Electric vehicles are the future. However, switching to an electric car from an ICE is a serious decision. This is why it is important to know the advantages and disadvantages of electric vehicles, especially at this stage of their evolution. However, there is a lot of misinformation about EVs, but this article presents the pros and cons of electric cars. After reading to the end, you will be able to decide whether an electric vehicle is for you yet.
Pros of electric cars
Like many owners will testify, electric cars have many advantages. We will consider the major ones below.
An electric car will reduce your carbon footprint
An electric car does not have an exhaust pipe as it doesn’t burn hydrocarbon fuel. Instead, it is powered by a battery that stores the energy that moves the car. As a result, EV owners do not directly produce greenhouse gases polluting the air and leading to health hazards when driving. Instead, the carbon footprint of EVs depends heavily on the power sources used to generate the power for the vehicles in the first place. The higher the efficiency of the power produced for the electrical grid is, the lower the carbon footprint for each driven mile is for the EV.
The indirectly produced CO2 can be reduced even further by charging your EV with power produced from renewable sources. You can request your utility company to supply you with electricity produced sustainably in some places. You may also install your own solar panel at home.
If you are interested in more information about the CO2 emission depending on the country you live in, feel free to take a look at our tool to calculate the emission.
Electric cars save you money
Electric car owners pay less to charge their batteries than their peers driving ICEs. Electricity costs less than gas in most places, making it smart to switch. Home charging also reduces the cost significantly. You can even save more in the long run by investing in your own solar charging option.
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.
Electric cars offer a more comfortable experience
When you switch to an electric car, the first thing you will notice is the ease of ‘refueling.’ Instead of driving over to a gas station, you can easily charge in the comfort of your home. You can charge when you prefer and for how long you want as the charger is meant for you alone.
EV drivers have also noticed the quietness of their cars. The internal combustion engine makes lots of noise due to the moving parts, but the electric motor in an EV works quietly. If you want your solitude, you can take your EV for a spin or even just enjoy your music during your commutes. EVs also sometimes offer more storage space, especially when built from the ground up as battery-powered. The space under the hood where the ICE should have been can be converted into extra cargo space often referred to as frunk or front trunk.
The acceleration of an electric motor is a lot higher than the acceleration of a common combustion motor because the electric motor reaches its maximum torque a lot faster than its counterpart. This is also the reason why EVs don’t need to shift between different gears.
Electric cars are more efficient and offer more performance
Electric cars convert more of the energy supplied to them into motion than ICEs, making them a more energy-efficient way to get around. Also, they usually offer faster acceleration because they get instant torque. For example, some EVs can go from zero to 60 mph in under four seconds.
Electric cars can help the grid
As EV manufacturers look for ways to add value to their products, they have developed many useful technologies. One example is vehicle-2-grid or V2G technologies, which allows the vehicle to supply energy from the battery, making the flow of electricity two-way. The power from the battery can be supplied to the national grid, which helps with stability during periods of high demand. It can also power the home or other electric implements like drills, party equipment like speakers, or charge another EV. In effect, an electric car is a massive mobile power bank. By using this functionality and charging smart, the power demand curve in the grid can be flattened. This effect benefits the supply of renewable energies. Imagine EVs being charged, when the wind is strong or the sun is shining during the day and the battery of electric vehicles helping to supply the household during the times with less wind or during the night.
Electric vehicles are known for requiring less maintenance. This is because they do not have parts that wear out easily. EV owners don’t even need an oil change.
The reduced maintenance means your EV is more reliable, reducing the amount you spend on your car.
Cons of electric cars
While having many advantages, electric cars have some disadvantages. Below are some of the drawbacks.
Electric cars have limited ranges
Electric vehicles generally have shorter driving ranges than comparable ICEs. This could be a problem for drivers who cover more distances daily, leading to range anxiety. The problem is that having larger batteries makes the car more expensive and heavier.
However, modern EVs offer longer ranges, and it is not unusual for models to offer less than 250 miles on a single charge.
This covers a huge part of the daily trips by an average driver. About 95% of all trips are shorter than 30 miles.
Longer charging times
EVs take longer to charge than how long it takes to fill an ICE tank with gas. Level 2 chargers may take up to eight hours to fill up the battery. Even faster Level 3 charging may take up to an hour to charge. This may be critical during long trips where you need to stop for a recharge or trucking companies that need to meet up with strict delivery schedules.
Lack of charging infrastructure
Electric vehicles do not have a supporting charging infrastructure as prevalent as gas stations. This poses a problem when your battery level goes down when you are out or have to cover lots of miles. Some areas lack public EV chargers more than others, especially outside the major highly-populated cities. It is important to confirm what is available in your area.
EVs cost more
EVs are more expensive, which can be a problem for some buyers on a budget. Most of the cost is due to the battery, which is costly to manufacture or procure. As such, the electric models that offer longer ranges are expensive.
On the flip side, battery costs are reducing, thanks to breakthroughs in battery technology. This will translate to lower prices eventually.
Battery production and disposal could be environmentally problematic
Battery manufacturing involves materials that are dangerous to mine. The process may also generate harmful waste products and consume a lot of water. When the batteries get old, they may pollute the environment if not correctly disposed of.
However, more research and development have been mitigating these two cons. Some battery makers are switching the dangerous materials for better options, while battery recycling and repurposing take care of old batteries.
Here is a short summary of electric cars’ pros and cons:
|Reducing carbon footprint||Limited range|
|Saving money||Long charging times|
|Comfortable experience||Lack of charging infrastructure|
|Energy efficiency and performance||Models prices|
|Vehicle-to-grid (V2G)||Battery production|
Electric cars have pros and cons. However, they remain the best option for the environment. Also, EV makers are working on eliminating most of the cons.