Electric vehicles (EVs) have been growing in popularity over the last ten years. Advancements in EV technology, growing environmental awareness, and new policy incentives have spurred this trend. As more electric cars come on the market and we continue to embrace sustainable transportation, a holistic assessment of the pros and cons of electric cars is necessary to assess whether making the switch is right for you. This guide explores electric vehicle pros and cons and aims to arm you with the tools needed to make an informed decision. Keep reading to learn more!

Pros of Electric Cars

Electric vehicle technology is still developing and changing. Continuous optimizations are being made to make electric cars competitive contenders with traditional gas-powered cars. Let’s explore some of the advantages of electric cars and the ways in which electric cars win out over gas-powered cars.

Environmental Benefits of Electric Cars

One of the greatest benefits of electric cars is the lack of tailpipe emissions. Tailpipe emissions from traditional gasoline-powered cars contribute to air pollution and carbon emissions—two concerns that electric vehicles help alleviate. This makes electric cars a more environmentally friendly choice. Switching to an electric vehicle can help you reduce your carbon footprint without sacrificing convenient and easy transportation.

Electric Cars Save You Money

The money you can save on gas with an electric car is another notable benefit of electric cars. A study conducted by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute highlighted that the average annual cost of electricity to power an electric car was just $485. Comparatively, the average annual cost of gas for a vehicle stood at $1,117. Data from the United States Department of Energy further supports the cost-effectiveness of electric cars as compared to gas-powered vehicles, finding that EV annual fuel costs typically stayed below $1000, while gas-powered cars had an average fuel cost between $2,000 and $7,000. While these two sources cite different annual costs, consistent between both is a clear conclusion that electric vehicles have notably lower annual fuel costs.

With an electric car, not only are you paying for a cleaner mode of transportation, you’re also paying less for it. It’s a win-win!

Electric Vehicle Tax Credits

In addition to the cost savings offered by switching from gasoline to electricity, tax incentives and rebates have been introduced in recent years to facilitate electric vehicle adoption, offering even greater cost savings when you make the switch! These financial incentives can help you manage the upfront cost of purchasing an EV and help to make electric cars more accessible. You can learn more about the available tax credits here.

In addition to tax credits for new electric vehicles, there are also tax credits available when you purchase a used electric car. This is yet another cost-saving measure—you can scope out a great deal on a used electric vehicle and still receive a tax credit for that purchase.

Low Maintenance Costs

In addition to the environmental and cost-saving benefits of electric cars, there are maintenance and performance benefits as well. Gasoline-powered cars have more moving parts on average, compared with electric cars, necessitating more routine maintenance and repairs. In fact, electric vehicle owners who adhere to manufacturer maintenance guidelines are likely to spend only half of what traditional internal combustion engine drivers spend on their maintenance costs. Furthermore, electric car drivers do not need to take their vehicles in for routine oil checks, yet another maintenance cost that is reduced when opting for an EV.

electric car charging

Cons of Electric Cars

We want to provide a holistic view of electric vehicles which includes addressing some of the common concerns and anxieties tied to making the switch, as well as offering solutions that have the potential to alleviate these concerns. Let’s jump in!

Upfront Cost

A driving concern when it comes to purchasing an electric car is the higher upfront cost compared to a gas-powered option. Switching to an electric vehicle will help you save on gas and maintenance costs over time, but the initial purchase price can still be a deterrent. Luckily, there are tax incentives and rebates in place to help individuals manage the upfront costs and encourage electric vehicle adoption. If the cost of purchasing an electric car is a preventative factor for you, look into what incentive offers may be available to you. You can learn more about tax credits and rebates for electric vehicles here.

Electricity Bills

Another cost-related concern is the impact of at-home charging on household electricity bills. While ultimately, the fuel cost associated with powering an electric vehicle is less than the cost of gas to power a traditional car, it can still be daunting to see electricity bills rise rapidly. On the bright side, there is a sustainable way to mitigate rising energy costs—community solar! Subscribing to a community solar farm doesn’t require any upfront cost or home installation but allows you to support the generation of clean energy while saving between 10 and 15 percent on your annual electricity costs. If you’re worried about the impact of at-home EV charging on your energy bills, consider subscribing to a community solar farm with Nexamp.

Range Anxiety

Another common concern is range anxiety—worry about running out of battery before reaching the next charging station. In this regard, electric vehicles lag a bit behind gasoline vehicles, not just in terms of range but the proliferation of gas stations as compared to EV chargers as well. However, as electric vehicles continue to grow in popularity, not only is vehicle technology and battery life improving, so too is access to charging stations.

Significant investments are being made in expanding EV charging access. In fact, $7.5 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is going towards supporting the growth of EV charging nationally with the goal of 500,000 or more public chargers by 2030.

Frequently Asked Questions About Electric Cars:

How do electric cars work?

How electric cars work is a common question, owing in part to the newness of mainstream and luxury electric cars. Electric cars are powered by chargeable batteries instead of internal combustion engines. These batteries power the motor in the car, propelling the wheels forward.

Are electric cars worth it?

While there are certainly pros and cons to purchasing an electric car, the cons pale in comparison to the pros. Ultimately, determining whether an electric car is worth it will depend on your own needs and ability to charge your car; however, the long-term cost savings and energy efficiency of an electric car cannot be beaten by a traditional gas-powered car.

How long does it take to charge an electric car?

To calculate how long you need to charge your electric car, consider how much energy you need and the power capacity of your charger. For example, the average American drives approximately 30 miles per day, and a typical electric car uses .32 kWh per mile driven. This means that the car would need around 9.6 kWh per day. To calculate charge time, just divide your kWh needs by the power capacity of the charger. So, for example, to achieve a 9.6 kWh charge on a standard 7kW single-phase charger, it would take just under an hour and a half. On a slower 2.3 kW charger, it would take a bit over 4 hours. If charging from empty, standard 7kW chargers can get a 60kWh battery full from empty in 8 hours—just leave the car plugged in overnight, and you should be good to go!

How long do electric car batteries last?

The average electric car battery should last between 100,000 and 200,000 miles. It typically takes between 7 and 14 years to achieve this distance. According to federal law, a minimum of 8 years, or 100,000 miles, is required to be covered by warranty.

Are electric cars better for the environment?

The answer to this question is a resounding yes. Even when considering the resources required to generate electricity to charge electric cars, their carbon footprint is smaller, on average, than conventional vehicles. As renewable energy sources become more prevalent, the emissions associated with electric cars are likely to decline even further, cementing their status as an environmentally friendly choice.

It is evident that electric vehicle growth is a priority, made clear through the tax incentives available for purchasing a new or used electric vehicle, as well as the seismic investment in expanding the EV charging network nationally. Electric cars are an exciting deviation from traditional gasoline cars. They offer many benefits to consumers through cost-savings, driving experience, and to the environment through reduced emissions. As electric vehicle technology continues to evolve and the national network of charging stations expands, the downsides of electric vehicles will continue to be alleviated, making them an increasingly appealing choice for consumers.