Top 7 Disadvantages of Electric Cars
Soaring fuel costs and environmental concerns, electric cars are becoming popular as an answer to some of the problems of the auto industry. However, do electric cars have a spotless reputation? Like all new innovations, there are plenty of pros and cons surrounding the modern electric vehicle. However, technology moves fast, and what were considered disadvantages of electric car ownership aren’t such big problems anymore. Still, there are plenty of rumors and misinformation that persists muddying the advantages of electric car ownership! If you’re shopping for a new car, the chances are that you’ll buy a gas car with a traditional internal combustion gasoline engine rather than buy an electric car like a Tesla Model S, a Nissan Leaf, Fisker Karma, or a plug-in hybrid car like a Chevy Volt. The main reason why many drivers are reluctant to purchase an electric or hybrid electric vehicle is because they’re not clued up with the current state of the electric automotive industry.
The following are their disadvantages of EVs voiced for some time now. And underneath each entry, we’ll dispel those disadvantages of electric vehicles by telling you what’s really going on. So without further ado:
1. Charging Woes
Electric powered vehicles require charging stations, and for people to travel long distances there needs to be a network of such stations located strategically. Also recharging of batteries often takes about 3 hours, which nowhere matches efficiency of a gas refuel. And of course there’s the charging equipment you need to carry along.
The state of car batteries is one that’s always referenced as a solid reason for not owning an electric car. The truth is that many more gas stations and public car parks are catering for electric and hybrid card. Charging station technology is popping up everywhere, so the old excuse about there being nowhere to charge them no longer holds up as one of the disadvantages of owning an electric car. It’s true that they take time to recharge though. However, the vast majority of drivers on the roads only drive to and from work, and carry out short journeys. It’s possible to have a fully charged car in a more reasonable time, and at a more reasonable location, such as outside your work place, with your car charging while you work. Long journeys could be a problem, but not with sensible planning.
2. Traveling Distance (Range)
The cars can travel only about a 100 miles on average, and on a single charge. The technology of Chrysler’s proposed EVs is supposed to have the cars run longer, though.
Statements like that are still being told, but the truth is that most electric cars are capable of greater ranges. Times have changed, and electric car batteries aren’t what they used to be. These heavy beasts that power the car can now last longer and help you drive faster and further. Something like the Tesla Model S has a maximum range of approximately 337 miles. The Chevrolet Bolt boasts 238 miles. Both of these are fully electric cars. Future Tesla electric car models (such as the Tesla Roadster) are slated to go even further too. Range is no longer a disadvantage of an electric vehicle. Sure, it won’t match gasoline in terms of range and availability, but the technology is improving day by day.
3. Lack of Power
In general electric cars are still behind gas powered vehicles in their ability to to accelerate and climb quickly.
That statement simply isn’t true. Thanks to the use of brushless electric motors that can deliver unfettered power instantly and efficiently, acceleration is no problem for electric cars, in fact some of the fastest cars in the world are electric. The ability to climb does consume a lot more battery, but the same can be said for internal combustion engine powered cars, which have to work harder to propel themselves up a steep incline.
4. Overloaded Batteries
At the heart of all electric automobiles are the car’s batteries. At the same time, as all other car accessories viz. radios, car air conditioners, etc. use up electric power from batteries, they’d drain quickly. And recharging them takes time!
Again, statements like these aren’t exactly accurate – or rather, they’re not really disadvantages. If you demand more from a battery, it will deplete faster. That’s hardly a disadvantage, it’s just common sense. As battery technology improves, they will be able to distribute more power, and as fast charging technology advances, recharge times aren’t going to be a problem. The regular gasoline engine car has had over 100 years to get itself together, and we’re shooting down electric potential before it has had time to grow and evolve. Give it time!
5. They Are Expensive
Batteries that power these cars are a costly affair. Consider this: The promising and long-lasting lithium-ion batteries cost about thousands of dollars each, which for the most part make these cars expensive. And if the batteries last only about 4 years, they could add to the maintenance costs.
There is no disputing this fact. Electric is expensive. The batteries require lithium, which is a rare metal that can only be mined in a handful of countries. They’re expensive batteries to produce, and heavy too. The battery is only one of many expensive features of an electric car. However, governments are trying to encourage drivers to buy electric vehicles by offering attractive tax credit intensives. Tax credits won’t offset the cost, but they will help.
6. They Cause Pollution
Yes, the ‘clean & green’ electric cars cause pollution too, albeit indirectly. While themselves being clean, there are toxic elements within batteries and which could spew toxic fumes. Further, the car’s engines are powered by electricity, and all of which isn’t generated from renewable energy sources. Which means electric power production per se entails pollution.
Here’s another indisputable truth. In a roundabout way, they do cause pollution. They’re not as environmentally friendly as you’re often led to believe. That doesn’t mean that you should dismiss them though. There are many environmental pros and cons of electric vehicles, and while they’re not 100% green, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy one. They’re still more environmentally friendly than a regular car, and that’s what is important. Clean energy is still a ways off, but we should all do what little we can in the meantime.
7. They’re Heavy
Batteries are what makes these vehicles heavy. A battery pack of an average electric car can weigh up to a 1,000 pounds or 450 kg (approx.) This a disadvantage because weight puts pressure on batteries and they drain out faster.
This fact is also true, but as battery packs get smaller in future, and with the use of modern construction materials, these weights will eventually go down. Remember the first cell phones that looked like comically oversized movie props? Remember what they looked like, and now look at that smartphone in your hand. Time changes everything, and usually for the better. Don’t forget, there was a time when the CD was seen as a space-age thing, and that nothing would ever replace a VHS. Most of these technologies evolved into better and more efficient things within no time at all. Keep that in mind when you think about an electric car battery pack.
While the prospect of electric vehicles seems promising, electric vehicles don’t appear to be a panacea and have their own share of shortcomings. Consequently, a purchase decision in favor of EVs or hybrids might not be all that simple. Buying an electric car isn’t a decision you should take lightly, but it isn’t something you should dismiss either.