A 2009 study by Mini Cooper followed 450 individuals who tested their model electric car, and one of the interesting things to come out of the study were the respondents’ notes about how their lifestyle changed. Many of the testers sought to make each charge last by driving less and doing with luxuries like blasting the air conditioning or heating. These might be sacrifices for some commuters, but 90% of respondents claimed that the car still perfectly suited their driving needs.
The study that Edmccoy11 mentions is interesting, but potentially suspect since the survey of those 450 drivers may be somewhat self-selecting (meaning that the respondents’ notes about using less energy as a result of driving the Mini Cooper may be overblown, since those respondents may have been energy-conscious before purchasing the vehicle- ergo, their selection to take part in the study). But aside from this point, there’s an altogether different potential effect of owning electric vehicles to consider. It’s called Jevon’s Paradox, which basically says that the more technologically advanced and energy efficient a society becomes, the more energy it consumes (the greater the supply, the greedier we become). There’s a possibility (far from benign) that this might happen as the electric vehicle grows to scale. As you think about this, also note that while electric vehicles may emit less hydrocarbons, they’re still made largely from plastic (a material derived from oil).
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