It’s important to recognize that electric cars are regularly changing and their technology is still evolving when considering electric cars’ pros and cons. More and more car companies are offering electric cars. Electric cars are those that use a rechargeable battery-powered engine in place of a typical gas engine.
What Are the Advantages of Owning an Electric Car?
According to environmentally conscious websites like Earth911 and Energy Sage, there are several notable advantages of owning an electric car including:
- They are better for the environment
- Electricity can be a renewable resource, gasoline cannot
- They require less expensive and less frequent maintenance.
- They are quieter than gas vehicles
- There are tax credits available for owners of electric cars
- There are special highway lanes in some places for electric cars
They Are Better for the Environment
Many car buyers are convinced to switch to an electric car because they are better for the environment. Because fully electric vehicles (not hybrids) don’t use an exhaust system, they have no emissions. Without pumping any fumes into the air like gas engines do, electric cars can help achieve cleaner air and fewer greenhouse gasses.
Electricity Can Be a Renewable Resource, Gasoline Cannot
Electric cars can be powered naturally with renewable resources like solar, wind, and water power. Gasoline, however, is created using oil, which is a natural resource, but not renewable. For those who want to keep the renewable energy flowing even more, having solar panels installed in your home will in-turn power your electric car in your garage.
Electricity is also cheaper than gas. Electric cars typically cost one-third the cost of gas-powered vehicles to run. Many electric vehicles also use regenerative braking to add to the energy the car needs to run, which is completely cost-free.
They Require Less Expensive and Less Frequent Maintenance
Without the use of a gas engine, electric cars don’t need oil. That means no more oil changes. Also, you’ll forgo any other maintenance and repairs associated with a traditional gas engine. Electric cars are typically easier on brakes as well leading to fewer brake replacements, accord to AutoTrader.com.
They Are Quieter Than Gas Vehicles
Electric cars run very quietly, especially when running fully on battery power. In some states, legislators have considered requiring electric cars to have noise makers installed to let pedestrians know they’re coming. According to MYEV.com, the 2019 Jaguar i-Pace electric car adds engine noises to the vehicle when the driver accelerates quickly for the feel of a traditional engine.
There Are Tax Credits Available for Owners of Electric Cars
Original owners of electric cars can receive credit on their tax returns simply for owning a car that’s better for the environment. You’ll need to be aware of the fine print that always accompanies tax situations like this, but you can get as much as $7500 in credit in some states for certain cars. Specific makes and models receive different credit amounts. If you’re interested in learning about what kind of credit you could receive, there are several online resources available.
There Are Special Highway Lanes in Some Places for Electric Cars
Some major highways have HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes that can bypass traffic during rush hour. This is known as the carpool lane, but is also available to electric car drivers. Even if your electric car is just carrying you, you’re entitled to use this special lane.
What Are the Disadvantages of Owning an Electric Car?
According to Plugincars.com, there are a few disadvantages of owning an electric car, including:
- Electric cars have a shorter range than gas-powered cars
- Recharging the battery takes time
- They are usually more expensive than gas-powered cars
- It can sometimes be difficult to find a charging station
- There aren’t as many model options
Electric Cars Have a Shorter Range than Gas-Powered Cars
Although auto companies are finding more and more ways to make electric cars go further, they still have a shorter range than traditional cars. Usually, an electric car can get between 60 and 100 miles on a full charge. Depending on the fuel efficiency of a car and the size of its gas tank, some can make it up to 400 miles on a tank of gas.
Recharging the Battery Takes Time
Filling up a gas tank might take up to three minutes at the gas station, while recharging the battery of an electric car takes much longer. Depending on the model, an electric car can sometimes take up to 20 hours to fully charge. Newer and more expensive models can charge in as quickly as four hours. However, having a charging station in your garage helps make this more manageable and kits are available to help cut down the charging time.
They Are Usually More Expensive Than Gas-Powered Cars
The fully electric models of specific cars are always more expensive than their gas-powered equivalents. Basic electric models start at around $30,000 with luxury model prices climbing to $80,000 and more. Usually, a car buyer will pay at least $10,000 more for an electric car than they would for the same type of car in a gas model. As technology continues to evolve, this price gap is likely to close.
It Can Sometimes Be Difficult to Find a Charging Station
Some areas have lots of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in various parking lots and on the sides of the road. This isn’t the case in every city. Road trips can be difficult in electric cars. You can’t take your home charging station with you on the road. More charging stations are popping up around the country as more people are driving electric cars, so this may not be a disadvantage for much longer.
There Aren’t as Many Model Options
Finally, car makers have been building traditional car models for over 100 years, but mass production on electric vehicles as we now know them didn’t start until the ’90s. With less of a history, there just aren’t as many electric models available as there are gas-powered.
There are plenty of advantages to buying an electric car, especially if the health of the environment is important to you. Make sure you don’t miss out on incentives if you do buy one.