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The Pros and Cons of Electric Vehicles

Electric Car ChargingEV Electric Vehicles were first introduced worldwide in 1996. The General Motors EV1 was the world's first mass produced electric car. EVs are on the rise in popularity as manufacturers launch even more impressive battery powered alternatives to compete with traditional diesel and petrol fueled cars. It is important to remember that electric vehicles are consistently changing and their technology is always evolving. Electric vehicles have taken huge technological strides since they were first introduced yet some people are still hesitant to make the switch from the traditional fueled cars, due to the misconception that electric cars still suffer the same shortcomings they did in previous years. In 2021, the electric car has become more sleeker, mainstream, and has more affordable vehicle options to choose from. So, how likely is it that the electric revolution will replace conventional vehicles? Here is our guide on the pros and cons of electric vehicles.

How do Electric Cars Work?

The way electric cars function is simple. They contain battery packs that provide power to the cars electric motor which runs all the on-board vehicle electronics so there is no fossil fuel power needed! They can be charged using a normal outlet at home or by specialized fast charging stations. In addition to the fully electric vehicle, there are also hybrid electric vehicles that contain a fuel tank and battery packs.

Pros of Electric Vehicles

Low Running Costs

The running costs of owning and running an electric vehicle are significantly lower than the traditional petrol or diesel vehicle. An electric car can be charged at a more affordable rate overnight for a day's use. Charging the car overnight will use electricity at a lower unit rate compared to daytime. It is estimated that charging an EV or PHEV at home costs only a few euros which is way lower in price compared to the cost of filling up your car with fuel to cover similar mileage.

Zero Emissions

The main benefit and big attraction to buying an electric car is that they have zero emissions and are much better for the environment. You are driving mile after mile and not producing any emissions from an exhaust. A fully electric vehicle doesn't have an exhaust system so there are no pipe fumes, meaning there are less carbon monoxide, particulates, ozone, and hydrocarbon choking pollutants in the atmosphere.

Buying Incentives

While EVs are more expensive to buy than your petrol or diesel car, there are still plenty of incentives to purchase an electric vehicle. There are EV grants available in Ireland. If you purchase a vehicle privately, the maximum grant is €5,000 for qualifying electric vehicles. If the car has a list price of less than €14,000, you will not receive a grant. For a qualifying N1 category electric vehicle, a grant of €3,800 is available when purchasing commercially. Many car dealerships offer finance rates on electric vehicles to encourage you to take the plunge. Free wall box charger installations and zero percent finance are also available to help encourage you into that electric car driving experience. There is also a grant for up to €600 to help you pay towards the cost of having an EV home charger fitted.

High-Quality Performance

Electric vehicles are known for operating quietly and smoothly. Electric vehicles run completely on battery power so when you accelerate, the instant power and power allow the car to accelerate much quicker than a mechanical engine. Electric cars use less energy in stop and go city traffic and operate more efficiently than your traditional fuel powered vehicle. The power in electric vehicles is delivered straight to the wheels instantly so you can really feel the difference when you accelerate. The Tesla P100 D has been said to give supercars such as a Lamborghini a run for its money.

Less Maintenance

Mechanical engines have a lot of money parts such as valves and pumps, along with oil fluid that requires changing. Electric vehicles don't run on oil so they don't need frequent oil changes, saving you money long term. Less maintenance is needed as electric vehicles don't have as many components that need replacing. The brakes on electric vehicles don't wear as quickly as conventional cars which means a lot more savings in the long term.

Cons of Electric Vehicles

Inconsistent Charging Points

The lack of charging points can be a grievance for many consumers who may be looking to purchase an electric vehicle. Charging points are placed in different areas across cities and urban areas. They are generally placed in car parks, hotels, and car dealerships. This may be difficult for you if you have a long distance to drive and don't live near or beside a charging station. The cost to charge your car isn't as expensive as petrol however, the lack of charging points is an issue for many people. Every electric vehicle comes with a free fast charging wall box that has a 3-pin domestic plug which you can charge via the mains. Most people charge their vehicle from their home however, not everyone will have that option if you live in rental accommodation or a high apartment.

Limited Driving Range

Although electric vehicles are improving in driving range, this is still one of the main points for consumers deciding to buy an electric or a conventional vehicle. On average, the driving distance and range for EV is from 100km up to 500km. Most cars will cover most people's daily commutes but if you live a long driving distance away, you will need to find a charging point and this can be a challenge for many cases. The driving range on a fuel powered car is generally much longer than an electric car.

Charging Time

The charging time can vary from car to car and how powerful the charging point is. Some electric vehicles can take up to 12 hours to charge fully and others may only take up to 1 hour depending on the vehicle. Fast charging points will take a lot less time. Charging an electric vehicle is a much more significant time investment which doesn't suit everyone.

They are More Expensive to Buy

If you have never shopped for an electric vehicle, there is no doubt that they are more expensive to purchase than conventional vehicles. Even the most affordable electric car starts from €24,990, the Renault Zoe. The more luxurious vehicles can be double or triple the price of the more affordable vehicles. Depreciation has been an issue in the past, as many EV models lose a huge chunk of their value. This can an issue when the time comes to sell your car on.