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Is An Electric Car Right For You?

If you’ve driven on the road in the past 10 years, you’ve certainly encountered your fair share of electric cars. These futuristic vehicles not only look out of a science fiction movie, but they offer performance and comfort unlike anything else on the road. The issue is there’s a ton of information surrounding them, some good, some bad, and it’s hard to know where to turn if you’re considering one for your next car.

We’ve come to the rescue to give you a comprehensive look at electric vehicles and the pros and cons they offer. While it may be easy to shrug them off wholesale, in the right situation they can not only make your life easier, but save you money. It’s always best to be informed about your options, and in today’s market, there’s quite a lot to choose from.

What Is An Electric Vehicle?

Put simply, an electric vehicle (EV) is a vehicle that fuels its propulsion through the use of electricity as opposed to the combustion of gasoline or diesel fuel. Pure battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) fit under this definition, but we’re only going to focus on vehicles that run solely on electricity.

These vehicles get their power by plugging in at a home or public charger and offer you the same capabilities of a combustion vehicle and more, but there are limitations to keep in mind. We’ve compiled some of the biggest pros and cons associated with EVs to give you a good picture of what to expect from them.


Smooth, Silent Power

The first benefit you’ll experience with an electric car is how they drive. When you hit the throttle in a gas car, it takes a few seconds for the RPMs to rise for you to pick up speed, and you’ll go through quite a few gear changes to get there. In an EV, the torque is instantaneous and the speed comes on linearly, making even a low-powered EV feel quick. This makes a quick trip to the grocery store a more enjoyable endeavor, and enthusiasts are sure to enjoy the increased performance too.

Less standard maintenance

There are dozens if not hundreds of moving parts in engines and multispeed transmissions. More moving parts mean more things that can go wrong. While you still need to maintain parts of an EV, the battery has no moving parts, and the motors generally only have two. These aren’t moving parts that have to contain explosions either, so they’re much less prone to failure over time. While it’s always possible to pick a bad egg, it’s a good option for the driver who doesn’t want to worry about their vehicle.

More efficient

According to the US Department of Energy, conventional gasoline vehicles only convert 12-30% of the energy stored in gasoline into power at the wheels, whereas EVs convert over 77% of electrical energy acquired from the grid into the same power. EVs are simply much more energy efficient than combustion vehicles, and this has the dual benefit of being better for the environment (in the long run) and easier on your wallet.


Range Anxiety

According to Bloomberg, the average range of EVs in the US is closing in on 300 miles, which is more than enough for most Americans, with the Department of Transportation saying the average person drives 39.7 miles a day. This paints an imperfect picture, however, and doesn’t take into consideration hills, cold weather, and towing needs, all of which can drain your battery well below the EPA-rated range. No matter what EV you drive, you will worry about range at some point in your ownership.

Charging Problems

EVs, on average, take much longer to charge than combustion vehicles take to fill up. It’s an annoying reality made only worse by the imperfect charging network we have across the U.S. The Joint Office of Energy and Transportation says there are currently 183,000 public charging ports across the US capable of charging 1 EV at a time, with millions of EVs on the roads vying for them. This means finding one can be a difficult endeavor, and if you’re looking for the fastest charging speeds, you’re looking at one expensive fill-up.

High cost of entry

The final, and perhaps most significant barrier for EVs is their high cost of entry. The average price of an EV in the US is about $55,000 according to Kelly Blue Book, which is $10,000 more expensive than the average price of a combustion vehicle. While it’s true the Inflation Reduction Act’s EV Tax Credit can take $7,500 off of a qualifying EV, most are still going to start at more than $40,000.

When An EV Makes The Most Sense

There are many other factors to consider on top of these, but with these in mind, an EV makes the most sense for consumers who are looking for a second vehicle and own a home/apartment where they can charge to take advantage of the cheapest electricity rates. Charging at night means you’ll always have a good amount of range in the morning to get around town, and having a second combustion vehicle means you’ll have another means of transportation for longer trips.

If one or both of these stipulations don’t fit you, it may make more sense to consider a hybrid if you’re looking for better fuel economy and lower emissions. While there will come a day sooner than you think when an EV will be the perfect one-car solution for a majority of buyers, it’s still a work in progress.

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