7 Disadvantages Of Electric Cars: Pros & Cons Of EVs | AutoWise (2022)

Soaring fuel costs and pending environmental catastrophe are at hand. Electric cars are becoming “normal” and, for many, the answer to climate change. However, do electric cars have a spotless reputation? There are plenty of pros and cons of EVs including some present-day disadvantages of electric cars.

Technology is moving fast, and what was once considered to be deal-breakers of electric car ownership aren’t the problems they once were. Still, there are plenty of rumors and misinformation that persist, muddying the realities of electric car ownership.

Statistically, only 3% of all cars on the road worldwide are electric — so you’re in the minority if you’re looking into electric vehicles (EVs). That number is predicted to change rapidly though — about 10 fold by 2030.

The main reason why many drivers are reluctant to purchase an electric or hybrid electric vehicle is that they’re not clued in with the current state of the electric automotive industry. The following are some commonly touted disadvantages of EVs. Underneath each entry, we’ll review these claims and tell you what’s really going on. So, without further ado:

Charging Woes

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It’s in their name — “electric” cars require electricity — no surprise. What is surprising, however, is how poor U.S. universal charging infrastructure is. This is one of the real disadvantages of electric cars today.

An EV road trip requires a network of strategically located charging stations. There are a rising number of “DC Fast-Charge” stations, especially on the West Coast, which can boost an EV to 80% charge in under an hour. Otherwise, recharging can take 3+ hours, so you’ll want to bring a book.

Tesla is the exception to the rule. For Tesla owners, an EV road trip is a real possibility. Thanks to the Tesla superchargers, you can add as many as 200 miles of range in less than 15 minutes. A Tesla Cannonball Run was completed in 2021 in just 42 hrs and 17 min.

(Video) The Pros and Cons of Electric Vehicles

For now, the vast majority of drivers on the roads only drive to and from work or to run errands. It’s easy to charge your car at home overnight or outside your work without much impact on your life (besides a disappearing gas bill).

If you’re an apartment dweller, it’s not so easy. As an early adopter, sometimes owning an electric car didn’t seem worth it. Rentals in the city are hard to find with ANY parking let alone parking with an electric outlet. England recently announced legislation that will require all new-built construction to feature electric charging — but that isn’t going to fix the millions of old housing units that don’t have the appropriate infrastructure.

The next three years will see a huge change in national charging infrastructure. Momentum is building from automakers, the U.S. government (including the most recent infrastructure bill), and NGOs pushing for convenient charging for all. Further, the production of solid-state batteries may allow for much faster charging with longer battery life. But none of that helps the present situation, and for now, long journeys require patience and planning.

Traveling Distance (Range)

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While my VW e-Golf can only manage 125 miles on a charge, the Lucid Air Dream Edition R was recently rated at 520 miles of EPA-certified road-tripping. At 70 mph, that’s a whopping 7+ hours of seat time. Your bladder will likely give out before your electrons.

The Lucid is an expensive outlier. Mainstream EVs are hitting 180-250 miles range. That’s enough to make many day trips easy, but you’re still limited by charging infrastructure.

It’s also essential to remember that your weather and driving habits can negatively impact your range. If it’s a cold, humid day, and you’re running heat and defrost while driving in the rain you might watch your range drop by 20%. If you live in cold northern climates, budget for at least a 25% drop in the winter. Other common additions like roof-racks or aftermarket tires and wheels can create a very noticeable drain on your range.

Range is no longer a deal-breaker or noteworthy as one of the disadvantages of electric cars. Sure, it won’t match gasoline for road trips yet, but the technology is improving day by day.

(Video) 5 Reasons You Should (Not) Buy An Electric Car

Lack of Power

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In the early days, electric cars were glorified golf carts. Even the first mainstream Nissan Leaf was lethargic. However, the introduction of the Tesla roadster turned the idea that electric cars lacked power on its head.

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.

