Electric vehicles, EVs or electric cars are one of the most innovative technologies in the automotive industry. The first electric car was invented in 1828 by a Hungarian engineer known as Anyos Jedlik. However, the technology didn’t seem to pick up until the late 90’s to the early 2000s when there was a revival of interest and more manufacturers started making electric cars on a commercial scale.
The two major events that brought electric cars back to life and made them popular were the release of the Prius and the announcement of Tesla. These two cars came with stylish designs that many didn’t mind driving and a pleasant driving experience. Also, around the same time, more people started paying attention to the climatic impact of regular diesel and petrol cars and made the switch to electric cars. Today, electric cars have gone mainstream with most car manufacturers offering an electric car line ranging from saloons to trucks. They offer many advantages such as zero carbon footprint, cheaper maintenance costs and high-quality performance. However, electric cars also have their shortcomings. Here is an in-depth look at the pros and cons of electric cars.
Zero Carbon Footprint
Petrol and diesel-fueled cars emit roughly 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide every year. This combined with other factors has led to the climatic disasters that we’re facing today. Electric cars, on the other hand, emit zero carbon dioxide gases which makes them environmentally friendly.
Electric motors have fewer moving parts than combustion engines. There are also no fluids or gears to worry about. Therefore, they require less maintenance since fewer things can break down or need repair. Additionally, the battery that powers these cars has a long lifespan and can go for up to 160,000 km without replacement.
Electricity Is Renewable
Electricity is generated through renewable ways such as wind and water power. On the other hand, oil is a natural resource which is not only limited to certain parts of the world but also finite. This means that one day, we’re going to run out of oil resources. Therefore, to avoid this problem, it’s best to depend on renewable energy such as electricity.
When buying and importing a car, there’s an emission-based tax that you have to pay. This depends on the engine capacity of the vehicle. For instance, vehicles with bigger engines pay more taxes since they’re likely to emit more carbon dioxide. Electric cars are exempt from paying this tax since they have zero emissions.
With the rising fuel cost, electric cars have become cheaper in terms of maintenance than their petrol and diesel-fueled counterparts. Maintenance costs have also gone down from the initial days when owning an electric car was insanely expensive. This is thanks to the growing demand for more electric cars leading to the mass production of batteries and other parts.
Pleasant Driving Experience
Electric cars are noticeably silent since they’re powered by a battery. Additionally, they have the simplest driving method. You can operate the car with just the accelerator, brake and steering wheel even in commercial electric cars. The braking system also makes use of friction heat to charge the battery. 5 Ways To Avoid A Deadly Accident
Limited Charging Points
One of the biggest challenges that people experience with electric cars is limited charging points. It’s more challenging if you’re planning to buy an electric car when you live in a developing country. The good thing is that some of the manufacturers offer an at-home charging station installation (at a price of course). You can also get a hybrid that isn’t fully reliant on electricity. Now especially as Europe has an issue with electric power because of the Russian – Ukranian war some countries like Switzerland are also becoming quite strict on electric cars using the electricity that is available.
Buying an electric car isn’t cheap. Most of them are above Ksh 2,000,000 which is out of reach for ordinary people. Additionally, electricity isn’t free or cheap. Without enough research on the vehicle’s consumption, you might make a mistake in choosing the ideal electric car for you.
9. Hard To Find Mechanics And Spare Parts
Though electric cars generally require far less servicing than other cars, they still need some maintenance and can break down unexpectedly. Finding an experienced mechanic and spare parts for electric cars can be a challenge, especially in countries where they are still not as common. Additionally, the repair costs and spare parts are expensive.
10. Range Anxiety
Before mastering an electric car, you’ll experience a lot of anxiety especially due to the driving range. This technology isn’t great in most cars and it may end up overestimating or underestimating the range. Additionally, the range may fluctuate based on driving habits. The range mainly boils down to how well the driver operates the vehicle.
11. Unwanted Updates
EV software updates are pretty common. There are some that are Over-The-Air (OTA) which simply means that the car updates itself over the air. There are also updates that electric car owners can purchase from the manufacturers to upgrade their car’s performance. The problem with these updates is that you can’t drive your car when doing a software update. Additionally, many have speculated that car manufacturers use these updates to manipulate the performance of the car and compel drivers to upgrade to newer software. Unfortunately, electric cars rely on software to a great extent which means owners are at the mercy of the manufacturer.
12. They Are Not Always Environmentally Friendly
One of the reasons why people buy electric cars is that they are more “environmentally friendly”. This is not always the case because in some places the electricity used to charge the car comes partly from fossil fuels. According to Energuide, an average of 60 % of the electricity produced in the world comes from coal and gas, i.e. fossil fuels. This means that an electric car produces nearly as much CO2 per kilometre as a petrol or diesel vehicle. Also the cost of mining some of the components for electric cars also has a heavy toll on the environment. The issue of recycling is also an issue.
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