Electric vehicles like those pictured could easily replace gas vehicles, some argue.

A line of electric vehicles charging. Photo: Shutterstock

Electric vehicles, or EVs, are the center of a lot of debate about carbon emissions and consumer needs. It’s pretty obvious that replacing traditional combustion engine cars with EVs would do a lot to help reduce emissions. In fact, one study found that replacing traditional cars with EVs would suffice for about 90 percent of day-to-day needs.

One of the big arguments against EVs is that they don’t have a long enough range; that is, they can’t drive far enough on one charge to accommodate people. But the study looked at data from multiple sources and found that the affordable models, which have shorter ranges than the expensive Teslas, would be sufficient for most driving needs, including commuting to and from work. It might be harder for vacations and other long trips, but people could find ways around this through car sharing or other solutions.

Another argument is that there aren’t enough charging stations or other infrastructure needed to make EVs more reliable and useful. This isn’t a particularly convincing argument, though: There weren’t very many airports or train stations or gas stations before the development and popularization of those modes of transportation, either.

But the benefits of switching over to a fully EV system would be immense. According to the study, doing so could cut US greenhouse emissions by as much as one third, which would be a huge step forward in America’s emissions goals, and the world’s in general.

The study even addressed the cost differences, arguing that despite electric cars being more expensive on average at this time, the cost of replacing existing vehicles would be made up by lower costs over the life of the car. The result is that it would cost about the same either way. In that case, doesn’t it make sense to do the more ecologically sound thing?