There are many reasons to consider purchasing an electric car than sticking with a conventional car. Although electric vehicle ownership is on the rise, there are common concerns that may be holding you back from making the leap from a gas-powered vehicle to an electric vehicle. This guide will take you through the numerous benefits of owning an electric car, while also tackling the three main cons of electric vehicles—upfront cost, charging time, and range anxiety. By the end, you will feel confident in knowing the truth about EVs and the countless upsides to moving away from a gas vehicle.
What are the pros and cons of electric cars
The main crux of the electric vehicle conversation is around cost, misconceptions about battery life, performance, and convenience. However, when facts regarding the pros and cons of electric vehicles are laid out, it is immediately clear how worthwhile shifting to electric can be.
The pros of owning an electric car
Electric vehicles offer a wide range of benefits for both EV owners and the environment. Some of the high-level pros of driving electric include:
- Reduced emissions – Not only do electric cars produce no tailpipe emissions into our ailing atmosphere, but these positive effects can be further enhanced by powering your car with electricity from renewable energy sources, like solar power. When compared to a gasoline vehicle, electric vehicle emissions are significantly lower, which reduces CO2 emission, lowering your carbon footprint.
- Electrifying performance – Because electric cars don't rely on internal combustion engines, you can enjoy a smooth, quiet ride with better acceleration and less required maintenance than a conventional vehicle.
- No more gas costs – On average, Americans spend around $3,000 every year on gas, depending on their state and car’s fuel efficiency. With a fully electric car, your gas bill will be reduced to zero, so your wallet can feel just as good as your smooth, electric ride.
- Lower maintenance costs – Do electric cars save you money? The short answer is yes. Because electric cars are not powered by a complex internal combustion engine, the recurring costs associated with gas-fueled vehicles don’t apply. Gone are the days of oil changes and costly, inconvenient engine work. Not to mention, with regenerative braking your brakes won’t wear as quickly and will not need replacing as often.
- Incentives and rebates – Depending on which country or state you are in, you may be eligible for many attractive tax credits and incentives that lower the cost of your electric vehicle considerably, offsetting the upfront price of electric cars that usually turns new buyers away. This is further outlined in the Infrastructure Bill EV Credit.
Debunking the cons
Although the benefits are attractive, many consumers are hesitant to pull the trigger on an electric car due to concerns over range, charging, and costs. Not only do the benefits of owning an electric car far outweigh the costs, but also many of these common concerns are either misapprehensions or will soon be non-issues due to rapid technological improvements.
Range anxiety is perhaps the most pervasive fear of driving an electric vehicle. Concerns that the range of EV models will leave drivers stranded or inconvenienced as they wait for drawn-out charging times. While these concerns are understandable, they are often blown out of proportion and do not reflect the realities of driving an EV.
Here’s why you shouldn’t worry:
- Electric vehicles can go far on a single charge. For the 2021 model year, the median range for EVs was 234 miles. While this pales in comparison to many longer-range electric models, this range still exceeds the distance that most consumers commute on a day to day basis. As long as drivers plug in every night or two, even the lowest range EVs can fulfill most drivers’ needs.
- As technology improves, electric vehicle ranges will increase rapidly. Some EVs are already exceeding 500+ miles in range. Range anxiety will soon be a thing of the past.
- Just like driving any gas-powered car, you will know when your car is in need of a charge and can thus make charging decisions around your commutes to avoid inopportune driving situations. Rest assured, you will not unexpectedly run out of charge in the middle of the freeway.
- Most electric vehicles are designed with a “turtle mode,” which reduces power when the car is at a low battery, giving you a few more miles to drive to your nearest charging station before your car stops completely.
At-home charging and installation
Consumers may find it inconvenient and even intimidating to charge electric vehicles. However, as the electric vehicle market grows, finding where to charge an electric car won't be difficult. There’s certainly no shortage of public charging stations or at-home charging options to choose from. Even tenants can urge property managers to install EV charger at an apartment for their convenience. Many drivers are also concerned that charging takes too long, however, as battery technology improves this too will be an issue of the past.
