The Pros and Cons of Electric Vehicles

The Pros and Cons of Electric Vehicles

Over the last few decades, there has been an evident shift to greener consumer options for motor vehicles, which include reducing emissions in transportation. Gas prices have also risen dramatically and are expected to stay high for a long time. Is it time to join the fleet of EV drivers? While gas prices and environmental impact are popular factors behind driver decisions to purchase EV cars, there are still certain drawbacks that purchasers should be aware. Some of the pros and cons of driving electric vehicles are described in detail below.

The Advantages of Electric Vehicles

Lower total cost of ownership

The total cost of ownership of a car includes the cost of the vehicle itself and the cost to operate the vehicle. While the purchase price of an EV may cost more than gas-powered vehicles, there are federal and state programs, like tax rebates and lower registration fees, that can partially offset the purchase price of an EV.

Drivers will see savings over times due to a cheaper operating cost. Gas prices average $5 per gallon compared to electricity prices at $0.12 per kilowatt-hour. On average, gas drivers would $50 to fuel a 200-mile drive, compared to $6 to fully charge an EV for the same distance.

EV cars also require less maintenance service. In 2020, Consumer Reports revealed that EV’s saved around $6,000 to $10,000 on lifetime costs or 60 percent less annually than gas-powered cars.

Monetary incentives and rebate programs

The federal government currently offers a $7,500 tax rebate to encourage the use of clean energy vehicles. Individual state governments also offer incentives to complement the federal savings. Depending on the state and the car model, the state could offer up to $4,000 rebate against the purchase price. Other state incentives include potential reduced registration fees and utility incentives. Private sector parking spaces also may offer free parking permits in residential areas and public garages.

Smooth rides and continued improvement

EVs are responsive vehicles with acceleration speeds at 0 to 60 mph in a matter of seconds. EV’s are quieter and the smooth acceleration especially on a stop and go traffic provides can feel akin to gliding over the road. Manufacturers continue to invest in the development of electric vehicles to make the driving experience as competitive, if not more, with gas vehicles. Perks to access high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes for faster speed lane in highways, and upon arrival, access to priority parking completes the driving experience.

Low maintenance cost

EVs require far less maintenance than traditional vehicles as they have fewer mechanical parts that are prone to damage as they age. EV’s do not require oil changes and tune-ups. There is also no engine maintenance like water pump, radiator, piston issues that are typical to gas-powered vehicles as they age.

Better for the environment

Because EVs use lithium-ion batteries, kinetic energy is made without burning fossil fuels and reduce the carbon footprint on global warming and air pollution. Per the International Energy Agency, EVs emit only 38 Mt CO2 equivalent compared to the projected 78 Mt CO2 equivalent of gas vehicles.

The Disadvantages of Electric Vehicles

Purchase price

EVs in general tend to have a higher sticker price. Because of their novelty, manufacturers are often still trying to fund or recoup their development costs. Not everyone also can afford to spare a higher initial out of pocket cash out to purchase of a vehicle. Rebate programs and government incentives are programs in place to help provide some cost savings to offset the higher purchase price of EVs.

Range anxiety

EVs have a shorter mileage range than gas-powered vehicles. The average range of an EV on a single charge is 234 miles while a gas-powered car on a full tank is 300 miles. The price of an EV is sensitive to the mileage range while the 300-mile range for a gas-powered vehicle is common regardless of price. Drivers who are interested in EV cars should consider the average number of miles driven each year. Drivers with higher commutes should consider purchasing an EV with a higher-than-average charge capacity.

Charging availability and charge time

While Tesla has a large charging station infrastructure developed, the other brands (including EVGo, Chargepoint, and Blink) are still vying with each other to become the standard charging station. As the number of EVs increase on the road, charging stations are commonly fully occupied. Charging an EV vehicle also takes than filling up gas on a gas-powered vehicle. The fastest charging time of an EV using the Level 3 charger is about 45-60 mins compared to a normal 5 minutes to fill up gas on a gas-powered car. Level 2 and Level 1 chargers take longer. To charge an EV, an owner either needs to have a charger available for convenient charging (such as at work or at home) or will need to plan accordingly to visit a station every couple of days.

Software issues

While the hardware of EV cars is often highlighted, there is still some work to be done with the software of cars. In a recent car reliability survey by “Which?”, EVs were reported as having the highest percentage of breakdowns, and most reported cases were due to software issues. Manufacturers continue to develop regular software updates that are designed to fix these issues.

Continue to Research the Pros and Cons of EV Cars

EVs have been received very well as more and more people are buying EVs and more car manufacturers are getting into the EV space. While the comparison of the pros and cons above can already be reasonable factors that can help one decide, the EV space will continue to develop, and more and more pros and cons may still evolve. Below are some links to assist you in your decision as to whether an EV car is right for you.

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