Pros And Cons Of Electric Cars

Nowadays, electric cars are part of our daily life. EVs offer many benefits, but still many concerns about driving electric cars are being mentioned. This article highlights the benefits and discusses the concerns. 

Pros & cons of electric cars banner

1. Pros of electric cars

The EV market is growing, but electric cars still represent just a small fraction of the total car sales in the world. The diagram below shows the global market share of EVs. We see, that the share is still very small (1.3% in 2017) but the growth is accelerated.

Percent of the global electric vehicles sales

A. Reducing CO2 Emissions

Fighting climate change, electric cars are a great alternative to fuel vehicles as they don’t emit CO2 into the atmosphere while driving. However, the EVs are not completely free of emitting CO2. Speaking about the effective emission, we have to take the emission for energy production for EVs into account. The CO2 emission for energy production varies for each country. This way, the real emission of CO2 per electrically driven mile varies between the countries in which the vehicle is charged. If you are interested in more information about the CO2 emission depending on the country, feel free to take a look at our tool to calculate the emission

On top of the emission, while driving the EV, there is CO2 emitted in the production of the vehicle and especially in the production of the batteries. But despite this, the carbon footprint of electric cars remains better than the carbon footprint of conventional cars. 

By charging at home, and potentially using renewable energy or smart management tools, the decrease of the negative impacts on the environment can be maximized.

B. Saving some money

In the long term, driving electric cars can help people save a lot of money.

Charging an electric car is much cheaper than fuelling gasoline or diesel-powered vehicle. We invite you to check our article Does an electric car save you money? to calculate your potential savings if you would drive an EV.

Maintaining an electric car cost less than maintaining a gas-driven car. Indeed, EVs do not require oil changes or any other maintenance related to combustion engines.

Moreover, governments are more and more concerned in terms of environmental and want to reduce CO2 emissions. In many countries, governments provide financial incentives encouraging their citizens to purchase electric vehicles. 

C. Charging at home

We already mentioned it above, but one of the most enjoyable benefits of EVs is that they can be charged at home. People can simply plug in their vehicles after they return home from their trip, while they sleep or do something else and leave the next day with a battery fully charged. Home charging stations are a time saver and help to avoid long queues at public stations.

D. The pleasure of driving an electric vehicle

Driving a car with an electric motor has two major benefits for car combustion engines. 

  • The electric motor reacts very quickly and can deliver the maximum torque a lot quicker than a combustion engine. This makes the acceleration of EVs a special experience. Seeing companies like Rimac showing their concept cars, we can expect great EVs on the market in the future.
  • The sound of the electric engine is a lot lower than of combustion engines. Making the drive in EVs more comfortable. 

We’ve seen that EVS offers many benefits but they also have some disadvantages.

2. Cons of electric cars

A. Autonomy/Range

For years and years, the range of EVs has been one of the major concerns when people discuss EVs. We want to bring some light in the discussion about the maximum distance that can be driven by the EVs on the market.

In the past couple of years, the standards for the limited range have been improved constantly by the manufacturers. But how far does one need to drive? 

Here is a diagram showing the most frequent destinations of the US population. 

EV destination of trips in percent in the US

And how far are trips on average? This is shown in the next graph. 

Electric car average distance by destination in the US

The average distance for all trips is a bit longer than 10 miles. Looking at the average numbers, these trips could all be managed easily by EVs.

Just to mention two examples (Source:

  • Volkswagen e-Golf (2019) 125 miles range (25,290$ *)
  • Hyundai Ioniq Electric 124 miles range (23,735$ *)

These numbers, of course, do not represent all the trips. To get a better feeling for the distribution of the trip distance we want to give you another overview. The graph shows the distribution of the traveled distance per trip in the US. We can see, that 95% of all the trips are shorter than 30 miles and trips longer than 200 miles occur less than 1% of the time.

EV distribution of the traveled distance per trip in the US

If we compare this graph with the range of EV models in the market like the Model S long-range 325 miles range (86,450$*), the Audi E-Tron 204 miles range (68,295$ *) or the Jaguar I-Pace 234 miles range (31,995$ *) we see that in the majority of the trips, only a fraction of the maximum range is being traveled.

This does not just go for the upper-priced vehicles but also the Chevrolet Bolt EV (2019) 238 miles range (33,746$*) or the Nissan Leaf e+ S (62kWh) (2019) 226 miles range (29,945$*) can manage those distances easily.

B. The availability of charging stations

When thinking about driving electric, people understand the need to have sufficient charging stations available. Typically, the infrastructure is set up in urban areas prior to rural areas. We compared the traveled miles in the US for 2016 for you to show that the driven miles in rural areas only make up about 30% of all driven miles in the US.

Electric vehicles miles distribution in the US

Of course, these numbers just represent the traveled miles in the US. Each driver has to tackle this concern for his specific case.

If you are facing this specific concern, feel free to take a look at our charging stations map. Maybe the map can help you to check if there are sufficient charging stations in your area. If not, maybe a home charging station is a solution to your potential needs.

C. The charging time

The time that the charging requires varies greatly between the multiple charging solutions offered. In our other section, we focus on this specific concern. 

Feel free to use our EV charging time calculator and calculate the charging time for a specific vehicle and charging station combination.

D. EVs prices

The number of EVs offered is still limited, for this reason, the prices are sometimes quite high. We see an increase in the variety of the models year by year. By now almost every big manufacturer (e.g. BMW, Mercedes, Nissan, Fiat, Jaguar) offers EVs in the market and new manufacturers (e.g. Tesla) focusing on EV are joining them. The prices of the models vary as well. 

For those concerned about the cost of charging, especially for charging at home we provide a calculator, helping to estimate the costs for charging at home.

If you’re thinking about investing in an electric vehicle, we really advise you to consider the pros and cons before making your decision.

Here a summary of electric cars pros and cons:

Pros (Advantages)Cons (Disadvantages)
Reducing CO2 EmissionsLimited autonomy/range
Saving some moneyLack of charging stations infrastructure
Charging at homeLong charging time
Quiet and quickEVs price and lack of consumer choices

*Price after tax credit