With gas prices a constant worry and environmental impact being a more larger concern, it’s no wonder that more and more people are switching over to electric cars. In fact, experts predict that sales of electric vehicles are expected to nearly double between 2017 and 2019, and is expected to account for 14% of the automobile market by 2025.
However, there are still a number of things that are stopping a lot of consumers from buying electric cars. So the question is, should you? Here are some pros and cons of this new recent trend.
One of the obvious benefits of electric cars is it’s reduced effect on the environment. With zero carbon emissions and no need for gas, it is something that appeals to the environmentally aware generation of today. However, a more sinister side to this is the rare metals and chemicals that are within these batteries, making them difficult to dispose responsibly. Add in the fact that the cobalt usually comes from child labor in developing countries, and it makes the decision to go electric a little less easier on your conscience.
Another growing concern regarding electric vehicles is how poorly they retain their value. Similar to tech products, electric cars decrease rapidly in value, about 3x faster than gas cars. This may be due to gas being a tried and true method of running an engine, whereas electric technology is still relatively new. We will have to see over time how the cars age before they begin to be considered a worthy long-term investment.
A benefit that many can get by is the cheaper maintenance. Electric vehicles don’t need gas to run, which lifts a major financial burden off the shoulders of car owners: instead, drivers access charging stations around the country that charge the car. Currently, an issue is that it takes a long time to fully charge a car, but with rapid advancements being made in this, chargers will eventually be able to fully charge a battery within 30 mins. Another major maintenance cost being shaved is mechanical issues. Being an electric-powered car translates to less moving parts, which means less wear and tear that would require fixing/replacement. Tire wipers and fluids will probably be the same between gas and electric cars however.
Range has been one of the main worries that have plagued electric cars since their mainstream induction by Tesla. Simply put, electric cars have yet to attain the level of milage that gas cars have. The longest lasting ones can go 100 or so miles on a single charge, which, while good for longer commutes to and from a workplace and to drive around for errands, will not do for a cross-country roadtrip, therefore limiting its application. In addition to that, the amount of electric chargers available are still small in comparison to gas stations, further limiting where they can go. Many circumvent this by installing a charger into their own home, a service that we do offer. Expect these barriers to be temporary, however, as future models will undoubtedly increase in range, and the amount of charging stations available in the world increase every year.
After much refinement from Tesla, and further improvement brought on by other brands, electric cars are now known to be among the best-performing consumer cars out there in terms of drivability, ergonomics, and features. The fact that they are also incredibly silent makes for a more relaxing driving experience, although die-hard car enthusiasts may miss the sound of an engine’s hum.
A final caveat is the larger cost of electric cars. Being a new technology, it should come as no surprise that electric cars are more expensive, to the point where they are on average $10,000 more than their gas-guzzling equivalent. This of course cuts out a lot of potential consumers who would be interested in purchasing one, but it also makes it a tougher pill to swallow for those who can afford one, but question its value given all of the previously mentioned risks. Much of that large price tag goes to the battery, which costs around $6,000 alone. Federal tax credits in some states may lower the price, but if it is not available to you it’s your burden to bear.
Overall, many regard electric cars as the future, and that the mainstream shift over to electric vehicles is inevitable. That being said, there’s a lot of barriers that make them a viable option right now, and they aren’t for everybody. Therefore, we recommend that you weigh the pros and cons carefully to see whether they are a fit for you.