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8 The PCB Magazine • March 2014 by Ray Rasmussen i-connect007 Although I'm an environmentalist at heart (where would we be without the Clean Water and Clean Air acts?), this article isn't driven by that bent. I don't have solar panels power- ing my house because it doesn't make financial sense, and I won't buy an electric car until it does, either. I guess I'm a practical environmen- talist. But the adoption of electric cars as the main source of personal transportation, world- wide, is a done deal and it's coming, fast. Of course, I'm no expert, but when you see just about every car manufacturer on the plan- et introducing or developing electric cars, you have to believe they see the writing on the wall. From what I've read, there will be seven new electric cars (in addition to the 14 on the market in the U.S. today) entering the market in 2014 and lots more in 2015. Many of these will be pure electrics, not hybrids. For me, the tipping point is a 200-mile battery range. I don't mind paying more, initially, for an electric car since I'll be saving about $3 for every gas-equivalent gallon of electricity I buy, adding up to thou- sands in savings each year, but I've got to have more range. But think of this: As the cost of these cars comes down, and as the cost of gas continues to rise, buying an electric car will basically be free, with the difference in the cost of fuel off- setting the monthly payment. That's when the market's going to explode. When the monthly cost of owning an electric vehicle, including electricity, is less than what it costs to fuel a gas powered car, people will be lining up to buy them. You'll see it in Europe, first, where gas is about $8 per gallon. Electrics will be an easy decision once the range issue is settled. And if you're paying attention at all, you've certain- ly noticed the billions of dollars flowing into battery R&D. Most major car companies see a 200-mile range battery for an average priced car hitting the market in the next few years. Tesla already does this if you're willing to pay $70k. Another game-changer is that these cars per- form better than their internal combustion en- gine (ICE) cousins. You get a lower cost for fuel, a safer vehicle for your family to ride around in, lower maintenance costs, higher reliability and a more powerful and better driving experience. That's why it's a game-changer. Why fight it? The only thing holding back electric cars are the batteries' cost and range. That's it. Everything else is vastly superior to cars powered by ICEs. the way i see it c o l u m n Electric Cars Are the Future rimac's concept electric "supercar."

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