In today’s age, we are seeing a dramatic shift in the automotive industry. More and more people are moving away from traditional gasoline-powered cars and towards electric vehicles (EVs). Support for EV ownership is growing with many agencies, including the federal government, offering EV incentives in the form of tax credits or rebates. And it’s not hard to see why – electric cars have many benefits, including lower fuel and maintenance costs, single-driver access to most carpool lanes, and of course, the environmental benefits of producing zero tailpipe emissions.
But despite all of these benefits, there are still some who are hesitant to make the switch to an electric car. So, why should I get an electric vehicle? In this article, we’ll explore some of the pros and cons of electric cars so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not an electric car is right for you.
The Pros of Electric Vehicles
An electric vehicle can be a hybrid electric vehicle or a battery electric vehicle. A battery electric vehicle relies solely on its electric motor to run, while a hybrid electric vehicle depends on both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor to run. For this article, we will focus on the battery electric vehicle.
Let’s start with the pros – there are many reasons why you should consider making the switch to an EV. Perhaps the most significant benefit is the lower cost of ownership. Electric cars have much lower fuel costs than gasoline-powered cars. In addition, electric cars have lower maintenance costs since they have far fewer moving parts than gasoline-powered cars.
Lower Fuel Costs
Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular across the United States, especially since gas prices fluctuate often. According to California Air Resources Board, EV charging in California costs roughly half the price of powering a standard gas powered car for driving the same distance. Most drivers charge their electric cars overnight at home with a charging station and wake up to a full charge. And with the growing availability of workplace charging and public charging stations, you will never be far from a fast electric car charger.
Even if you don’t live in California, electric car charging is still cheaper than fueling a gas powered vehicle or diesel-powered vehicle at a gas station. The average cost of charging an EV at a commercial EV charging station, from almost empty to almost full, is between $10 and $30. The average range of an EV is 200-300 miles. However, the cost will vary depending on the size of your battery, the type of charger you use, and the price of electricity in your area.
In most cases, EV drivers should charge their cars with a home charging station. A home Level 2 charger is cheaper and more convenient than charging at a public charging station. In general, it’s best to charge your EV during off-peak hours when electricity rates are lower.
In addition, electric cars are more efficient than gas-powered cars, so mile for mile, you’ll get more per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity than you would per gallon of gas. These lower fuel costs add up over time and can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year.
Reduced Maintenance Costs
Electric cars have far fewer moving parts than gas-powered cars, which means they require less maintenance. For example, electric cars don’t need oil changes because they don’t have oil filters. Electric motors are also more durable than gas engines and should last longer. When it comes time to replace the EV battery, you can expect to pay $5,000 to $7,000 but the good news is that EV batteries have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years.
Battery electric vehicles have several advantages over conventional vehicles when it comes to maintenance. For one, the battery, motor, and associated electronics require little to no regular maintenance. Additionally, there are fewer fluids, such as engine oil, that need to be regularly replaced. Brake wear is also significantly reduced due to regenerative braking, and there are far fewer moving parts relative to a conventional fuel engine.
As a result, battery electric vehicles typically require less maintenance than gasoline cars and diesel cars. This can save owners both time and money in the long run.
Better for the Environment
Electric cars produce zero emissions, which means they’re better for the environment than gas-powered cars. If you’re concerned about your carbon footprint, an electric vehicle is a great way to reduce your impact on the planet.
It should be noted here that some studies have shown that producing an EV can create more carbon pollution than making a gasoline car. The discrepancy is due to the additional energy required to manufacture an EV battery. While this is true, over the lifetime of the vehicle, total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with manufacturing, charging, and driving an EV are typically lower than the total GHGs associated with a gasoline car.
EVs have zero tailpipe emissions and are typically responsible for significantly fewer GHGs during operation since gasoline or diesel cars produce greenhouse gas emissions every time they’re driven.
As a result, over the lifetime of ownership, an EV is a more environmentally friendly option than a gas vehicle.
Another big perk of electric cars is that they offer single-driver access to most carpool lanes. This means that if you’re driving solo in your electric car, you can still take advantage of the faster carpool lanes – something that can be a real time-saver during your daily commute. Driving in the carpool lane can also make your commute less stressful, which can create health benefits.
Lastly, many people find that electric cars are simply more fun to drive – they have quick acceleration and great handling thanks to their low center of gravity.
The Cons of Electric Cars
Of course, there are also some drawbacks to owning an electric car. The most significant downside is range anxiety – the fear that your battery will run out before you reach your destination. This is a valid concern for many people, especially those who live in rural areas or who frequently take long road trips. However, newer electric car models have much longer ranges (up to 300 miles on a single charge), so this is less of a concern than it used to be.
At the same time, the average U.S. driver only travels 39 miles per day so even EVs with the lowest ranges can accommodate average driving distances before needing a charge.
Another potential drawback is the initial cost of buying or leasing an electric car. An electric car can be more expensive upfront than a gas car; however, there are federal, state, and local incentives available (in the form of tax breaks and rebates) that can help offset the cost. Learn more about EV charger incentives and EV tax credits.
As always, weigh all factors before making a decision about whether or not an electric car is right for you – but we think you’ll find that the pros far outweigh the cons!