Compared to conventional gasoline-powered vehicles, electric vehicles offer many advantages, but they also have some disadvantages. The question of whether to purchase an all-electric vehicle (AEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), or a gasoline-powered new car is one of the most important for prospective buyers of electric cars.
How do electric cars work?
A vehicle powered by a battery that has been charged by an external electricity source is an electric car. There are numerous categories of Electric and Hybrid vehicles, including battery-only vehicles and plug-in hybrids that employ both electric and internal combustion engine technology.
Pros and cons of electric cars
Electric cars are growing in popularity every day. Just like conventional cars, there are certain benefits and drawbacks of using an electric car compared to using a gasoline-powered car. Here are the top few to keep in mind:
|Pros of electric cars||Cons of electric cars|
|Electric cars are energy efficient||Electric cars can’t travel as far|
|Electric cars reduce emissions||“Fueling” takes longer|
|Electric cars require lower maintenance|
On the plus side, electric cars are energy efficient, environmentally friendly, and require less maintenance than traditional gas-powered vehicles. On the negative side, you can’t travel as far between refuelings, refueling takes longer than filling up at a gas station, and initial costs can be prohibitive.
We will examine these pros and cons in greater depth below.
Advantages of electric cars
Electric cars are energy efficient
Energy efficiency refers to the amount of energy from the fuel source that is converted into usable energy for driving a vehicle’s wheels. AEVs, such as those offered by Tesla, are significantly more efficient than conventional gas-powered vehicles: AEV batteries convert 59 to 62% of energy into vehicle movement, whereas gas-powered vehicles convert only 17 to 21%. This means that charging the battery of an AEV contributes more to actually powering the vehicle than filling the tank with gasoline.
Electric cars reduce emissions
Emissions and carbon footprint reduction, as well as reduced fuel consumption, are another advantage of all-electric vehicles. Due to their reliance on rechargeable batteries, electric vehicles do not produce tailpipe emissions, a major source of pollution in the United States. Additionally, the rechargeable battery reduces fuel costs, allowing all energy to be sourced domestically (and often through renewable energy resources such as solar panel systems).
Today’s light-duty AEVs can travel 100 miles while consuming only 25 to 40 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, thanks to advances in battery technology. Assuming your electric vehicle can travel three miles per kWh, it can travel approximately 43 miles for $1.00. Assuming gas costs $2.50 per gallon, a typical gasoline vehicle with a fuel economy of 22 miles per gallon will only be able to travel 10 miles for the same price. An electric vehicle can travel nearly four times as far for the same cost of gasoline.
Electric cars perform well and don’t need much maintenance
All-electric vehicles are high-performance vehicles with motors that are not only quiet and smooth but also require less maintenance, such as an oil change, than internal combustion engines. The driving experience can also be enjoyable because AEV motors are responsive and have high torque. AEVs are typically more digitally connected with charging stations, allowing for options such as app-based control of charging.
Disadvantages of electric cars
Electric cars can travel less distance
AEVs have, on average, a shorter range than gasoline-powered vehicles. Some luxury models have ranges of 300 miles per charge, while the majority of models have ranges between 60 and 120 miles per charge. Comparatively, gas-powered vehicles have an average range of approximately 300 miles per tank of gas, with more fuel-efficient vehicles having significantly greater ranges. This may be a concern if you frequently take long trips and are considering AEVs. The availability of charging stations can reduce the suitability of AEVs for activities such as road trips.
Electric cars can take a long time to recharge
Fueling an all-electric vehicle can also be problematic. With a Level 1 or Level 2 charger, fully recharging the battery pack can take up to eighty hours, and even fast charging stations require thirty minutes to charge to 80 percent capacity. Because running out of power cannot be remedied with a quick stop at the gas station, drivers of electric vehicles must make more careful preparations.
Electric cars can be expensive
Electric vehicles (EVs) typically have a higher purchase price, but they can save you money over time because they require less maintenance and are cheaper to charge than gas-powered vehicles. In addition, although battery packs in EVs are more expensive than those in conventional vehicles, they have a lengthy lifespan and come with 8- to 10-year warranties. Therefore, it is unlikely that you will need to pay for a replacement out of pocket. Federal incentives and sometimes state-specific incentives are also available to help reduce the initial purchase price of electric vehicles. BMW, Hyundai, and Chevrolet are among the many automakers that now offer electric vehicles.
Pros and cons of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles offer many of the same advantages as all-electric cars. PHEVs are excellent vehicles for reducing emissions and fuel consumption. On short trips, your PHEV may not need to switch from its all-electric motor to its gas-powered motor, in which case the vehicle emits zero tailpipe emissions. Moreover, PHEVs consume 30 to 60% less fuel than conventional gasoline-powered vehicles. The amount of greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced even further if the electricity is derived from renewable sources.
PHEVs are also excellent options for drivers who cannot commit to a fully electric vehicle due to driving and charging requirements. Unlike AEVs, which are limited by their battery range, plug-in hybrids can continue to operate and even recharge their batteries by using fuel when the battery runs out. Typically, PHEVs have better fuel economy than their gasoline-powered counterparts.
Similar to an AEV, one of the disadvantages of owning a PHEV is the time required to recharge the battery. Even though PHEV batteries are typically smaller than AEV batteries, a Level 1 charger can still take several hours to fully charge a PHEV battery. Level 2 charging can take between one and four hours. In addition, while fast charging is possible, the majority of PHEVs lack this capability.
As with AEVs, PHEVs are more expensive than the majority of gas-powered vehicles. Fuel savings, tax credits, and state incentives can help offset these costs, and as PHEV production increases, these costs may decline.
Are electric vehicles worth it?
All-electric vehicles and plug-in electric vehicles are ideal for drivers who want to reduce emissions, save money on fuel, and drive attractive vehicles. However, battery charging can take a long time, which may not be suitable for driving needs, and the upfront costs make these vehicles a more expensive investment. It is ultimately up to the driver to determine whether or not this type of vehicle is appropriate, and if so, to take additional steps to reduce emissions by integrating solar panel charging systems.
Frequently asked questions about electric cars
What is the downside to electric cars?
Some disadvantages to buying electric cars include the fact that electric cars can travel less distance than gas-powered vehicles, being able to find EV charging stations, and higher initial costs.
Is it worth buying an electric car?
Electric vehicles can be potentially less expensive than gas-powered vehicles because of a combination of saving money in maintenance as well as spending less to power your car compared to using fossil fuels.
What is the range of electric cars?
Most electric cars have a range of between 60-120 miles per charge with luxury cars having ranges of up to 300 miles on a full charge.
How do you charge an electric vehicle?
All AVE drivers have to do is find a charging station and plug-in wherever you park. Depending on where you go you may need to use an app, or debit/credit card.