Electric vehicles and hybrid-electric vehicles make sense, particularly in urban areas, for many reasons. The emissions from internal combustion engines include nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons, which, when combined with sunlight, produce ground-level ozone, or smog. Carbon monoxide and small particulates are also found in automobile emissions.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that about two-thirds of all the oil consumed in America is used for transportation. Besides being cleaner, electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) can help reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
Since an electric vehicle has no radiator, oil or gas filter, muffler or spark plugs maintenance and easier and EVs are much quieter than gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles.
In most cases, EVs rely on power plants for their fuel, so questions have been raised about indirect environmental impacts. NYPA generates most of its electricity from nonpolluting hydroelectric power sources. Controlling emissions, even from fossil-fueled power plants, is easier and more effective when done at a central source rather than from hundreds of thousands of tailpipes.
EVs are also more efficient. In a test conducted during the American Tour de Sol electric-vehicle race, it was established that an electric Geo Metro could travel about twice as far on the same amount of oil (converted to electricity at a power plant) as could a conventional gasoline-powered Geo Metro.
You may be eligible for state and/or federal tax incentives for alternate fuel vehicle purchases. Check with your tax advisor or the Internal Revenue Service about any benefits that may apply.