Moving fast consumes a lot more battery, but the same can be said for gas cars. Because they don’t breathe air, EVs can even outperform at high altitudes (where the air is thinner) which is why they are so successful at events like the Pike’s Peak Hill Climb.

Battery Replacements Are Prohibitively Expensive

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At the heart of all-electric automobiles are batteries — literally, the entire car is designed around them, and they’re the most expensive part of the car. It’s encouraging that all EVs sold in the U.S. come with an eight-year/100k mile warranty. While that sounds like a great deal, keep in mind that the average age for a vehicle on the road in the U.S. is 12.1 years.

At some point the cost to replace the battery is more than your vehicle might be worth — estimates range between $6,000 and $20,000 depending on the model. On the other hand, 10 years from now a replacement battery might be able to double your range!

They Are Expensive

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Electric does not mean equitable, and EVs are out of the price range of average citizens. There is no disputing this fact, electric vehicles are expensive — largely because of the battery — and a prohibitive entry price is one of the present-day disadvantages of electric cars.

(Video) ELECTRIC CARS: What are the pros and cons of electric cars?

Modern batteries require lithium, which can only be mined in a handful of countries. Once mined, producing thousands of small cylindrical cells — each of which must be carefully monitored — is not a trivial endeavor. Then you must add the cost of environmental and crash protection to prevent battery fires.

This forces automakers to start at a high price, which consequently means it will only appeal to upmarket buyers. That upscale demographic demands expensive luxury appointments which quickly push prices north of $45,000.

If Biden’s build-back-better incentives become a reality, however, some Americans could be looking at up to $15,000 in rebates between state and federal incentives. Trickle-down and the economics of scale manufacturing will eventually bring costs down for the masses. We’re still waiting for Kandi America to actually deliver on the cheapest electric car in America, but if they do you might be able to get a new ride for $5K.

EVs Cause Pollution and E-Waste

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Yes, the “clean and green” electric cars cause pollution too, albeit indirectly. While EVs have zero tailpipe emissions, the energy used to drive them is only as clean as the power plant that services you.

This has been a point of contention over the past decade, but the science behind the “well-to-wheels” efficiency of vehicles has matured — EVs are unequivocally greener. With modern electric cars, even if you are serviced by coal power you are doing the earth a favor — and when the grid improves, so will your carbon footprint.

E-waste is a more insidious problem, and the industry is rapidly trying to find a solution for recycling used batteries. Lithium batteries are fairly benign when compared to Nickel-Cadmium cells or even other automotive compounds like brake fluid.

Nonetheless, it’s considered toxic in our waste stream, and no one is prepared for the volume of used batteries headed to scrap yards. The EPA reported last year that at least 65 landfill fires were caused by lithium-ion battery waste. If the industry doesn’t find a solution quickly, we may have mountains of lithium trash just waiting to catch fire.

(Video) Pros and cons of electric vehicles

They’re Big & Heavy

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A Porsche that’s heavier than a Land Rover? It’s true, a new electric Taycan has several hundred pounds on the green oval’s two-door Defender. Customers demand range — range means more battery, and batteries are not light. That Taycan battery weighs 1,400 lbs alone — more than half a Mazda Miata!

Automakers have gotten good at hiding the weight by putting it low in the chassis so handling is quite good. There’s no hiding the added momentum — you’ll want to calibrate your brake foot to start early. The battery is actually changing the shape of our vehicles favoring long wheelbases that can fit a big slab of lithium energy.

Year over year, batteries are improving quickly. The confluence of better batteries, faster-charging technology, and improved charging infrastructure will make range anxiety a thing of the past.

Remember the first cell phones that looked like comically oversized movie props? Now, look at that svelte smartphone in your hand. Technology moves fast, and there’s good reason to be optimistic for the industry. In a recent interview, the founder of Lucid Motors, Peter Rawlinson, predicts a future where battery range actually decreases from the 520-mile capable Lucid Air because our charging network will be so prolific.

Tradeoffs: Advantages and Disadvantages of Electric Cars

The prospect of electric vehicles is very promising, but they are not a silver bullet and have their own share of shortcomings. Big automotive purchases are never simple, and the trade-offs are different for every individual.

