It's Electric! What to Expect with Owning an Electric Car
Updated: Jul 21, 2022
As gas prices continue to rise, many individuals and families are considering the switch to electric cars. This relatively new technology has recently taken a huge uptick in sales as people realize the potential savings and the reduced environmental impact. But is owning an electric car as great as advertised? Here are some pros and cons to consider with going electric.
Benefits of Owning an Electric Car
Electric cars are incredibly efficient.
In this day and age, efficiency is everything. Less time and money for more reward is always a win, and electric cars create that kind of benefit because of how efficiently they use energy. With any engine, there is a question of how much energy is actually converted into vehicle movement. Typical gas engines convert about 17-21% of energy into movement, while electric vehicles are capable of conversion rates as high as 60%. This means the money you spend to power your vehicle is going farther than with a traditional gasoline engine. Less money on energy sources means more money right in your pocket.
Electric vehicles use domestically produced energy.
No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, most Americans want to see more jobs available and production happening in their backyard. Oil is a limited resource that is obtained primarily from foreign countries, some of which hold a high level of power that create a potentially dangerous dependency. Electricity can be sourced and produced locally in our cities and towns, which can lend to creating more autonomy in our nation as a whole. While working together globally and supporting foreign countries is important, creating self-sufficiency is an equal priority. Electric vehicles can minimize our reliance on fossil fuels and encourage more jobs and opportunities right here in the U.S.
Electric cars are better for the environment.
We all want a better future for the next generation, and taking care of our planet is the best way to make this dream a reality. Electric vehicles don’t produce the level of pollutants that standard gas-guzzlers do, so your carbon footprint is much lower if you drive an all-electric vehicle or even a hybrid vehicle. Emissions from gas engines are one of the top sources of pollution in the United States, lending to increased environmental damage and health risks for citizens. By opting for an electric car, you can make a difference by not contributing to this existing problem.
Electric vehicle owners are eligible for a tax credit.
Everyone likes to get more back from the IRS come tax season. The federal government recognizes the benefits of more electric vehicles on the road, so they provide money back to citizens that purchase electric vehicles. By going green, you can receive up to $7,500 in tax credits after buying your new electric car, which knocks a significant amount off of the original price tag. You can use the money to pay down any loans for the car, or perhaps invest in more green initiatives such as solar panels to power your new car. Either way, the money back is a great incentive for people on the fence about buying an electric vehicle.
Electric cars are less expensive to maintain.
A trip to the auto shop is always nerve-racking. It could be a hundred bucks, or rack up to thousands of dollars depending on the problem. While electric vehicles may still have their fair share of wear and tear, overall they are much less costly to maintain. Combustible engines require a lot of associated parts in order to work properly, but electric cars don’t come with all the extra pumps and valves and fluids. Over time, this leads to much less money spent on maintenance and equates to less time spent in the auto shop for routine servicing.
Disadvantages of Electric Car Ownership
Electric vehicles have a limited driving distance.
Many commuters travel a decent distance these days with the changing economy and rising living expenses. Additionally, vehicles require a significant amount of energy to get from point A to point B in major cities and routes since there is often a lot of stop-and-go traffic. The average gas-powered car can make it about 300 miles on a full tank of gas before needing to be refilled, so you can easily get to where you need to go and back without much worry. Electric vehicles, however, often average around 60 to 100 miles on one charge unless you opt for a luxury model, which can reach the same expected 300 mile mark. If you drive locally and don’t do much long-distance commuting, then you likely won’t need to worry about the limited driving range. But if you are finding yourself with an 1-hour commute along I-5, you likely won’t be able to make it on a single overnight charge in an electric vehicle.
Charging stations are not very common yet.
While electricity is everywhere, charging stations are just now being built in more places as people make the switch. Many gas stations and grocery stores are making the effort to install charging stations in their parking lots, but this is still a relatively new concept and isn’t guaranteed in every town. Local travel may not be much of a concern, but if you plan on using your electric vehicle for a road trip, you may have problems locating convenient stopping points to recharge your vehicle. You’ll have to plan ahead more for travel to make sure you have the right route to make it to your destination without running out of charge.
Recharging electric cars is more time-consuming.
Gas engines are certainly convenient because of how little time it takes to refuel. You can quickly pop into a gas station and be back on the road within 5 minutes. Electric charging stations, on the other hand, take about 45 minutes to fully recharge the car’s battery, meaning there is a lot of sitting and waiting. Ideally you will charge your vehicle at home overnight so it is ready to go the next day, but if you have to travel far enough that you can’t make it back home, you’ll have to prepare to waste some time at a charging station. You can try to make the most of this time by planning to recharge in locations with a local attraction or shops where you can hammer out some errands while you wait.
With all things considered, electrical vehicles do offer many perks despite their setbacks. For families thinking about making the switch, it is best to evaluate your typical driving habits and make sure your routine won’t be seriously impacted by the charging needs and limitations of an electric vehicle. Whichever way you choose, stay safe out on the road and know Hohaia Law is here if you ever need help.