Electric vehicles have come a long way since their debut over a century ago. Even though the first powered vehicles were electrical, the gas engine soon took over and made electric cars commonplace at the expense of the environment. Now, people are more aware of the pros and cons of electric vehicles in reducing greenhouse gases and providing more economical transport.
While electric vehicles offer many advantages, there are also some drawbacks. Potential buyers of electric cars need to decide whether they want an all-electric vehicle (AEV), a plug-in hybrid electric car(PHEV) and if they want a gasoline-powered vehicle. Electric Cars Tech outlines the advantages and disadvantages or pros and cons of electric vehicles associated with electric cars/ vehicles.
Advantages/Pros of Electric Cars
Electric cars are increasing in popularity. Like conventional cars, electric vehicles offer certain advantages. Here are the top six benefits of electric vehicles.
- Electric cars can be energy efficient
- Electric cars reduce carbon emissions
- These electric cars are low-maintenance and high-performance
- Electric cars can accelerate
- They can look real!
- They grow greener the moment they are driven
There are many benefits to electric cars. They are far more energy-efficient and less maintenance than traditional gas-powered cars. Refueling is slower than filling up a car at a petrol station, and upfront costs can be prohibitive.
Below are some details about these pros and cons.
Electric cars can be energy efficient
Energy efficiency means the percentage of fuel used to produce energy used to power the vehicle’s wheels. AEVs can be more efficient than conventional gasoline-powered vehicles. AEV batteries convert between 59 and 62 percent of energy into vehicle movement. Gas-powered vehicles only convert between 17 percent and 21 percent. AEVs charge more battery energy than a gasoline pump to power their cars.
Electric cars reduce carbon emissions
All-electric vehicles have another advantage: they reduce emissions and use less fuel. The rechargeable battery powers an electric car, so there are no tailpipe emissions that can be a problem. Additionally, rechargeable batteries mean less fuel cost, allowing all energy to be produced domestically and sometimes through renewable resources, such as solar panels.
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The battery technology has improved in light-duty AEVs, allowing them to travel 100 miles with only 25 to 40% of their electricity. An electric vehicle can travel around 43 miles at $1.00 for three miles per kWh. For the same price, an average gasoline vehicle, which has a fuel economy of 22 MPG, will only be 10 miles. For $1.00, an electric vehicle will travel almost four times as far.
These electric cars are low-maintenance and high-performance
All-electric vehicles also have high-performance motors that are quieter, smoother, and require less maintenance than internal-combustion engines. Driving can be enjoyable because AEV motors respond quickly, making them responsive and providing good torque. AEVs tend to be more modern than their gasoline-powered counterparts. Additionally, they are often more connected digitally and have charging stations that you can control from your smartphone.
Electric cars can accelerate
This EV may not be considered a benefit, but many electric cars have incredible acceleration. Electric vehicles generate maximum torque at zero revolutions/minute (rpm), which can sustain throughout their rev range. It allows the large, seven-seat Tesla P90D to reach 60 miles an hour in just 2.5 seconds when it’s set to “Ludicrous” mode. In June 2016, 30 students from Switzerland developed the world’s fastest electric car. It went from 0-60 mph in just 1.513 seconds.
They can look real!
Electric cars can have unique looks. Tesla and BMW make electric cars that are unique and full of technology. You will find it quite remarkable to be able to speed down the road in an electric vehicle.
They grow greener the moment they are driven.
We know that electric cars are more environmentally friendly than the ones powered by fossil-fuel-based fuels, as we’ve seen. However, this balance is reversed once a vehicle begins to be driven. The electric car does not emit any emissions while being driven. In contrast, a car powered by fossil fuels emits carbon dioxide and other gases.
According to the UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders(SMMT), the average CO2 emissions of a brand new car in 2016 was 120.1g/km, which is 193.3g CO2/mile. We can ignore that most official emissions numbers are much higher than what drivers achieve in real-life driving conditions. If we drove 2016’s average new car for 135,000 km, it would produce more than 26 tons of CO2.
TNO, Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research, calculates that the average car produces 275g of CO2 per kilometer in real-life driving. If the car traveled the same distance as the benchmark, it would emit over 37 tons of CO2.
The US Environmental Protection Agency has a much higher average annual emission at 4.7 tons of CO2 per car, driving 11,400 miles per year. That’s 412g CO2 per mile! The average American vehicle would release 55 tons of CO2 per mile to cover 135,000 miles.
In addition to the above 6 tons of emissions, 6 tons are created in drilling, refining, etc. To drive a patrol car or diesel car for 135,000 km, one needs to have 135,000 mpg of fossil fuels because the oil and gas drilling process releases approximately 57g CO2 for each kWh of power.
Even though the country’s energy infrastructure is dominated by coal and gas-fired power station, an electric car can have a lower impact over its lifetime. The UK’s public electric vehicle charging stations are powered mainly by renewable energy. An electric vehicle in this country will emit much less carbon than a fossil-fuel-powered vehicle. People who own electric cars tend to use 100% Renewable Tariffs to charge their vehicles at home, which will increase the chances of lower emissions.