If you’re driven by the need to make the world a better place, consider that it might be more environmentally sensible to keep your older vehicle well maintained and running for years to come. Manufacturing a vehicle is highly carbon-intensive — when you look at the lifecycle carbon emissions of a vehicle much of the cost to the planet happens during assembly. Every mile you wring out of your existing car defers making an environmentally costly replacement.

The longer you keep that old beast running, the fewer new cars will need to be produced and that can have a bigger impact on your carbon footprint. When it is time to upgrade, give electric a test-drive too. You might be stunned at how addictive instant-torque can be!

FAQs

What are the pros and cons of EVs? ›

Electric cars pros and cons
ProsCons
You can save a lot of moneyElectric cars can be pricey
Electricity is renewableCharging can be a lengthy process
You can reduce your environmental impactYou can't go as far or as long as gas cars
You can take advantage of tax creditsFinding a station can be tough
2 more rows
1 Sept 2021

What are the pros of electric cars? ›

6 Benefits of Electric Cars
  • They're easier on the environment. ...
  • Electricity is cheaper than gasoline. ...
  • Maintenance is less frequent and less expensive. ...
  • They're very quiet. ...
  • You'll get tax credits. ...
  • They can shorten your commute time. ...
  • Most EVs have pretty short ranges. ...
  • Recharging can take a while.

Are electric cars safe? ›

“Electric vehicle batteries are mounted on electric vehicles after passing severe safety verification tests such as crash test, watertight test, immersion test, and combustion test, and deemed safe thanks to its design, which protects the battery from physical shock.”

What are the pros and cons of gas cars? ›

Visual Comparison: Hybrid and Gasoline Vehicles
PROS/CONSHYBRID CARSGAS CARS
ProsHigher mileage Cleaner energy Higher resale value Reduced fuel dependenceBetter power Economic price tag Low maintenance cost Better agility (acceleration and speed)
ConsHigh maintenance No sport-tuned suspensionsHarmful emissions Low mileage

What is the disadvantage of electric? ›

Disadvantage: Unwanted Side Effects

Power plants that burn biomass release sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, two undesirable pollutants, into the air. Power plants that burn fossil fuel pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that causes Earth's temperature to rise.

What is the advantage and disadvantages? ›

As nouns, the difference between disadvantage and advantage is that disadvantage is a weakness or undesirable characteristic; a con while the advantage is any condition, circumstance, opportunity, or means, particularly favorable to success, or any desired end.

What are the advantages of a car? ›

7 benefits of a car: What you should know
  • Health and Emergencies. The safest way to ensure your health in the pandemic is by owning a private car. ...
  • Independence and Freedom. Relying on others for travel or using public vehicles could be detrimental. ...
  • Privacy. ...
  • Safety. ...
  • Save Time. ...
  • Take Pleasure Trips. ...
  • Flexibility.
11 Nov 2020

What is the biggest problem with electric cars? ›

EV owners have experienced chronic problems with the display screens, exterior door lights, failing temperature sensors, mismatched paint, and seals and weatherstripping. It's not just that these problems occur, but that they occur at a higher rate than with conventional vehicles.

Why is EV important? ›

Electric vehicles use electricity to charge their batteries instead of using fossil fuels like petrol or diesel. Electric vehicles are more efficient, and that combined with the electricity cost means that charging an electric vehicle is cheaper than filling petrol or diesel for your travel requirements.

Why are electric cars safer? ›

Manufacturers design these vehicles with insulated high-voltage lines and safety features that deactivate the electrical system when they detect a collision or short circuit. All-electric vehicles tend to have a lower center of gravity than conventional vehicles, making them more stable and less likely to roll over.

Are electric cars good for your health? ›

Environmental and Health Benefits

In full electric mode, an electric car produces zero tailpipe emissions, dramatically lowering smog and greenhouse gas emissions even when considering electricity generation. Cleaner cars mean cleaner air and better health.

