Electric vehicles are becoming a next-gen thing. With the ever-increasing fuel prices, people are now looking out to buy electric vehicles instead of conventional ones. This will not only help to save money on fuel but will also reduce the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global warming.
What is an Electric Car?
An Electric Car (EV) is essentially an automatic vehicle with an electric motor powering it. A fully electric car does not run on or have a petrol or diesel engine. Although some car manufacturers have come up with hybrid models. Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) typically use less fuel than similar conventional vehicles, because they employ electric-drive technologies to boost vehicle efficiency through regenerative braking – recapturing energy otherwise lost during braking. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and all-electric vehicles (EVs), also referred to as battery electric vehicles, are both capable of being powered solely by electricity.
Conventional cars running on fossil fuels are one of the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions and pollution. Switching to electric cars is a great step to combat the problem of climate change and keeping the environment pollution free.
Advantages of Electric Cars
No requirement for Fuel
Electric cars totally run on electricity and hence there is no need to buy fuel/gas from gas stations anymore. This is a huge saving to the pockets as the fuel prices are skyrocketing year by year.
Electric cars have higher energy efficiency than fossil-fuel-burning models. A vehicle’s energy efficiency is the amount of energy it gets from a fuel source. Battery-powered electric vehicles are known to benefit from an energy efficiency of up to 62 percent, which simply means that a high amount of electric energy is converted into the power source of the vehicle. In comparison, fossil fuel-powered vehicles do not have an energy efficiency of more than 21 percent.
Lower Maintenance Costs
Compared with gas-powered cars, EVs have far less moving parts. Less moving parts mean less things that can break and need to be replaced. Although electric cars are relatively new to the mass market, they also tend to last longer due to lower wear and tear. Another large factor is that they do not require oil changes – one of the more common causes for service calls. EV Owners can expect to save money over the lifetime of their car compared to a conventional internal combustion vehicle.
Convenience of Charging at Home
One of the most talked-about benefits of owning an electric vehicle is the convenience of charging at home. This makes parking at home effectively the same as going to the gas station every day. This advantage mostly applies to those who own their own home or have access to a charging station where they live. On the flip side, if you regularly travel further than your vehicle’s range and need to recharge on the road this advantage can become a disadvantage. However, more and more charging stations are being installed all over the country, making this less of an issue.
No Emission, Better for the Environment
By choosing to drive an EV you are helping to reduce harmful air pollution from exhaust emissions. An EV has zero exhaust emissions, but still creates a degree of greenhouse gas emissions when it is charged from the electricity grid. If you have a solar PV system and charge your EV during the day, you can reduce your greenhouse gas emissions even further.
Disadvantages of Using Electric Cars
Limited Driving Range
The driving range of a gas-powered car is much longer than that of an electric car, which can range anywhere from 100 miles to 400 depending on the type of car. This can be problematic if you’re planning a long-distance trip, but it should be fine for daily commutes if you charge your car nightly.
Longer Recharge Time
One thing gas has over electricity is how quickly you can refill the tank. Filling up at a gas station takes two to three minutes. Recharging an electric car can take hours to fully charge. The time will vary on the model of the car and the throughput of the charger. Newer fast chargers are rated for higher wattage and can charge up a battery to around 80% in about 30 minutes. As technology matures, this time should continue to decrease. For many, this is not a concern as they drive less than the range of their EV most days, but for those who need to drive longer distances regularly, this should be a consideration.
Replacing the Batteries is Expensive
Another downside of the electric cars is that replacing the battery packs is expensive. The batteries are one of the main reasons that EVs have a higher initial cost. A full replacement can cost upwards of $6,000. However, these prices are falling as technology advances. This issue is mitigated by the fact that a full battery replacement is not commonly needed, and overall, EVs remain cheaper to operate over their lifetime.
Final Notes: Is an Electric Car for me?
Most car manufacturing companies are trying to capture this new market of EV cars by launching cars in all ranges. Though EV cars have some disadvantages in the present time, continuous improvement is taking place in this space and more innovative and practical electric cars will be available in the coming years. Plus the Governments are also slowly pushing toward EVs being the go-to option.
Looking at the bigger picture, Electric vehicles are a cleaner, more environmentally-friendly way to travel plus pocket friendly too. So if you are looking for a daily commute within the range of a single battery charge, you should opt for Electric cars.
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