Here’s why you shouldn’t worry:
- Charging your electric vehicle overnight as a habit will mitigate concerns of long charging times, as you can charge your battery and wake up in the morning with a full charge with no inconvenience to your daily routine.
- If you need to charge your car away from home, public EV charging stations are springing up everywhere, providing a convenient means to charge up while running errands or while at work.
- With the JuiceBox home EV charging station, you can easily, quickly, and affordably charge your electric vehicle at home. With smart capabilities, such as a mobile app that allows you to schedule your charging session, monitor your charging status, and optimize your charging to reduce energy costs, home charging has never been easier.
Battery life and maintenance costs
Although electric vehicles have lower maintenance costs when compared to internal combustion cars, some consumers have concerns regarding battery wear and costly battery replacement. These concerns, though valid, will soon be squashed by improved battery efficiency and forthcoming engineering developments.
Here’s why you shouldn’t worry:
- Electric vehicle batteries are getting more efficient every year. Lithium-ion cell energy density increases at about 7% yearly, resulting in better performance at a lower cost.
- Because electric vehicles are still in their infancy, there is a lot more data required to make any conclusive claims about EV battery life. Although most claim electric batteries last about ten years, Tesla’s batteries have shown to only decrease in approximately 10% of their energy capacity after 100,000 miles of driving.
- Furthermore, most popular electric car manufacturers offer attractive warranties on their EV battery packs that mitigate many—if not all—the costs associated with replacing said batteries.
If battery life is still a concern, here are a few ways to improve your electric car’s battery life:
- Reduce exposure to high temperatures – If you are in a temperate climate, you’re in luck. If not, consider storing your car in the shade, and be mindful of garage temperatures.
- Don’t overcharge your battery – Charging your electric car past its voltage limit can damage the battery and reduce its longevity. Most cars have built-in management systems to prevent this.
- Do not drain the battery completely – Your electric car battery capacity will decrease over time if you frequently drain it completely. Try to avoid this by introducing regular charging to your weekly routine. Think about it like charging your phone—make it a habit you don’t even have to think about.
- Avoid aggressive driving patterns – This involves not pulling excessive amounts of current from your battery in a short amount of time. Just practice safe and steady driving and you’ll be killing two birds with one stone.
Electric cars are more expensive
Finally, one of the biggest issues surrounding EVs: are electric cars more expensive than conventional cars? Currently, yes. However, many studies have shown that as technology advances, the costs associated with owning an electric car may be lower than those of gas-powered cars as early as three years from now.
Here’s why you shouldn’t worry:
- Just by cutting gas costs alone, an electric car will be less expensive in the long run. Currently, electric cars pay themselves off in about six years, depending on local gas prices and the type of car. However, as batteries get better and lighter, this payoff time will decrease even further.
- Powering your car with electricity generated from at-home solar panel charging can eliminate higher costs and further present a financial advantage by reducing your energy bill for the rest of your home.
- Although the upfront cost of owning an electric car is still higher than purchasing a comparable conventional vehicle, this cost can be viewed as a worthy upfront investment for valuable long-term benefits in cost and energy savings.
Choose the right car for you, today
It is evident that the advantages of owning an electric vehicle far outweigh the disadvantages, but it is also important that you choose the right electric car for you. Some factors to consider are:
- Battery life – Different models of electric cars use different methods of battery cooling that may affect battery longevity.
- Driving range – Depending on your typical commute and driving habits, it may be worth it to shell out a bit more money for a more expensive electric car with a higher driving range. Also take into consideration the charging infrastructure of your local area.
- Battery warranty – Consult your manufacturer before purchasing an electric car to better understand your rights should once your battery ever needs replacing.
- Price point – As the electric vehicle market blossoms, the variety of electric vehicle options is steadily increasing, with many affordable options coming to market that are worthy considerations for a new consumer.
Most importantly, enjoy your smooth electrifying ride and rest assured that as you step on the pedal, you are doing both your planet and your wallet a favor.