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How Many Americans Are Converting to Electric Cars?

Tesla Model S being charged at a tesla supercharging station

Many people are looking at the stock market and wishing they had a DeLorean after seeing Tesla’s massive stock price. This leads a lot of people to wonder how popular electric cars are. You came to the right place. We’ll tell you about electric cars and how many people are going to convert to them.

Electric Car Manufacturers

Some people think Tesla is the only car rolling out a fully electric car – this isn’t the case. Tesla has 18% of the EV market share, but not all of it.

Other players are big names like Audi, BMW, Chevy, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Mini Cooper, Nissan, Porsche, and VW. With this many hands in the pot, there has to be a reason why.

How Many Americans Are Driving Electric Cars?

One of the biggest reasons why is that people are buying electric cars. The market works using supply and demand. If there’s no demand for electric cars, manufacturers will stop making them. Sort of like how Pet Rocks went away after people stopped buying them.

In 2019, 727,000 electric cars were sold in America. This combines the three “styles” of electric cars – hybrids, all-electrics, and plug-in electrics. Going into 2020, America had nearly 1.45 million electric cars registered and driving around.

To better understand the shift towards electric cars, let’s talk about their benefits and drawbacks.

Benefits of Electric Cars

There are lots of benefits of electric cars. Here are some of the major ones that people often talk about.

Fuel Efficiency

With a fully electric car, there’s no such thing as filling up with gas. Their “miles per gallon” rating is infinity. The real fuel in these cars is electricity that comes from your home.

Hybrid cars use an electric motor along with a standard gas-powered engine. In these cars, you’ll easily find estimated miles per gallon in the 50s.


The next thing is price savings. You can get a Tesla 3 starting at $38,000. Though that’s not the cheapest car on the market, it’s nothing compared to the comparable luxury cars that have the same performance.

The real savings, however, comes in the long run. By skipping the gas stations, you’ll wind up saving a ton of money.

The cost of residential electricity is so affordable in most places. Filling up a Tesla 3 costs about 3.6 cents a mile. Comparatively, the cost to fill up a gas-powered car is around 15 cents per mile. That means if you drive 10,000 miles a year, you’ll save just over $1,100 annually.

Tesla Model S - Talinin, Estonia

Durability and Reliability

The electric motor has fewer moving parts than a combustion engine. Without getting into the engineering and science of it, we’ll just say that electric motors wind up being way more reliable than combustion engines.

On top of that, the durability of an electric car like Tesla is incredible. A third-party study predicted that Tesla batteries will last up to 500,000 miles. That durability can’t be found in a gas-powered car.

Clean Energy

Many people opt for electric cars since they rely on using clean energy. Some people use this as their only motivation to buy an electric car. The introduction of electric cars gives people the ability to step away from using gas and fossil fuels.

Less Maintenance

Since there are fewer moving parts and less that can go wrong, electric car owners find that their new ride has less maintenance. The maintenance that does exist is a lot more affordable than a traditional car.

The least amount of time you spend on your back under your car, the better. Electric vehicles are showing a lot of promise in this category.

Quieter Operation

Maybe it’s a drawback to some gearheads, but electric cars are a lot quieter to operate. Some cars use the speakers to pump in “engine noise” so you get the same driving experience, but an electric car can be completely silent to a nearby pedestrian.

Electric motors make almost no noise compared to a combustion engine. In reality, that’s where most of the noise comes from in a standard car.

Tax Credit

Most proud owners of an electric car get a decent chunk of change at the end of the year. The US government gives a hefty tax credit to people who own and operate electric cars. The actual figures will vary on a lot of factors, but it’s not rare to get credited over $1,000.

Future of Cars

There has been some writing on the wall when it comes to the future of gas-powered cars. Recent addresses by President-Elect Joe Biden underlined and bolded the writing on the wall. It’s very clear that in the next 10 to 20 years, new manufacturing of gas-powered cars will not exist.

Government officials are pushing for getting rid of gas-powered cars and replacing them with electric cars for the sake of the planet. Americans are jumping on the electric car trend before it becomes a mandate and a necessity.

The Performance

Until you drive an electric car, you don’t get a good feel for how stunning its performance is. Right off the bat, an electric motor can deliver power instantaneously.

This beats the performance curve of a combustion engine, and it makes turbo lag feel like it lasts even longer. When you press the pedal of an electric car, you get power – it’s as simple as that.

Car driving in an eco friendly environment illustration

Drawbacks of Electric Cars

It’s not all unicorns and rainbows with electric cars, though. Here are some of the downsides you can expect with owning one.

Recharging Takes Time

There’s no avoiding the fact that recharging your car takes time. A standard outlet in your home can take up to 33 hours to fully charge a Tesla 3. A 7kW charger on the same car takes as few as 7 hours.

Public charging stations have higher wattage which allows them to fully charge the car in 5 hours, or go from 20% to 80% in 20 minutes.

No matter how you cut it, you’ll wind up charging your car. If you forget to charge overnight, you’re going to be Ubering to work the next day.

Your Trip is Limited

Electric cars come with an estimated range. This tells you how many miles you can go on a fully charged battery.

The Tesla 3 boasts an impressive 315-mile range, but that means you can only drive 157 miles one way before you need to turn back.

A lower-tier electric car like a Nissan LEAF has a 168-mile range. Without remote charging stations, an electric vehicle isn’t going to work for road trips.

Electric white modern car near Electric car charging station at street. 3d rendering

Not as Many Models Available (Yet)

There are only a handful of electric cars that are worth buying today. We expect to see a dramatic change in 5 years and a completely different market in 10 years. Regardless, you’ll have to pick between the few options if you’re looking to jump aboard today.

Keep in mind, the models on the market today are all impressive. With a few exceptions (we’re looking at you, BMW i3), they look great, perform great, and are a perfect daily driver.

The Weight

A small drawback to the car’s performance is the curb weight. A Tesla 3 outweighs a comparably-sized Honda Civic by 800 pounds. This is thanks to the battery packs required for electric cars – the motor itself is significantly lighter than a combustion engine.


A lot of Americans are converting to electric cars, and now you have a better idea of why. There are a lot of benefits to owning an electric vehicle. Car manufacturers are going to create better electric vehicles in the coming years. If you want to dip your toe in the water of electric vehicles, now’s the best time to do it.

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Ernest Martynyuk

An automotive enthusiast who's been tinkering with vehicles since I was 15-years old. Repairing automotive electronics has been my main job for over a decade now and have a passion for everything technical regarding cars.

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