Are EVs the future? ›

April 23, 2022 The electric vehicle landscape is rapidly changing as both technology and interest evolve, and the coming years will see many more EVs take to the roads, seas, and skies. In the US, electric vehicles sales have climbed by more than 40 percent a year since 2016.

Do electric cars need oil? ›

The simple answer is no. Vehicles that run completely on electric power don't require oil changes. This is because they lack the internal combustion engine found in gasoline-powered model. An electric car like the 2022 Chevy Bolt moves thanks to electric motors and a battery.

How long do EV batteries last? ›

“Today, most EV batteries have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years within the car – and a second life beyond.” It's also worth noting that EV battery technology is still evolving, so as tech develops we expect batteries' lifespan to increase – as well as becoming cheaper, smaller and even lighter.

Are electric cars cheaper? ›

A 2018 study by the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute found that the average cost to fuel an electric car was $485 a year, compared to $1,117 for a gas-powered vehicle.

Do electric cars pollute the air? ›

Myth #1: Electric vehicles are worse for the climate than gasoline cars because of the power plant emissions

emissions
Emissions is the term used to describe the gases and particles which are put into the air or emitted by various sources. National Trends. The amounts and types of emissions change every year.
https://www3.epa.gov › airquality › emissns
. FACT: Electric vehicles typically have a smaller carbon footprint than gasoline cars, even when accounting for the electricity used for charging. Electric vehicles (EVs) have no tailpipe emissions.

Which is better EV or gas? ›

EVs accelerate faster than gas-powered cars and have more than enough speed for every-day usage. The reason for this is that electric motors are much simpler than internal combustion engines.

How long do electric cars last? ›

This decreases the range and time needed between each journey to charge. Most manufacturers have a five to eight-year warranty on their battery. However, the current prediction is that an electric car battery will last from 10 – 20 years before they need to be replaced.

What are electric cars? ›

All-electric vehicles, also referred to as battery electric vehicles (BEVs), have an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine.

Why are people against electric cars? ›

The most common reasons drivers avoid EVs include fear the battery will run out of charge before reaching their destination, also known as “range anxiety,” fear of too few charging stations, long charge times, and initial higher upfront vehicle costs.

What is example of disadvantages? ›

The definition of a disadvantage is an unfavorable situation or something that puts someone in an unfavorable situation. An example of a disadvantage is a baseball player not being able to play. An example of a disadvantage is a baseball team's star player having to sit out because of an injury.

What are the 20 Disadvantages of computer? ›

What are the disadvantages of using a computer?
  • Carpal tunnel and eye strain. ...
  • Too much sitting. ...
  • Short attention span and too much multitasking. ...
  • Can limit learning and create a dependency. ...
  • Potential of loss of privacy. ...
  • Time sink and lots of distractions. ...
  • Increases waste and impacts the environment. ...
  • Can reduce jobs.
7 Jun 2021

What are 10 Disadvantages of science and technology? ›

Disadvantages
  • Man had misused the technology and used in destructive purpose.
  • Man is doing illegal things by using it.
  • New Technology like mobile, I-pods etc are creating bad effect on children.
  • Terrorist are using modern technology for their destructive work.
10 Jun 2012

Why electric cars fail in India? ›

India's road to a fully-electric ecosystem still has a few hurdles - High cost, inadequate infrastructure, lack of high performing EVs The electric variants of the 2 and 4 wheelers are often priced much higher than regular fuel options. This is the most important reason for the slow adoption of electric mobility.

Are electric cars safe in India? ›

Industry experts ensure that electric vehicles meet the same safety standards and go through conventional vehicles' same rigorous testing routines.

Why EV is not successful in India? ›

In the case of electric vehicles, charging infrastructure refers to the network of EV charging stations and battery swap stations that are required to refuel EVs reliably while on the road. As a result, India's adoption of electric vehicles is hampered by a large gap and a lack of significant charging infrastructure.

