Electric cars pros and cons are the first thing consumers consider when making the switch. The scientific community is divided on when fossil fuels will run out, however, the fact of the matter is, there is a finite supply of fossil fuels, and they wreak havoc on the atmosphere.
Electric cars have been around for nearly 200 years yet have only gained traction in the last 20. Sales for electric cars are steadily increasing as is recharging station availability.
Here we present the definitive electric cars pros and cons list. Some information might surprise you.
About Electric Cars
An electric car or electric vehicle (EV) is a mode of transportation that fully or partially derives power and fuel from electricity. Electricity is pumped into the electric car’s rechargeable battery by plugging it in to a designated electricity source or by internal charging mechanisms.
It is believed that the first electric car was built in Hungary by Ányos Jedlik in 1828. Around the turn of the 20th century, electricity was the preferred fuel of choice, but this was short-lived. Vehicles powered by gasoline have been the standard since the 1910s.
The call for modern electric car technology came from the US Department of Energy in the 1970s amid a gasoline crisis. Since then, inventors have been striving to gain support for the clean energy electric vehicle industry. The first EV to hit modern markets was the Toyota Prius, which went on sale in Japan in 1997. In 2008, Tesla Motors ushered in a new wave of EV interest.
Different Types of Electric Cars
Electric cars come in three groups, but these groups also have subgroups. The three primary groups for electric cars are:
Fully-electric vehicles are powered exclusively by electricity. This type of EV is the cleanest of all because it doesn’t produce any exhaust emissions.
The classic hybrid car runs on electricity and gas. Hybrids use the electric engine to start and also when traveling at lower speeds. The electric engine has a built-in recharging station that functions when the vehicle is running.
The plug-in hybrid has all the same features as the classic hybrid with an added plug-in component to charge the battery. Unlike with fully-electric vehicles, the plug works on a standard electrical socket. The plug-in hybrid is preferred over the classic hybrid for urban life because it has a longer range which reduces exhaust emissions.
Electric Cars Pros And Cons
Even after years of proven success, there are still some questions regarding the electric cars pros and cons. Here we will discuss the top electric cars pros and cons and shed light on what to expect.
Cheaper To Drive
Gas prices fluctuate heavily. Regardless of the current price at the pump, electricity is always a cheaper power supply. The prices for electricity don’t rely on the availability of a dwindling fossil-fuel reserve.
According to the US Department of Energy’s website, driving an electric car could cut trip costs by more than half when compared to gas alternatives. They also note that the average US household spends close to 25% of total household income on fuel costs. Cutting this amount in half equals substantial annual savings for the average driver.
Better For The Environment
Switching to an electric car means doing your part to reduce air pollution. Gas-powered vehicles contribute to the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The exhaust fumes emitted from gas-powered vehicles are to blame. An exhaust system isn’t even part of an electric car’s anatomy.
They Are Safer
Some confusion has sprung forth in recent years about the safety of electric cars. This is mostly due to media sensationalism. In reality, electric cars are much safer than cars running on gas. Gas-powered vehicles function by using an internal combustion engine. Even the name of that engine sounds dangerous . . . and it can be.
Electric cars run on battery power rather than highly-flammable liquids. During an accident situation, sitting in an electric car is comparatively much safer. Unlike with gas cars, electric cars are incapable of exploding—or combusting, if you will.
The weight of an EV is more balanced which helps it remain stable rather than flip over or roll.
Until now, we’ve mainly focused on the benefits of not using gasoline to power a vehicle, but there is more. Not only will you save money on gas, but never again will you need to have to replace a variety of parts found in gas-powered vehicles. Here are the vehicle upkeep items you get to forget about when switching to an electric car:
- Air filters
- Cylinder heads
- Fan belts
- Head gaskets
- Motor oil
- Spark plugs
- Timing belts
- Traditional transmission
There is evidence to suggest that brakes on electric cars don’t need frequent replacement. The overall maintenance of an EV is very low by comparison. This is a definite pro in electric cars pros and cons.
Enduringly Good Investment
Owning an electric car can be an enduringly good investment. Older electric car models are proving this right now, and newer models are only improving.
After a lot of time on the road, that internal combustion engine in gas-fueled vehicles takes a serious beating. This is one of the biggest reasons cars are retired from the road. Electric cars tend to have a longer lifespan.
Imagine the sound of sitting at a traffic light. What do you hear? You probably imagine a dirty symphony of noise polluting the atmosphere that comes from all of the vehicles at the intersection. Now imagine erasing that noise from your memory forever.
Electric cars are basically silent. At high speeds, other parts of the vehicle, like the tires, can make noises, but the engine doesn’t scream. All of those annoying motor-revving and custom exhaust noises could become things of the past. Electric vehicles are so quiet that some lawmakers have pushed to make them louder. By 2020, hybrids and electric vehicles are required to make some type of noise when driving 18.6 miles per hour or more.
Buying an electric car entitles you to receive IRS tax cuts. These incentive programs are designed to help lower the initial cost of investing in an electric car.
The government will shell out rebates amounting from between $2,500.00 to $7,500.00 for the purchase of qualified new electric vehicles. Act now; the IRS electric vehicle tax incentive is only available toward the first 200,000 electric vehicles sold by each manufacturer.
Rebates and incentives to qualifying electric car drivers are also offered on the state level. Check your state’s policies for further information.
They Are Fast
The speed claim isn’t a hard and fast rule for all electric cars, but back in 2015, the electric Tesla Model S P90D beat Bugatti, Ferrari and Lamborghini in acceleration races. Premium electric car models are consistently flying by their gas-guzzling competitors.
Staggering Sticker Price
Electric cars are an expensive initial investment. This is one of the biggest reasons they aren’t more prevalent on roads today. The fast nickel or slow dime saying could apply here. People see the price tag of a new electric car and immediately scrap the idea before learning more about how the electric car could create massive long-term savings. Manufacturers strive to reduce the price of electric vehicles sooner rather than later.
Electric cars can only drive so far before the battery needs recharging. In the list of electric cars pros and cons, this is one of the most convincing cons for owning an electric car. A full charge for most electric cars lasts for around 100 miles before needing a battery fill. Electric models with the longest range can drive for around 150-215 miles before the battery power wanes away.
For those who primarily drive a short daily commute, the range isn’t as big a deal. Electric cars are still not up to snuff for road trips. The EV range is a pressing issue for electric car manufacturers right now. They are all in heightened research and development mode to bring longer range to electric cars.
Recharging the battery of an electric vehicle isn’t the stop-and-go experience found in vehicles running on gasoline. EV batteries take time to charge. Some batteries will hit a full charge after about four hours while others require four times that amount. The downside here revolves around planning. To get from point A to point B every day, electric car drivers will need to make time to charge the battery.
Charging Station Availability
EV charging stations are popping up en masse all around the world, but there are still some blackout areas. As the EV industry grows, so do the amounts of charging stations. Plan ahead to prevent entering a blackout area while traveling.
Fewer Design Options
The massive surge of electric vehicle production in the last decade has provided more aesthetic options than ever. That said, some consumers want more options. Comparatively, there are fewer body styles and models for electric cars.
After reviewing the electric cars pros and cons, it becomes clear that the pros far outweigh the cons. Protecting the Earth and passengers riding in the car, saving money and cutting out harmful noise pollution are all powerful contributions we as individuals can make. The cons found in the electric cars pros and cons list are all points that leaders in the EV industry are working to improve every day. Investing in an electric car is the wave of the future. Let’s not wait until we don’t have a choice.