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February 01, 2019

The latest thing that has taken the automobile industry by storm is electric cars. You mayn’t realize it, but electric vehicles are hitting the streets silently faster than ever. Automobile manufacturers across the globe are focusing their development and research efforts on sustainable electric cars.

With electric vehicles proliferating at a good rate, you may be thinking of buying one. Before you proceed, take a look at these advantages and disadvantages of electric cars that we’ve outlined here.

Pros

Cheaper operating costs

Even with fuel prices remaining affordable, it costs comparatively less money to run an electric vehicle. The expense per mile of running on electricity is substantially less than with fuel. In addition, apart from many workplaces, you can also find a number of shopping malls that offer free charging.

Reduced wear and tear

Electric cars are propelled by batteries and don’t require a mechanical engine to run. Additionally, owing an electric car means you’re free from various mechanical trappings that are common with an internal combustion engine of a fuel-powered car. This not only eliminates costs associated with things like oil filters, spark plugs, valves, certain pumps etc, but also helps you save significantly on the long-term as well.

Quite and quick

Unlike a traditional engine, an electric motor instantly generates 100% of its available torque. Wheels get the power immediately that results into brisk passing abilities and quick off-the-line launches. You just have to take one ride in an electric car to understand the quiet and smooth ride quality. All you need to do is step on the accelerator and start enjoying the exhilarating driving experience.

Ease of recharging

With an electric car, you’d never have to visit a gas station again. All you need to do is pull into your driveway or garage, reach out to a plug, and push it into the charging inlet. Unless you’re an interstate traveler who needs to travel hundreds of miles at one go, it should be very convenient to you. The charging task can become slightly difficult if you’re living in apartments or condos, but there’s hope as access to workplace and multi-family charging is spreading at a good pace.

Better for the environment

Driving an electric vehicle means you’ll be driving a car that generates zero emissions. With the detrimental impact of global warming taking bigger form with every passing day, you’d be doing your best in ensuring a greener environment for everybody, while contributing to a less polluted world for the future generations.

Perfect for urban driving

If you’re a city dweller, you should already know that stop-and-go is the common driving norm here. Gas-powered vehicles can perform more efficiently on the highway, but electric cars excel in city driving. For people living in a city and looking for an efficient car for everyday commuting, buying an electric car makes a lot of sense.

Electric cars are more affordable with incentives

A majority of new electric vehicles are eligible for a federal tax credit, which brings down the final price payable significantly. Some states offer added incentives that can make the deal even more attractive. However, it’s important to note that these federal credits aren’t permanent, and are organized to phase out during the particular calendar year once an auto manufacturer sells 200,000 units of plug-in hybrid and/or full electric models.

Used electric vehicles are quite cheap

This may sound like a bane for actual owners of electric cars looking to sell their vehicle, but it’s good news for used electric vehicle buyers. Prices of used electric cars are significantly lower because of factors like limited demand. In addition, because of their range limitations used electric vehicles tend to be driven comparatively fewer miles than their new counterparts, which mean they typically endure less wear and tear.

Good mileage on a single charge

Across the globe, electric vehicle manufacturers are doing their best to leverage the latest in battery technology to make the cars more practical for both road-trip warriors and regular drivers. For instance, the Chevrolet Bolt boasts of an operating range of 238 miles on a single charge, while the Tesla Model S can go for a whooping 335 miles in its top model.

Additional privileges

If you own an electric car, based on where you reside, you may be able to drive through the carpool lane without having to travel with additional riders. We have another article named "Can I drive in the carpool lane with my electric car?" You can also read this article to have more knowledge about carpool lane. Also, you might be able to enjoy perks like free street parking, and park your car in reserved spots in airport and/or municipal lots.

Cons

Like almost everything in life, electric cars also come with their fair share of disadvantages. Here’re the most common ones among them.

Limited public charging stations

Though the infrastructure of public charging facilities for electric vehicles is growing, it’s still not widely available like the gas stations are. Usually, you’ll find them at public parking garages, retail parking lots, and new-car dealerships in locations where electric vehicles are most prevalent.

Inconsistent range issues

Every electric vehicle comes with an estimated driving range set by the government as well as by the manufacturer. But this figure can be quite difficult to achieve when it comes to real-world driving. For example, weather can play a big barrier in accomplishing this driving range. In cold weather, this estimated range can drop significantly. In addition, electric vehicles perform better under gentle touch, which make them not an ideal option for heavy-footed drivers.

Long refueling time

Along with the concerns about range come the issues associated with the time electric cars take to be juiced up. Usually, electric vehicles can add a range of around 20 to 25 miles in an hour of charging by a 240-volt electricity source. As you can’t run down to a gas station and get your car refueled for a couple of hundred miles, many road trips aren’t advisable unless you surely remember to plugin your vehicle before going to sleep.

More expensive

The current lot of electric vehicles is priced between $30,000 and $40,000 in most cases. It makes electric cars significantly more expensive than comparably equipped gas-powered vehicles. Although a number of tax credit discounts, state incentives, and government rebates are made available to customers, the above average initial asking price for an electric car may seem to be out of reach for typical buyers looking for some value in the purchase. In addition, battery packs within an electric vehicle are expensive and you may need to replace them more than once over the car’s lifetime, which can bring in a significant amount of additional cost to bear.

Fewer consumer options

Though the scenario is changing with several auto manufacturers setting aggressive goals of releasing a number of electric models in the coming years in diversified segments, there aren’t as many models as you would like to take your pick from today. This makes your buying options for these cars extremely limited as compared to their gas-powered counterparts. In addition, though the upcoming trend is to offer electric versions of present attractive models instead of futuristic looking models, style of today’s popular electric vehicles may feel like polarized to some people. To learn what these popular models are, you can also read our previous article named, "What are the ten best electric cars on the market?" .

Less availability of used electric vehicles

As the sale of new electric vehicles isn’t huge, used electric cars aren’t available in a plenty. Apart from limited used car models, if you don’t live in a prominent city, it may become difficult to find a long list of used electric cars to take your pick from.

Shorter mileage

Usually, electric vehicles come with a shorter range compared to gas-powered vehicles. A majority of the models offer a range between 60 and 120 miles with some luxury models reaching the mark of 300 miles. This may be an issue for those who take long trips frequently.

Not ideal for areas with shortage of power

As electric vehicles need power to get charged, areas that face acute power shortage aren’t ideal for electric vehicles. The consumption of power by the vehicle can hamper the owners’ regular power needs.

Final thoughts

Overall, electric cars, like any vehicle, need to be assessed based on your vehicle usage and personal needs. There’re certain advantages and disadvantages like the above that come with owning an electric car. An electric vehicle can be a go-to option for drivers who want to reduce fuel costs and emissions while driving a nice vehicle. On the flip side, higher upfront costs mean that the car is a larger investment. Apart from the above mentioned cons, silence can sometimes be quite a disadvantage for people want to hear noise if they’re coming from behind. An electric vehicle is silent by nature and thus, can lead to accidents for careless drivers. Total range is another factor that you should consider before you go shopping for your electric vehicle. Even the best-in-segment offers 335 miles of total range, while a typical four-cylinder vehicle gives around 370 miles on a full tank of gas. This limited total range can be a big issue for some people. For some people PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) can be an alternative but they also bring in some disadvantages. These include longer time to recharge the battery, higher price tag, and the lack of fast charging ability in a majority of PHEVs, among others. So, before you finalize your purchase, consider all the pros and cons discussed here and do some thorough research.

 


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