Electric Vehicles: Pros and Cons
In 2018, almost 75% of global CO2 emissions from transport came from road transport which is a huge proportion. Transportation is a huge expense, and with the rising costs of fuel and people’s awareness of their environmental impact, sales of electric vehicles have been on the rise. There are many reasons why the switch to an electric vehicle is becoming more popular but the fact that they are a much more sustainable option is a key factor.
How do electric vehicles differ to traditional cars?
Traditional cars use petrol and diesel as a form of fuel, whereas electric cars run off electricity therefore do not cause pollution. The assembly and manufacturing process for both is the same however electric vehicles tend to generate more carbon emissions due to their batteries being made from elements such as lithium, cobalt or nickel which require mining. When it comes to exterior looks, electric vehicles may look more modern but overall look exactly the same as a traditional fuel car.
Advantages of electric cars
- They are energy efficient – electric vehicles are much more efficient than conventional fuel powered cars and use a much higher percent of energy towards vehicle movement. Even the most efficient fuel engines only utilise up to 30% of energy whereas electric motors can be up to 77% efficient.
- Lower ongoing costs – recharging an electric car is much cheaper in the long run than buying fuel. Additionally, the cost of electricity is much more stable than the cost of fuel, meaning it’s a more predictable and budget friendly option.
- Reduce your carbon footprint – an electric car has no tailpipe and emits no CO2 or other greenhouse gases, making them much more environmentally friendly. Charging cars with renewable energy would mean that no carbon is emitted at any point during the use of your vehicle. You can even generate your own electricity to charge your car, investing in solar panels can offer a strong return on investment whether its on your house or car.
- Low maintenance – because electric vehicles don’t have as many components as traditional cars, they require less maintenance, which costs less, and tend to last longer due to less wear and tear.
- High quality performance – as electric vehicles have no exhaust system, they tend to operate much more quietly and smoothly, leading to less noise pollution and a more pleasant experience in the car.
- Convenient – more charging stations are being installed across the country and drivers also have the option of at home charging.
Disadvantages of electric vehicles
- High initial costs – purchasing an electric vehicle is typically much more expensive than a traditional car even though the cost can be offset by fuel savings and tax credit in the future.
- Limited driving range – the driving range of a fuel powered car is much longer than that of an electric car. At most it is around 300 miles per charge, which can be problematic for longer journeys.
- Charging takes a long time – whilst refuelling takes about five minutes, charging an electric car can take 8 hours from empty to full and whilst most people simply top up, this can also take around 30 minutes.
- Finding a charging point – although there has been an increase in charging points, finding one can still be challenging in certain areas.
- Replacing battery packs is expensive – although little maintenance is required, the battery pack will need replacing at some point in its lifetime (10-20 years), which can come at a significant cost.
Whether an electric vehicle is the right option for you is down to your own personal preferences, driving needs and use. With electric cars becoming more popular and more companies committing to developing electric and hybrid vehicles, electric cars will be the norm in the not-so-distant future. They contribute to reducing global emissions and with constant advances in technology, newer, greener options will be developed, helping us conserve the planet.