Nowadays, it can seem like electric vehicles (EVs) and their charging ports are everywhere you look. We all know that they’re good for the environment, right? Depending on where you live, you should get certain incentives for driving one, whether it’s a tax rebate or preferential parking, yet the upfront cost of an EV can seem prohibitive.
But then, look at the rising prices of gas. The cost of gas has skyrocketed by 50% in the last year in the US, making the idea of an EV more appealing. The question is then, do gasoline-powered cars have a future, or is it time that we all switched over to EVs?
If you haven’t found yourself on the electric car bandwagon just yet and you’re still on the fence about this newfangled technology, read on as we lay out the pros and cons of investing in this expensive but innovative technology.
Why EVs Are Not A Threat (yet)
EVs Are Expensive Upfront
The plain truth is that EVs are usually a lot more expensive to purchase than traditional cars of the same model. Data comparing the running costs of EVs showed that the price tags on EVs were roughly $1400 more expensive than their gasoline counterparts.
Their Batteries Are Limiting And Not As Eco-Friendly As You Think
We’ll say one thing: EVs aren’t the best for road trips or long trips in general. Driving one, you’re restricted to the range of the battery and the availability of charging stations, only 47 000 in North America, as of last year. A Tesla battery that runs dead will be expensive to replace, a great deal more so than a busted radiator or traditional car battery that has run out of juice.
What’s more, it’s not as if batteries are so great for the environment anyway, and Tesla batteries, according to experts, “are really not designed to be recycled”, it is nowhere near so simple as the way that we neutralize regular batteries. In the long term, EVs may not offer an eco-friendly alternative to traditional gas vehicles.
It Takes A Long Time To Charge An EV
Current battery technology has a long way to go before becoming truly efficient. At present, the average charge time on a 60kW EV (a standard battery size) is approximately 8 hours. This is a far more complex and time-consuming process than that of refueling a gas car, which only takes a few minutes at the pump.
There Are Hidden Costs
Your brand-new electric vehicle will come with a complimentary basic charging set. But this is a slow-charging version, and a decent fast-charger can cost thousands of dollars. They may also charge you for the installation of the new charging port, which you will have to remove when you inevitably upgrade to a better model of charging port.
Electricity Is Becoming More Expensive
While it is still cheaper than gasoline, and its price is not rising quite so steeply, electricity costs are rising across the globe. When it comes to market forces and international crises, electricity is no more immune than any other fuel. Relying on electricity for your transportation means that you are wholly dependent on your local electrical grid unless you invest in solar power or a gasoline-powered generator. And with a generator, you’re still relying on gas!
The Perks Of EVs
EVs Are Energy-Efficient
When we talk about energy efficiency, we refer to how much energy we can get out of a given amount of a fuel source. For the same amount of energy as with a gasoline-powered car, you can go much further when driving an EV. While an internal combustion gasoline engine only converts about a quarter of the energy from that reaction to the vehicle’s actual movement, the EV’s battery uses more than half.
EVs Don’t Contribute To Carbon Emissions
Unlike traditional vehicles powered by gasoline in internal combustion engines, EVs don’t release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when you drive them. Research from America’s Environmental Protection Agency says that the average passenger vehicle in the US releases an average of 4.6 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year.
The scientific consensus is that increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are contributing to the global climate catastrophe, so choosing not to drive a traditional vehicle is a powerful consumer choice.
Savings on Fuel
Gas has always been expensive, but nowadays the prices are getting wildly out of hand. The EPA’s 2020 Consumer Report indicated that EV drivers, on average, spend 60 percent less on fuel than drivers of traditional cars. But it should be noted that electricity, as well as gas prices, vary from region to region.
Another study from the same year examining the cost of fueling EVs in Washington State, USA and taking electricity price fluctuations into account, found that over their vehicle’s lifetime, EV drivers saved more than $14 000 in fuel.
EVs Don’t Contribute To Noise Pollution
This is more a public good than a personal advantage of EVs, but it’s still worth mentioning for its environmental implications. Prolonged living in the midst of sustained levels of noise pollution can have adverse health consequences.
There Are Perks And Incentives For Owning And Driving EVs
Depending on where in the world you live, there will be a variety of perks you’ll get for purchasing, owning, driving, and even parking an electric vehicle. Some countries and states will offer you tax rebates for purchasing and for driving an EV, elsewhere you might find yourself exempt from congestion taxes that other drivers must pay. You might even find that there are special parking spots designated for anyone driving an EV.
EVs Require Less Maintenance Than Traditional Vehicles
Not only are they generally high-performance and responsive cars, but in the long run, EVs are generally cheaper to maintain than their gas-powered counterparts. However, just remember that car insurance is currently more expensive for EVs, so this can counteract the lower maintenance costs.
Is The End Of The Gas Car Near?
If you look at the pros and cons of EV versus gas cars, it’s easy to see that carmageddon isn’t that straightforward.
EVs are definitely making inroads, but it may be some time before they outnumber gas cars on the road. And by the time they do, the tech that powers them will probably be cleaner, greener and far more affordable than it is now.