Higher gas prices could cause more drivers to switch to electric - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Higher gas prices could cause more drivers to switch to electric cars

Cars traveling down the road. (Source: Kelvin Reynolds/WBRC) Cars traveling down the road. (Source: Kelvin Reynolds/WBRC)
TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) -

Electric cars could be one option for drivers to consider as gas prices keep rising as the summer driving season nears. But what they save on gas could end up costing them more in other areas. 

"They also have the feel-good feeling that they're driving without depleting any fossil fuel reserves," according to Dr. Bharat Balasubramanian.

He's a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Alabama who previously spent 38 years working for Daimler Chrysler and Mercedes Benz. 

Balasubramanian said some drawbacks include the limited driving range people may have in electric vehicles.

"So if you're looking at comparable costs, you're going to get a range of 150 miles as against an internal combustion engine car or a hybrid car which could have a range of up to 500 miles," Balasubramanian added.

Drivers are digging deeper to pay for gas. A spokesman for AAA Alabama says they're hearing more from customers about electric cars than ever before.

"There's no question there are more people every year researching the idea of electric vehicles, more people purchasing them every year," Clay Ingram explained.

Professor Balasubramanian also said that there's a big difference in the cost of recharging an electric car during the day or night.

The cost could be five times higher during the day compared to at night.

There could be a higher strain placed on electric grids during the day compared to night.

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