It’s rather common to hear people talk about the benefits of electric vehicle (EV) ownership, and it’s true, there are many benefits, such as reducing the burden on natural resources and producing zero harmful environmental pollutants. However, it’s not for everybody, as a few downsides exist to driving an EV as well. Below, we outline a few of the lesser-mentioned pros and cons when it comes to EV ownership.
Easy on the ears
A lot of newer vehicles, particularly those in the luxury class, are advertised as being quiet on the inside even when the motor is running. However, nothing can compete with how silent an EV’s interior is. Because they don’t rely on mini explosions happening inside a cylinder to create energy, as the case is with internal combustion technology, drivers can even at times be unaware whether their EV is off. That makes for some easy conversations out on the road, and fewer headaches from noise under the hood.
Quick on their feet
Unlike a gasoline-sipping vehicle that builds torque as engine RPMs climb higher, an EV has full torque available right from the start. This translates into instant acceleration when the gas pedal is depressed. In fact, at a scant 2.5 seconds, the fully electric Tesla Model S P100D in “Ludicrous” mode achieves the fastest 0-60 mph time of any production automobile in the world — better than a Lamborghini Huracan or a McLaren P1.
Take a gander at the scheduled maintenance checklist for any traditional car and it likely is a long one. Not having to change the oil, brake fluid, spark plugs, timing belts, air filter, etc. in an EV means a lot of extra money leftover at the end of the day. The sole moving part in an electric motor is the shaft, which needs little upkeep.
Pricier initial investment
For the most part, battery-powered vehicles come in at a higher MSRP than their fossil fuel-reliant counterparts — a 2017 Ford Focus Electric retails for $29,120 versus $24,075 for a similarly-spec’d standard variant — although costs are beginning to plateau. The government also offers rebates upon purchase, differing from state-to-state. In California, residents can receive up to $7,000 on eligible zero emission or plug-in hybrid passenger cars, depending on the model. For example, Chevrolet Volt buyers are able to apply for a $1,500 incentive, while those eyeing a Honda Clarity Fuel Cell may get as much as $5,000 off the sticker price.
Although auto companies are launching EVs at an increasing pace, it will be quite a while before customers have the ability to choose an electric option throughout every segment, from subcompact to trucks and SUVs. So depending on the specific needs of the person(s) shopping for a vehicle, the options might not be there. Yet.
Since the dawn of the EV era, concerns over a limited range of travel have been huge — no one wants to be stuck on the side of the road out of juice and without a place to plug in. Earlier versions indeed were only capable of covering short distances between top-ups, but maximum allowable distance is improving all the time. The recently released Chevrolet Bolt hatchback is rated for 238 miles on a single charge.