Today’s car-shopping experience provides many options that weren’t around a decade ago. Not only can you choose a variety of makes and models, but now you also have the option of buying electric cars, or electric vehicles (EV). With gas prices over $5/gallon, you may already be considering going electric.
Electric cars are gaining in popularity. They offer savings on gas and environmentally friendly designs. However, these vehicles may not be suitable for everyone just yet. Here we weigh the pros and cons of electric vehicles. That way, you’ll be better equipped to decide which option better suits you.
Pros & Cons of Electric Cars
There are obvious perks to owning an electric car. However, as with anything new or involving change, many people are hesitant to commit. While both gas-powered and electric vehicles have their benefits, it’s up to you to determine which one better fits your driving needs.
Better for the Environment
Electric cars are designed with the environment in mind. Driving a car that produces zero emissions lessens the effects of climate change, improves air quality in cities, and ultimately creates a less polluted planet for future generations.
In addition, electric cars are typically more energy-efficient than gas-powered cars. Battery power in electric vehicles typically converts into energy at a higher rate than in gas-powered engines.
Lower Fuel Costs
Rising gas prices make electric vehicles look even more enticing. Your energy costs at home may increase somewhat due to charging your car. But, the average driver should still expect to save a significant amount on fuel costs each month.
Less Maintenance Required
Electric cars don’t have the same maintenance requirements as gas-powered cars. Overall, the wear and tear on a gas-powered engine can be costly for the car owner. Since EVs don’t require oil to lubricate the engine, many maintenance costs, such as oil changes, are a thing of the past. The main concern for electric car owners will be battery maintenance.
Tax Credits Available
Electric vehicles usually qualify for specific tax credits. These can help reduce the cost of the car. The credits offered can change annually, so it’s wise to speak with an accountant to learn how they will impact your tax bill.
Quieter to Drive
Because EVs don’t have a combustion engine, the cars are typically very quiet – both inside and out. A quieter cabin can offer a more enjoyable journey, especially if you want to talk with your passenger or listen to music, a podcast, or an audiobook.
More Storage Space
In addition to a standard trunk, many electric cars also have a “frunk” – a front trunk. EVs don’t require a traditional engine. So, this area is typically converted into more storage space. While storage will vary by make and model, the extra space gives car manufacturers flexibility in designing their vehicles.
Limited Long-Distance Driving
While more and more charging stations pop up across the country, drivers are still limited in how far they can travel. Most new electric vehicles have a range of about 200 miles. So, if you’re driving long distances, it can be a challenge. You’ll have to plan your trip around charging station locations.
Fueling (Charging) Takes Longer
When charging your EV at home, it can take up to eight hours or more to charge your battery. This can be an issue if you have to drive somewhere unexpectedly. And, while public charging stations take quite a bit less time, you will still have to devote about 30 minutes for a full charge on your vehicle.
High Initial Cost
The price tag of electric vehicles can be pretty high. Because there are tax credits available when purchasing EVs, many manufacturers price this “discount” into the car’s cost. Unfortunately, the higher vehicle price may completely offset any potential fuel savings. We encourage you to do some math. Compare the price of the car you like with how much you’ll save on gas.
Higher Repair Costs
Electric vehicles do not require the same routine maintenance costs as gas-powered cars. For example, it doesn’t need oil changes. However, if you need maintenance or repairs, it can be more costly. If you have to replace the battery, it can be quite expensive, depending on the manufacturer. Before deciding to purchase an EV, make sure to research these costs so you’re not surprised later down the road.
Higher Insurance Costs
Electric vehicles are generally more costly to insure than conventional gas-powered cars, for two reasons: 1) electric vehicles have a higher sticker price, and 2) electric vehicle parts are typically more expensive to replace. It’s always wise to call your auto insurance provider for a quote before you buy a new car.
Cars, in general, can depreciate quickly. However, because the technology involved in electric vehicles is advancing rapidly, older EVs may lose their resale value even more quickly than traditional vehicles.
Before you decide whether or not you want an electric car, it’s important to explore why you want one. If you’re looking to help the environment, you won’t find a better option. If you simply want to pay less at the pump, the higher price tag of the vehicle might erase those potential savings.
However, as more car manufacturers release electric vehicles, prices should begin to decline. The decision is up to you, and you need to consider whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages yourself.
We’re Here to Help!
Whether you decide to purchase an electric vehicle, a hybrid, or a gas-powered car, take your time, and weigh your options. Our team is here to help answer all your questions and work with you one-on-one to get approved for your loan.
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Each individual’s financial situation is unique and readers are encouraged to contact the Credit Union when seeking financial advice on the products and services discussed. This article is for educational purposes only; the authors assume no legal responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the contents.