The electric car has been gaining a lot of traction in the past ten years or so. A lot of that is thanks in part because of companies like Tesla Motors putting out cars that are practical, reliable, fast, and most of all very sleek looking. The Telsa Model X SUV has started to make way to anxious customers waiting on their preorders, and the Tesla Model 3 is coming in the not so distant future. Combine that with other manufacturers such as Porsche, Audi, and BMW working on electric cars, the popularity of EV cars on the road will continue to rise. However, everything is not perfect when it comes to the world of EV cars, and that’s the reason not everyone is rushing to ditch their gas-powered vehicle in favour of an EV one. We’ve compiled this list of the positives and negatives of electric cars.
1. NO MORE GAS STATIONS
EV vehicles require no fuel to run. That means there’s no more going to the gas station, and there is lots of good in that. It’s time-consuming, gas prices can go up and down unexpectedly, and every time you stop for gas, you’re fighting impulsions for snacks and other purchases. By driving an EV car, you can break your dependency on gas stations.
2. QUIET RIDE
Electric vehicles are very quiet and have no engine or exhaust to produce noise. It’s one of the first things most people notice when driving in an EV for the first time. The only noise you notice is road noise from your tires hitting the pavement or from the climate control moving air within the cabin. It’s a very surreal and a more relaxing environment to drive around in.
3. LESS REPAIRS
Because EV cars are mostly made up of batteries, there are very few actual mechanical parts. The engines are simple, and do not have many accessories or moving parts. This means there are fewer sensors, hoses, moving parts that can break. So far at least, EV cars require fewer repairs than gas-powered cars. You also won’t have to do oil changes or bring you car for servicing until the car alerts you to any problems.
4. INSTANT TORQUE
Unlike gas-powered cars that gain their peak power output at higher RPMs, EV cars offer torque and horsepower instantly. Even in their early infancy, EV cars are already competing with the likes of some of the fastest production supercars in the world.
5. ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
By not using fossil fuels for energy, EV cars are a lot more environmentally friendly than their gas counterparts. While they still require electricity to recharge their batteries, which they get from a grid that burns fossil fuels as a large percentage of their power generation, Electric cars are more efficient at converting their stored power. With an official EPA of 89, the Tesla Model S is far more environmentally friendly than a “clean” gas-hybrid such as the Toyota Prius.
Standard combustion engine cars use heater cores that gain their heat as engine coolant passing through them. It requires the car engine to warm up the coolant to heat the cabin. EV cars don’t have coolant and some EV cars such as the Telsa use a Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) heater. It’s basically a resistor that increases its resistance as it heats up. If you live in a cold climate and want to warm up your interior, you can do so without having to idle your combustion engine while polluting the environment.
6. SAFER THAN GAS-POWERED
The lack of a large bulky engine in the front of the Tesla allowed engineers more room for crumple zones. This has allowed the Tesla to achieve the best safety rating of any car ever tested. EV cars have the potential to be safer than gas-powered cars for that reason.
7. LACK OF ENGINE NOISE
While it may be relaxing and quiet, if you are a petrolhead, a world full of electric vehicles probably scares you a bit. For anyone who appreciates their car for more than a means of transportation, the sound and rumble of a combusting engine is heaven on earth. It’s hard for true car enthusiasts to imagine the world with silent cars. Quiet cars can also be a safety issue, pedestrians and cyclists are less likely to hear you and move out of the way when being approached by something producing almost no noise.
8. CAN’T SERVICE IT YOURSELF
The days of being able to fix your car may be over. While EV cars have less mechanical parts and likely will have fewer issues than your typical gas-powered vehicles, if something does go wrong with your EV, you can’t just visit your local Auto Zone to get replacement batteries. At least not yet.
9. EV CARS ARE EXPENSIVE
EV cars are not cheap, and if you want something more sporty and eye-pleasing you will have to step-up to the more expensive and luxuries Tesla cars. If the $20,000 Nissan Leaf isn’t sporty enough for you, the base model Tesla Model S will set you back almost $80,000 more.
10. CAN’T DRIVE FAR EASILY
Trips take planning, and you can’t just simply hop in your EV and drive across the country. The range of your EV will limit you to stop and recharge, and that means a lot of planning. Instead of refuelling at the first station when your gas-powered car is running low, EV owners need to find a power outlet and wait out the recharge. As of May 2015 there were 203 Tesla supercharging stations in North America, and even if you happen to find yourself lucky enough to get to one, it will take 75 minutes to recharge fully.