The Pros and Cons of Electric Cars

By Angela Monroe - August 7, 2020

Pros-and-Cons-of-Electric-Cars

Electric cars are super popular – in fact, it’s hard not to hear someone say “I want one” when a new Tesla drives past. But are they all that they’re cracked up to be? Find out as we go over the pros and cons of electric cars.

PROS…

Greener

car driving in forest above view

At first glance, it’s pretty simple. Traditional combustion engines pump out about 4.6 tons of carbon dioxide whereas EVs (Electric Vehicles) pump out zero. However, some estimates put the carbon cost of actual manufacturing for EVs at up to 58% more than traditional petrol only cars.

Later model EVs, similar to modern smart home products, take extra steps to keep power use down such as coming online only when they sense people. The green pro is really in the long term investment – with more EVs on the road and manufacturing processes improving, carbon emissions are far lower.

EV Fact: The first electric vehicle was invented over 200 years ago!

Low Maintenance

simple check list

This one comes down to moving parts – minimal moving parts to be more accurate. Electric vehicles have minimal moving parts – Teslas have around 17 whereas petrol engines have around 200. It’s a simple fact that more moving parts = more things that can break, need maintenance and repairs.

EV Fact: There are around 22 electric vehicles models available in Australia.

Running Costs

EV charger

Many people still have the hangover from a few years ago that Australians pay top dollar for electricity – we don’t. There are many other countries that pay more. That said, petrol is still far more expensive than electricity. One of the biggest pros for EV drivers is obviously the ability to drive past service stations and laugh at the cost of fuel.

EV Fact: At low speeds, EV vehicles are required to make artificial road noise to alert pedestrians and cyclists.

Performance

green mercedes

EV vehicles have some amazing performance statistics. Acceleration is their big brag. Tesla claims the Model 3 can punch the quarter mile in around 12 seconds. To give quarter mile comparisons in high end performance cars:

Nissan GT-R – 10.8 seconds

Porsche GT2 – 10.6 seconds

Bear in mind that the Model 3 is a family car.

EV Fact: You can power your home from your EV. Some companies offer a system that allows the car battery to power a home or balance between the two.

CONS…

Price

wallet in back pocket

EVs are hugely expensive. Audi e-tron – around $138,000 and Tesla Model X – around $157,000. There are less expensive EV options like the Nissan Leaf from around $49,000. Nonetheless, EV cars are generally a lot more expensive than their ICE (internal combustion engine) counterparts. You’ll make those costs back on cheap running costs, but it’ll take a while.

EV Fact: Tesla was not founded by Elon Musk, it was founded by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning.

Charge Time

looking at watch

To stop and fill up a tank of petrol in an ICE vehicle take a few minutes. Not the same in an EV – around 7 – 8 hours or more using a regular power outlet at home. Try using a charging calculator to get an accurate idea of the charge time and electricity cost per outlet and EV. Even with a supercharger or high powered outlet, it can still take around 40 minutes or more. Running low on power can be a stressful time for an EV driver.

EV Fact: In terms of sales numbers, the Nissan Leaf is the most successful EV.

Charging Stations

empty fuel

Or lack thereof. EV charging stations are few and far between in Australia, especially in rural areas, which makes road trips in EVs a little concerning. In numbers, there are around 800 charging stations listed for public use. Compare that to 6500 petrol stations.

EV Fact: There are electric supercars as well like the Aspark Owl and the NIO EP9 – yes, they cost supercar prices too.

The Bottom Line

huge car park

Electric cars are a fantastic addition to the line up available to drivers. Costs are coming down, range distances and the number of charging stations are going up. The used car market is seeing more high quality EV examples. The benefit to the environment is something everyone can enjoy and the next-to-nothing running costs are something individuals can enjoy.

Angela Monroe
Angela Monroe is the Community Manager at The Positive Group, specialising in giving people the information that they need when they need it, and putting you on the path to a fair financial future. She has 8 years of experience in helping Australians find the right finance solutions, and regularly contributes articles to empower Australians with the knowledge they need to become financially healthy.

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