Electric cars can be fully charged using the electricity that you supply. As fuel prices rise, driving fuel-based vehicles could be a costly venture.
Average Americans pay approximately 15 cents to drive a car powered by gasoline, but electric vehicles only cost five cents.
You can install solar panels in garages to reduce the cost of charging cars. You will also save money on your home’s electricity.
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Top Disadvantages of Electric Cars
- Electric cars can cover less distance
- EV takes a longer time to “refuel”
- Electric cars are more costly, so you may need to replace the battery packs
- Their batteries require rare metals
- There aren’t enough charging points
- Their power sources are just as green
- Electric car manufacturing cause more pollution
Electric cars can cover less distance.
AEVs are, on average, less efficient than cars that run on gas. Most models run between 60 to 120 miles per charge, while luxury models go as high as 300 miles. It means that you can drive long distances. It could be an issue if you are a frequent traveler. AEVs might not be as suitable for activities such as road trips because there aren’t enough charging stations.
Electric cars take a longer time to “refuel.”
The fueling of an all-electric automobile can also prove challenging. It takes to recharge the battery pack with a Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3 charger can take up to 8 hours. It can also take 30 minutes for fast charging stations to charge 8 percent capacity. Electric car drivers will need to plan carefully as running low on power isn’t something you can solve by simply stopping at gas pumps.
Expensive EV Batteries Replacement.
The expensive battery packs inside an electric vehicle can be expensive and may need replacement more than once in its life. All-electric cars tend to be more expensive than gas-powered ones, prohibitively expensive. However, if tax credits or state incentives are made available, this can offset some of the cost.
All-electric vehicles must be evaluated, just like all other vehicles, based on the individual’s needs and the vehicle’s usage. These include fuel savings and lower emissions. However, you may rely on battery charging and incur higher costs. When buying an all-electric car, consider what works best for yourself.
Their batteries require rare metals.
The lithium used in the batteries of electric cars is the lightest and most durable metal. Chile is the country that produces the highest amount of lithium (8.800 tons per year), alongside Argentina and China. Bolivia also has the largest known reserve. Copper, cobalt. Aluminum, nickel, manganese, and sometimes cobalt are all metals used to make electric cars batteries. We are unlikely to see large numbers of electric vehicles in Europe in the short term because we don’t have enough lithium resources and don’t have the factories needed to make them.
At the moment, 12276 locations in the UK have charging points. And, the UK will add more than 460 chargers in new places. The number of sockets will increase to 80,000 by 2025. It is comparable to the 8,746 fuel stations available in the UK. Filling a car with petrol or diesel takes about a minute, not as long as it takes to supply one.
As more electric vehicles are used, we’ll need to think about charging them. The electric car could become our next smartphone. We need to make sure it’s fully charged and ready for action to get through our day.
There could be problems caused by the need to charge vehicles. What if everyone plugged their electric vehicle into the electric charger at home or work? How can this surge in demand be addressed?
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There aren’t enough charging points.
The big issue with electric cars is charging or refueling. However, it takes just a few minutes to fill a car with petrol or diesel, and not more than 30 minutes.
It is often avoided by installing a charging station at their home. For those who live in terraced houses, this is not an option. They often need to park their car some distance away from their home because there is no on-street parking.
Problems could arise from the need to charge our cars. What if everyone set their vehicles when they arrived at work at 9:00 am or returned home at 6:45 pm? How can we deal with the increase in demand?
Their power sources are just as green.
Depending upon how the electricity users used to charge an electric car, its environmental impact may vary. An average coal-fired power station produces 800-850g of CO2 per kWh (recent assessments suggest that this is lower at 650g per KWH), while a cleaner gas-fired plant emits 350-400g per KWH. 36g of carbon dioxide is released per kWh of renewable energy (e.g. solar panels or wind turbines) when it’s manufactured. Suppose a car is charged with renewable electricity. In that case, it has a far lower impact on the environment than if it is charged with electricity from an existing coal-fired power station.
Although it is expected the situation will improve.
Electric car manufacturing cause more pollution
The source of its components and how they are made will provide a clear picture of greenhouse gas emissions. The car is made from raw materials that are mined. That process can create a lot more greenhouse gases. Refinement is the final step in making the car, and this again emits greenhouse gas. In the manufacturing process, there is more greenhouse gas.
However, this is also true when making a petrol/diesel car.
Electric cars emit roughly the same amount of CO2, but it is necessary to include the production of batteries. It is estimated that 150kg of CO2 will be released for every 1 KiloWatt hour (kWh) of battery storage capacity. An electric vehicle must have a minimum of 60kWh battery capacity to maintain a decent range (say 300 miles) between charges. During the manufacturing of electric cars, more than 9 tons of CO2 will be produced. It makes an electric car seem worse than a vehicle made with fossil fuels.
Although electric vehicle manufacturers will have to overcome some of the obstacles consumers face, the future is certain that EVs will outlast gas-powered cars in the long term. In January 2021, GM (Nissan) announced that they would be going all-electric in the 2030s. There will be other automakers that follow. Keeping in mind the future of vehicles, Electric Cars Tech created a list of pros and cons of electric vehicles for our valuable readers.