was never a “car person” until I saw an electric car speed off into the sunset with breathtaking, silent torque and thought “WOW.” Then I drove one and it was all over. I switched from gas to electric driving and now we have not one, but two electric cars. The next thing I know I’m doing marketing events for Plugless, maker of the first wireless charger for electric vehicles. At each event I get to talk to hundreds – if not thousands – of gas car drivers about what it’s like to go electric.

Gas drivers ask me a whole bunch of questions but there’s a common theme: “electric vehicles don’t make sense.” And it’s true that there are differences that are worth knowing more before you make the move from fill up to charge up.

The first big problem? Infrastructure. From the perspective of a gas car driver, you simply don’t see as many charging stations as gas stations. The charging infrastructure looks like it’s seriously lacking. You think, “with 10 times fewer gas stations I would be so annoyed. So it must suck to switch from gas to electric vehicle driving.” It’s basic math and it feels reasonable. And yes, of course any outlet supplies electricity but regular outlets only deliver a pitiful 2-3 miles worth of charge per HOUR parked. We’re talking about the ability to easily refuel during dinner or errands.

is infrastructure an issue in the switch from gas to electric vehicle driving

Public electric car charging stations vs gas stations in the USA 127,000 gas stations (source) vs. 34,000 charging stations (source)

But consider this — what if like my battery, your gas tank got topped off in your garage every night? What if your car was always full when you started your day?

And what if this convenient top-off generally cost less than a gas station fill-up (even with gas prices in the toilet)? Every morning you’d sit down to more than enough fuel for your commute both ways, errands, kids. Would you miss the public refueling stations then? That’s the experience that comes with the switch from gas to electric vehicle.

Quote about the switch from gas to electric vehicle driving

Electric vehicle drivers end up doing 88% of charging either at home or at work. That means electric vehicle drivers don’t spend a whole lot of time refueling. Electric car drivers spend their time sleeping. Or working (or some combination of the two). In the meantime, the car is refueling for them.

graph: the switch from gas to electric vehicle driving is easier than it seems

Electric vehicle drivers do 88% of their refueling at home or work (source).

There is usually a moment where that “clicks” for gas drivers that I’m talking to. If you and I were having this conversation, you might do some quick mental math, shrug and nod. Then your brow might furrow slightly as you wonder aloud “but what if you forget to plug in your electric car?” “Well,” I respond, “then I’m up a creek.” But then I explain that electric car drivers rarely come home empty. The average vehicle in the US is driven only 32 miles per day (source). Even the limited range pure-EVs typically have at least 70 miles on a charge.

Plus, wireless charging is making its way into more and more products, including electric vehicles. Since 2014, Plugless has provided wireless EV charging systems that are just as fast as corded chargers of comparable power. With wireless charging I simply park my electric car and I’m charging. “No hands, ma.”

Plugless for Tesla Model S can ease the switch from gas to electric vehicle drivingWith Plugless, your daily experience with refueling your vehicle is waking up every morning to a full “tank” and going about your day. No forgetting required.

The big deal with the switch from gas to electric vehicle isn’t just about the fuel type. It’s about the fact that EV drivers simply don’t have to deal with their cars as often.

Fewer moving parts means a lot less maintenance. There are no oil changes. Electric vehicle drivers simply don’t go to gas stations any more (or very rarely with extended range electric vehicles). The switch from gas to electric vehicle doesn’t even have to mean “one more things to charge at night.” Electric vehicle drivers can skip the physical plug-in with wireless electric vehicle charging. Their car fills itself up while they are busy doing much better things, like sleeping. Switching from gas to electric driving is about taking one more step towards a world where technology makes your life better without requiring more hassle from you.