When you purchase a normal combustion engine, you are buying something that is very complex and expensive with hundreds of parts, of which many are moving with high friction requiring oil to keep cooled and lubricated. Most steel engines have an efficiency limit of about 37%. Even when aided with turbochargers and stock efficiency aids, most consumer engines retain an average efficiency of about 18%-24%. That means, for every 4 to 5 gallons of gas you put in your car, only 1 gallon actually moves you anywhere! The rest is ultimately lost as heat and kinetic waste such as friction or rotation. That's the obvious stuff, now consider the manufacturing of all those parts, and their transportation to plants for assembly, the machines and man power necessary. Add on to that the engineers, computers, and everything in between and the foot print of your cars engine grows to enormous proportions.
Now imagine an electric motor, an extremely simple component using only electricity connected to a simple 2 speed transmission, and having an efficiency of 80+%. Some would argue that electricity comes from fossil fuels. Well, electricity does not have to come from fossil fuels, that's just how our infrastructure evolved. In fact, wind is generated from the same technology that would drive a vehicle, and wind turbines run for decades, not to mention hydro, nuclear and solar, to name a few.
When you are considering the purchase of a sports car or hot rod, consider these facts:
- Hundreds of parts prone to failure
- 5-8 times per mile more to run
- Oil change every 3,000 miles
- Regular tune-ups and recurring costs
- Major diagnostics and costly repairs when problems occur
- Vehicle longevity - batteries are the weakest link and survive 7-10 years