What is the biggest problem with electric cars? ›

EV owners have experienced chronic problems with the display screens, exterior door lights, failing temperature sensors, mismatched paint, and seals and weatherstripping. It's not just that these problems occur, but that they occur at a higher rate than with conventional vehicles.

How long do electric car batteries last before they need replacing? ›

“Today, most EV batteries have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years within the car – and a second life beyond.” It's also worth noting that EV battery technology is still evolving, so as tech develops we expect batteries' lifespan to increase – as well as becoming cheaper, smaller and even lighter.

Is it worth getting an electric car now? ›

If an EV is in your price range, and range isn't going to be a problem based on typical journeys, getting an electric car is a great idea. Not only is it cheaper to run, but it's also eco-friendly, usually nippy – and a way to futureproof your transport solution for years to come.

Is EV worth buying? ›

Is it worth buying an electric car in India? If you are looking for an electric car for your short daily commutes, then an EV is worth the money as it will reduce your commute costs in the long run. The maintenance cost of an electric car is also less when compared to a conventional car.

Do electric cars go wrong? ›

ELECTRIC cars are more likely to develop faults than petrol and diesel models, a poll of 48,000 drivers shows. It found 31 percent of electric vehicles (EVs) had a problem in their first four years - compared with 19 percent of petrol cars and 29 percent of diesels.

How many problems do electric cars have? ›

But EV and PHEV owners reported about 240 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100), compared with 175 PP 100 for gas-engine models. Tesla, making its J.D. Power survey debut, outpaced the electrified segment with 226 problems per 100 vehicles.

Are electric cars less safe? ›

In all, NHTSA concluded that the likelihood of passenger injuries in crashes involving electric vehicles is actually slightly lower, meaning that they are safer to passengers, than those involving vehicles with gasoline and diesel engines.

What is the cost of a new battery for an electric car? ›

How Much Does an EV Battery Cost to Replace? Replacement ranges from $0 to $20,000 based on dozens of factors. If a battery is within its manufacturer warranty, typically 8 years and 100,000 miles, then you should get a replacement battery at no extra cost.

How much does a battery cost for an electric car? ›

Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, a battery can run you between $4,000 and $20,000. If you own your electric vehicle long enough to need to replace the battery, this maintenance will be a major portion of the the total cost of owning a car.

How much does it cost to charge an electric car battery? ›

While electricity costs vary, the average price in California is about 18 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). At this price, charging an electric car such as the Nissan LEAF with a 40-kWh battery with a 150-mile range would cost about $7 to fully charge.

How long do electric cars last? ›

This decreases the range and time needed between each journey to charge. Most manufacturers have a five to eight-year warranty on their battery. However, the current prediction is that an electric car battery will last from 10 – 20 years before they need to be replaced.

Are electric cars the future? ›

In the US, electric vehicles sales have climbed by more than 40 percent a year since 2016. By 2035, the largest automotive markets will be fully electric—providing both a glimpse of a green future and significant economic opportunity.

Why electric cars will never take over? ›

Consumers can't service or repair their EVs

EVs need regular maintenance, maybe not as much as gasoline-powered vehicles, but they also need maintenance and repairs. You can't perform this maintenance in your driveway because of the technology involved, which means taking your EV to the shop every time.

How long do electric cars take to charge? ›

Charging an electric car can be done at home or at any public charging stations. Fully charging a car can be done in just 30 minutes, or it may take as long as half a day.

Which car is best EV or petrol? ›

Electric car vs petrol car
ParameterElectric carPetrol car
CostExpensive (High price)Affordable than EVs
Cost of fuelLowHigh
Cost of maintenanceLowHigh
Fuel efficiencyHigher in the city and lower on highwaysHigher on highways and lower in city roads
3 more rows
6 Jun 2022

Are electric cars faster than petrol? ›

Quick vs.

EVs are often quicker than gasoline cars, but they're not always faster. This means that they can go from, say, 30 to 50 mph far more quickly but that their top speeds are often lower than gas cars'.

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