…if you have to have them! (I still prefer a world with less cars focussing mainly on New Urbanism & ecocities…)
In the world today, electrons are easier to come by than hydrocarbons. To get oil, you have to drill thousands of feet below the surface of the earth – often in a hostile nation – pump it up, refine it, ship it (via pipeline or tanker), then store it until somebody comes along with a thirsty SUV. All in all, an expensive and rigid system. Electrons, on the other hand, come from many places: wind turbines, solar panels, hydroelectric dams, nukes and even burning coal. This simple fact upends everything. With electric cars, we’re not dependent on sheiks in the Middle East. We’re dependent on our own ingenuity.
A secondary virtue of the shift from atoms to electrons is that an electric motor is three to four times better at converting energy into motion than an internal combustion engine. In fact, the amount of electricity it takes to push an electric car down the road is surprisingly small.