Electric cars were just a fantasy of scientists and auto lovers decades ago, but now they’ve become a reality. In fact, as of September 2015, more than one million highway-legal electric vehicles (or EVs) have been sold around the world. In the U.S., more than 400,000 plug-in electric cars have been sold as of December 2015, and this accounts for over 30 percent of the worldwide stock of plug-in EVs. Other countries, such as Japan, Estonia, the Netherlands, Norway, and China, are also adopting electric cars and establishing infrastructure that encourage the use of these vehicles.
Electric cars are seen by many as one of the solutions to the global problem of carbon emissions. However, there are lots of people who think that EVs aren’t really as wonderful as they seem and may even be harmful. To understand both sides of this story, you have to learn about the pros and cons of electric cars.
List of Pros of Electric Cars
1. They don’t produce tailpipe emissions.
One of the biggest benefits of electric cars is that they’re more environmentally friendly than traditional vehicles. Since they don’t burn fossil fuels, they don’t produce a lot of carbon emissions and contribute to the greenhouse effect. This can be a huge plus for people who want to reduce their carbon footprint and help in saving the environment.
2. They can be charged at home.
Those who buy an electric car can charge their vehicle using charging stations on the road, but they can also buy their own charging station and install it at home. This can cost a substantial amount, but it lets owners enjoy convenience since they no longer have to go anywhere to keep their cars up and running. They only have to hook up to their EV to the charging inlet before they go to sleep and, when they wake up in the morning, they’ll find their car fully charged and ready to take them to school or work.
3. They’re less expensive to operate than traditional cars.
Electricity is cheaper than petroleum in many parts of the world, which is why buying an electric car makes sense for those who want to save more money in the long run. Even in places where there’s only a small gap between the costs of electricity and fuel, EVs can still make a huge difference in operating expenses since they have a lower cost per mile. Specifically, EV owners spend one-third to one quarter less per mile than those who drive traditional cars.
4. They don’t require lots of maintenance.
Since they don’t have an oil engine, electric cars don’t require much maintenance. Their don’t need any oil changes, and their brake pads won’t have to be replaced as often as traditional cars. As a result, their owners don’t need to spend a lot of time and money on keeping their vehicles in good shape. This can be a good thing for people who are too busy and don’t always have the time and energy to take care of their cars. This is also great for those who don’t know much about vehicle maintenance but want to have their own car.
List of Cons of Electric Cars
1. They still have an environmental impact.
Even though electric cars don’t need fossil fuels to function, they need electricity which, in most places, is produced using fossil fuels. This is particularly true in areas that are dependent on coal to power electrical plants. With this in mind, it can be said that electric cars indirectly increase carbon emissions since they consume a lot of fossil fuel-powered electricity. They can also contribute to environmental pollution through their batteries, which may leak acid and other contaminants into the water table and damage ecosystems when improperly disposed.
2. They have higher sales prices.
One of the things that turn many buyers off electric cars is their price. As of 2014, many electric vehicles cost around $30,000 to $40,000 USD, which makes them more expensive than small to mid-sized traditional vehicles (which are offered at around $20,000). However, proponents of electric cars point out that their high sales price can be offset by the discounts that many governments offer. In the United States, for example, buyers can enjoy tax credits on the federal level and even on the state level.
3. They take hours to charge.
One of the reasons why many people get put off by electric cars is that they take a long time to recharge. Owners have to connect them to the charging outlet overnight (or around eight hours or so) for their battery to be fully charged. This isn’t an issue for those who have a regular routine, but it can be a big problem for those who are on call and need to have a fully functioning vehicle at a moment’s notice.
4. They have a limited range.
A fully charged electric vehicle can typically cover around 75 to 100 miles. This is usually enough for people who live near their office and use their car to commute to and from work, but it’s definitely not enough for those who live far away from their workplace and have a long drive ahead of them. Of course, it’s not recommended for people who want to go on road trips, particularly if they live in a place with a limited charging network.
5. They may be too modern for many places.
Not all countries are ready for electric cars; in fact, only a handful of places have the infrastructure to cater to those who drive EVs. As of late 2013, Estonia is the only country who has a nationwide electric car charging network. In many other places, electric car users have to pray that they won’t run out of battery juice while they’re driving in the middle of nowhere.
Electric cars are a scientific marvel and can bring several benefits to users, but they also have a few drawbacks. Car buyers should first weigh the pros and cons and decide if an EV is the right choice for them or not.
Crystal Ayres is a proud veteran, wife and mother. Our goal at Green Garage is to publish the most in depth content on the internet for every topic we write about. If you would like to reach out to contact Crystal, then go here to send her a message.