Should You Buy an Electric Vehicle?
In 2018 over 200,000 electric vehicles (EVs) were sold in the US. It’s the best year to date for EV sales, and as more and more manufacturers are adding EVs to their range, the number is likely to increase yet again this year. If you’re in the market for a new car, or even just daydreaming about a future purchase, you’re probably wondering whether an EV would be a realistic choice for your lifestyle. To help you cut out the noise and decide if making the switch is right for you, here’s a simple guide to the pros and cons of EVs.
Pros of Electric Cars
Zero Tailpipe Emissions
EVs are better for our planet than gasoline cars, and for lots of people, that’s enough motivation to go electric. Gas-powered cars produce carbon emissions as you drive, contributing to the build-up of greenhouse gases which is causing our climate to change. EVs (as the name suggests) run on electricity and so do not produce emissions so are a much greener choice.
Cheaper to Run
In terms of cents per mile, running an EV costs (on average) around a third of what it costs to run a gas-powered car. When you add up those costs over a year of commuting, the savings become significant. In addition, if you have solar panels on your roof, you can use the free electricity they’ve generated to power your car. That’s essentially running a car for free, which is a big pro in anyone’s book.
Easier and Cheaper to Maintain
EVs don’t require anywhere near the same level of maintenance as traditional cars. There are no oil changes and very few moving parts, meaning there are fewer components to wear out. Brakes often last much longer than they do on a gas-powered car and many EV owners go for several years with no repairs needed at all. At some point, the battery in the EV is likely to need replacing, but they come with a warranty and degradation guarantee.
Smooth & Quiet to Drive
EVs have a high torque power as well as a very quick and smooth pickup, both of which make for a great driving experience. They are also renowned for how quiet they are from both inside and outside the car; some models are almost silent which has led to calls from US legislators for the installation of noise-making devices to alert pedestrians that they’re around!
Tax Credits & Privileges
In many cases, EV buyers receive a tax credit for driving a zero-emissions car. Depending on the make and model, this could be as high as $7,500, but there are some conditions you’ll have to meet in order to qualify. What’s more, driving an EV means you’ll be able to use the HOV (“carpool”) lane any time of day which could save you a lot of time and stress on your daily commute.
Cons of an Electric Cars
Higher Purchase Price
Although the average price of an EV is getting closer to the level of the gas-powered car as they are becoming less expensive to produce and the market becomes more competitive, they are still considerably more expensive. The most affordable EV is likely to cost in excess of $30,000 and could be over $80,000 at the high end. It’s possible to get an auto loan to cover the initial cost of the EV, but you’ll need to shop around to get the best interest rates. Online lenders such as RoadLoans make the process relatively quick and simple; find out more in this Roadloans review.
Short Mileage Range
A big drawback for prospective car buyers is the issue of an EVs range. This is how far the car’s battery can travel on a single charge before you need to find a charge point or return home. Most EVs tend to deliver ranges of between 60 – 150 miles; to reach the larger capacities of 250+ you’re looking at a much higher price tag.
Take Hours to Charge
Some EVs can take up to 15 hours to charge fully which is a bit of a shock when you’re used to refueling with gas in a few minutes.
Charging Network is Not Nationwide
You can charge your EV at home and if you live near public charging points, while you’re out on a local errand, but longer journeys may need some planning. You’ll need to know you can recharge at regular points along the route, and in suburban and remote areas they may be few and far between.
There are more EVs on the market than ever before, but still nowhere near as many as the traditional gas-powered cars. If you’re someone with a very particular taste in how a car looks, you may struggle to find a model exactly to your specification.