Electronic cars drive to new future

Lauryn Tadda, Reporter

Electric vehicles are known for being the “cars that plug in.” But they offer a lot more. Not only are electric cars better for the environment, but they are also better for your wallet, time and safety.

While the world is changing, so are college campuses. Kent State University now has six different spots to plug in vehicles to charge at your convenience.

“In Norway, 92% of the cars that are driven on the road are electric,” earth sciences professor Joseph Ortiz said.

When thinking about buying a new car, most people do not consider the maintenance they will have to keep spending money on each year. In college there is usually not a lot of extra money that students have to spend on keeping up with the maintenance of their vehicles. Electric cars could alleviate those unexpected expenses.

“I purchased a new lithium ion battery and a range extender to double the charge but other than that costs are pretty low,” said Lawrence Johnson, a junior history and mathematics major who drives an electric Prius Prime.

With any car, repairs and upkeep are necessary, but EVs provide a more sustainable, cheaper option.

“There is obviously less maintenance on EVs because the cars do not run as hot,” Ortiz said. “I took my vehicle in to get my brakes checked and the maintenance man said ‘Have you even been driving this?’”

As gas prices increase, EVs will become more popular because of low charging costs.

“Charging my car turns out to be around three to four cents per mile,” Ortiz said.

According to JD Power, the average American family spends around $5,000 a year on gas. While chargers around here at Kent State University are only $1 per hour. Electric vehicle owners can go to class with no battery and leave class with a fully charged vehicle without having to touch a gas pump or go out of their way on those busy college days.

“I save a really good amount of money due to the fact that I do 80 to 90% of my driving on charge,” Johnson said.

As EVs become more popular, so will their charging stations.

“Tesla has already started attaching lounges to their charging stations. We’re seeing restaurants get them, museums, sporting arenas and theaters,” Ortiz said.

Leases are running out and used EVs will begin being sold online and in car lots.

“When they become affordable I would definitely recommend them,” Johnson said.

As buyers are recommending EVs to people, prices for production begin to drop.

“The cost to make electric batteries are decreasing so there will be a drop in prices for newer EVs,” Ortiz said.

The Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law in August of 2022, which allows a tax credit up to $7,500 per vehicle.

When off at college, most parents are worried about safety in any regard. Those trips from campus to home can now be even safer.

“EVs have an excellent crumple zone and are harder to tip over because of their larger center of gravity because of the weight of the battery,” Ortiz said.

Another feature EVs have is their ability to make money off of their charge — this is called energy arbitrage.

“You can be pumping energy back into the grid while people are using the energy up,” Ortiz said.

There are also even more things to enjoy while owning an EV.

“I personally enjoy how quiet the inside of my car is and that’s one of the main reasons I purchased it other than to save money,” Johnson said.

Lauryn Tadda is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].