The Sheer Joy (And Simplicity) of Not Buying Gas

CC BY 2.0. Dan DeChiaro/Flickr

Drivers of traditional "ICE" cars often underestimate the convenience of going electric.

I've just returned from filling up our Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid—which is not something I have to do very often. I was reminded of just how annoying the whole gas buying process is, especially compared to just plugging in and recharging overnight while you go about your evening.

That point has been made many times before in defence of electric and plug-in vehicles. But it was especially on my mind since I just had the following conversation the other day with a friend about our other car:

Friend: Sami, your Leaf—that's a hybrid, right?
Me: Nope, it's a pure electric car.
Friend: Pure electric? How do you go on a road trip?
Me: I don't [a lie]. It's not what it's designed for and it would be a very bad idea. [Not a lie.] But the newer electric cars like Teslas could easily handle a road trip—you just fast charge them and keep rolling.
Friend: Ugh. That sounds way too complicated.

Initially, I'll be honest, this exchange kind of annoyed me. The quickness of folks to reject something because it's not exactly what they are used to is a big reason for why technological and cultural shift takes time. But as I was driving back from the gas station tonight, I realized something:

This low expectation of electric vehicles—and the assumption that they will be inconvenient—will actually become an advantage once more people are exposed to their benefits. Yes, a 2013 Nissan Leaf makes for a mediocre (if extremely economical) drop-in replacement for a gas car. But a Tesla Model 3, a Chevy Bolt or a Nissan Leaf 2.0 is an entirely different matter. Within a few short years, my friend will have a plethora of options that could take her on that road trip—and which she would never have to gas up when she's running her daily errands.

I'm not kidding, folks. Inside EVs just reported on a recent survey that found 9 in 10 electric car drivers would never go back to driving gas. The skeptics may take some convincing, but there are plenty of us ready to do that work to win them over.