In this article, we are going to discuss the pros and cons of an electric car. However, we are not going to discuss any controversial topics such as do EV’s pollute more or not. We have discussed those in other articles.
Cons of Electric Cars:
Electric cars are expensive compared to a gasoline vehicle.
Over the last few years, we have seen significant improvement in the electric car’s range. Still, it is tough to get a 300-mile (482 km) electric car. Except for Tesla, almost no manufacturer has an EV with a 300-mile range. However, the price of this Tesla 300 mile EV is significantly higher than a gasoline vehicle. 150 to 200 miles is enough for city driving, but this is useless for long road trips.
Range Degradation on Highway Driving:
You know that a gasoline vehicle gets better gas mileage on highway speed. However, the opposite is true for an electric car. On highway speed, EV range drops significantly. Moreover, if you use heaters or A/C, you would lose more range. A 300 mile EV would never cover 300 miles on highway speed.
Lower Mileage in Cold Temperature:
Modern electric cars can handle cold temperatures very well. However, EV loses range on cold temperature. The battery heating system uses significant battery power. Gasoline vehicle also gets poor gas mileage in cold weather, but the drop in mileage is not as dramatic as an electric vehicle.
When people talk about the pros of an electric car, they often point out that you can charge an EV at your home. But, if you don’t own a home or live in a condominium, charging at home is not possible. In this case, you have to charge at third party charging locations.
Finding a location to recharge an electric car is not that hard. However, getting a fast charger is. If you own a Tesla, you can charge at a Supercharger. For others, Electrify America, IONITY, is a choice. These are fast-charging network and can fully recharge your vehicle within one hour. But, this type of fast charging network is not available everywhere. Moreover, charging your car regularly at these fast-charging network will cause battery damage in the long term.
Except for Tesla, getting a fast DC charging stations is quite hard. Even in those places, it takes hours to get a full charge. There are numerous Level 1 and Level 2 charging stations throughout the country. But getting a full charge at these locations would take 8 to 10 hours. As an EV enthusiast, you may agree to endure this inconvenience. But this could be very problematic who just needs a car and does not care about whether it is an EV or not.
Higher Insurance Premium:
Due to the high initial purchase price, an electric car insurance premium is comparatively higher. For Teslas, the insurance premium is higher because of its insane body damage repair cost.
Phantom Battery Drain:
If you leave your gasoline-powered vehicle with 5 gallons of gas in the tank for one month, after this period, your gas tank will still contain the same amount of gas. However, For electric cars, it’s not the same situation. Even if you don’t operate your EV, it will lose its battery charge slowly. It’s called a phantom drain. You may test this for your phone too. Recharge your phone up to 100%. Turn it off. Leave if for 1 week. After 1 week, turn it on. You would see that the battery charge has dropped significantly, even though you have not used your phone at all.
It does not matter whichever electric car’s make and model you buy, all battery degrades (loses its charge capacity) over time. If you buy a 300 mile EV and its battery degrades 25% after a few years, then your 300 mile EV effectively becomes a 225 miles EV. The battery degradation depends on the manufacturer. For example, Nissan Leaf’s battery degrades so much that after a few years, this battery is almost useless. That’s why Nissan Leaf depreciates faster than other EVs.
Tesla Body Repair Cost and Time:
Tesla makes excellent EVs. However, we have seen that after an accident, their body damage repair cost is crazy high. Moreover, their repair time is also insanely high. We have given some examples in this article.
Pros of Electric Cars:
Low Cost of Ownership:
Though the initial purchase price of an electric car is high, EV’s have a low cost of ownership. EV’s do not need an engine oil change, spark plug change, engine air filter, frequent brake pad and rotor change, 12V battery change at 3-year interval, transmission oil change, etc. Every electric car comes with regenerative braking. It’s a technology where the motor becomes a generator, uses cars kinetic energy to produce electricity, recharges the battery and slows down the electric car. As a result, you don’t need to use the brake as often as you do in a gasoline vehicle. This prolongs the brake pad and rotor’s lifetime.
Fuel Cost Savings:
Electricity cost less than gasoline. To go a similar distance, an electric vehicle will cost almost 50% less than on a gasoline vehicle.
For example, let’s assume we want to travel 1,000 miles. A Toyota Camry on a real-world test gets 22-25 mpg. To travel 1,000 miles we need 1,000 miles / 25 mpg (optimistic) = 40 gallons of gas. Though the gas price varies depending on location, $3/gallon is realistic for almost all locations. So, Total travel cost to travel 1,000 miles is 40 x $3 = $120.
A Tesla Long Range Model 3 goes 320 miles on a single charge. It has a 75 kWh battery. So the efficiency is 320/75 = 4.26 miles / kWh. To go 1,000 miles we need 1,000 / 4.26 = 234.7 kW electricity. Tesla charges $0.28/kWh at a supercharger. So, Total cost to travel 1,000 miles would be 234.7 x $0.28 = $65.7
As you can see, an EV costs 50% less to operate than a gasoline vehicle.
Charge at Home:
If you own a home, you can charge your car overnight. No need to go to a gas station anymore. We suggest you install a 240V/50amp outlet in your home for EV charging purposes if you don’t have it already. This outlet will give you a charge rate of 20-30miles/hour. You could also use a 120V/15amp outlet. However, we do no advise you to charge at this outlet because it has an abysmal charge rate such as 2-5miles/hour.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:
Why is the electric car expensive?
The most expensive part of an EV is its lithium-ion battery. Because of the high price of the battery, electric cars are costly.
Does electric car need coolant?
Electric cars comes with a large battery. To manage battery temperature, many manufacturers use a battery cooling and heating system. For example, Tesla uses a battery coolant which needs replacement at regular interval. On the other hand, Nissan Leaf does not have any type of liquid cooling system. As a result, we have seen that their battery degrades significantly over time.
Do electric cars need oil changes?
Electric cars have motors. These motors use lubricating oil. At regular intervals, these motor needs an oil change. However, these are not as frequent as an engine oil change.
Is insurance higher for electric cars?
Yes, insurance is higher for electric cars compared to traditional cars due to the high initial purchase price.
Do electric cars need servicing?
Yes, it does. You need to change the motor lubricating oil and battery coolant at regular intervals. You also need to replace the brake pad and rotor, do a tire rotation, fillup washer fluid, change the cabin air filter, etc. routine maintenance.