It’s no secret that electric cars have been growing in popularity in recent years.
If the extra Teslas, Nissan LEAFs, and Chevy Bolts sharing the road with you hasn’t proven that, the stats back it up. One in fifty new car registrations were all-electric in 2020, up over 10% from 2019.
And this isn’t all. Analysts believe that in 20 years, more than half of new vehicle sales will be electric cars.
So what’s the hype about? What are the pros and cons of electric cars?
If you’re curious to learn about the ups and downs of owning an electric car, read on for 5 pros and cons of electric cars you should know about.
The benefits of electric cars run the gamut from environmental to economical concerns. Here are five major upsides to owning an electric car:
1. It’s the Greenest Option
In the US, transportation is our greatest source of greenhouse gas emissions, making up 28%. This is more than electricity production (27%) or industry (22%).
Since electric cars have zero emissions, making the switch from gas-powered vehicles is one of the greatest ways that you as an individual can make a positive impact on our collective carbon footprint.
2. It Saves Money On Fuel…
While gasoline prices can fluctuate considerably, one thing is consistent: it’s more expensive than electricity. A 2018 study found that the cost of operating an electric vehicle was less than half that of a gas-powered one.
And while the fuel economy of gas-powered vehicles has barely changed in the last several decades, electric vehicles are continuing to become more efficient each year.
These facts paint a clear picture: your wallet will notice the difference in the day-to-day costs of driving an electric car.
3. …And Maintenance
On top of fuel economy, one of the big economical benefits of electric cars is that they cost very little to maintain.
Gas-powered motors are highly complex machines. This complexity and the number of moving parts means that there’s a lot of wear and tear and more room for things to go wrong.
Electric vehicles, on the other hand, are mechanically very simple. This simplicity means that you can drive much longer in an electric car before needing maintenance. What maintenance does have to happen is usually minimal (read: less expensive).
4. It’s Nearly Silent
Driving in an electric car for the first time, you’ll immediately notice how incredibly quiet it is. With no rumbling or roaring motor, you can hear your music, your phone call, or your passengers with ease. It makes for a much more tranquil driving experience.
5. Amazing Acceleration
One of the most impressive differences between the electric car and its gas-powered predecessor is the difference in acceleration.
In a gas-powered vehicle, power is progressively generated in the motor and routed to the wheels via mechanical components. This means that power has to build and efficiency is lost in the transfer.
Electric motors do away with the middle-man and provide power directly to the wheels. They also naturally generate more torque. This translates to blisteringly fast acceleration.
The clear benefits of electric cars make them a great choice in many cases. However, there are still a few drawbacks that might keep drivers from making the switch.
1. The Initial Price Tag
The cost of electric cars remains one of the biggest downsides. While they end up being much cheaper to operate and maintain over the years, the technology isn’t cheap. The initial price tags on them tend to be considerably higher than a gas-powered alternative.
On the other hand, since electric cars have been around for a few years now, you can find a variety of price points. (A new Tesla will run you more than a used Nissan, for example.)
2. Recharging Can Take a While
While filling your gas tank takes no more than a couple of minutes at the pump, charging your electric car can take many hours, depending on what type of charger you use.
On the flip side, this can be done while at work or overnight, so whether it would end up being an inconvenience for you depends on your lifestyle and driving needs.
3. Fewer Options
Electric car brands remain less plentiful than traditional ones. For the most part, traditional car companies only produce one or two electric models. For this reason, you won’t find nearly as broad a variety of electric car models as you will gas-powered ones.
4. Availability of Charging Stations
In many parts of the country, there’s a gas station on practically every corner. Electric vehicle charging stations, on the other hand, are comparatively few and far between.
While they are becoming more plentiful, this can still be an issue for longer-distance drives. Planning ahead becomes more important when driving an electric car.
5. Generally Shorter Range
Have you heard the term, “range anxiety?” It’s the fear that some electric vehicle owners feel when going on a longer drive and being unsure of whether they can make it to the next charging station in time.
The range of electric cars is steadily improving but it’s still generally lower than that of gas-powered vehicles. Coupled with the much longer refill times and more limited availability of charging points, it’s easy to understand where range anxiety comes from.
Overall Pros and Cons of Electric Cars
The benefits of electric cars are clear and convincing. They’re better for the environment, cheaper to own and operate in the long run, and a pleasure to drive.
However, they aren’t without their drawbacks. With high up-front costs, fewer options, and more limited ability to refuel, it’s easy to understand why we haven’t all made the switch to electric.
When it comes to deciding whether going electric makes sense for you, consider your driving needs and the pros and cons of electric cars. If you live in an area with plenty of charging stations or only drive for commuting and don’t plan on a cross-country road trip, it could make good sense to go modern with an electric vehicle.
If you’re not convinced yet, keep an eye out for improving technologies. Most analysts agree that electric vehicles are the way of the future – once the kinks are worked out.
If you found this post informative, be sure to check out others in the More Auto Information category of the site!