In the cold November of 1881, Gustave Trouve rode through the streets of Paris in the first-ever practical electric car the world has ever seen. Little did he know that he was ahead of his time. His creation would become the talk of the town; but this time, as a need and not a want. Are electric cars worth it? Let’s find out.
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Are electric cars better for the environment?
While most experts believe that plug-in automobiles are a more environmentally responsible alternative than regular vehicles, how they’re charged and produced can have an influence on the environment. Here are some less talked about worries about the electric car:
How electricity for electric cars is made?
In most developed countries, the main source of generating electricity are still coal and petroleum. As we all know, these are non-renewable sources of energy that get depleted when we use them while also creating carbon footprints. Thus, electric cars might leave a smaller carbon footprint, but it will still be noticeable.
But this is a problem for which the solution is right in front of our eyes. Using electricity from solar, hydraulic and wind energy makes sure that the cars are a cent percent green on the road.
Raw materials used in electric cars
Most electric cars use lithium-ion batteries, which use raw resources like cobalt, lithium, and rare earth elements, which have been connected to serious environmental and human rights problems. Cobalt has been particularly troublesome.
Initially focusing on cobalt, automakers and other businesses have pledged to remove hand-mined cobalt from their supply chains; as well as developing batteries that reduce or eliminate cobalt entirely. Another effective solution for all is to make the mining areas more worker and environmentally friendly. This not only makes the process less worrisome but the people involved in it get saved too.
Lack of recycling
As the concept of electric cars is yet to become mainstream, the resources that go behind their making of them are on the higher end.
The batteries used in the electric cars should be regularly recycled for the production of the next batch. This provides a lifelong solution to the pollution caused by batteries and makes electric cars one of the best options on the road.
What are the pros and cons of electric cars?
Well, if you are on this page, reading this; it means you are quite aware of electric cars. Especially, the pros of it. How electric cars are:
- very energy efficient
- can be environment friendly
- reducing carbon emissions
- low maintenance but with high performance
But what are some cons of electric cars, if they have any? Let’s find out.
- Electric cars can travel less distance
- They take longer to “refuel”
- comparatively, they are more expensive, and battery packs may need to be replaced
The good news is that all of the cons listed above have practical solutions that are in progress. Soon, we can live in a world where cars that run on gas are a thing of the past.
AEV vs PHEV
All-electric vehicle VS plug-in hybrid electric vehicle: What is the difference, what are the pros and obviously, what are the downsides of these electric cars?
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles share many of the same advantages as all-electric vehicles. PHEVs are excellent vehicles for reducing emissions and fuel consumption. Your PHEV may not need to switch away from its all-electric powertrain for short excursions, in which case it emits no tailpipe emissions.
Furthermore, PHEVs consume 30 to 60% less fuel than normal gas-powered vehicles. The quantity of greenhouse gas emissions can be lowered even further if the power is generated from renewable resources.
Wow factors of PHEV
PHEVs are also ideal for people who are unable to commit to a fully electric car due to driving and recharging requirements. While AEVs are restricted by their battery range, a plug-in hybrid’s fuel backup allows the vehicle to continue to function and even replenish the battery when the battery runs out. PHEVs often have superior fuel efficiency than conventional vehicles.
Downsides of PHEV
One of the drawbacks of having a PHEV, similar to owning an AEV, is the time it takes to recharge the battery. Even though PHEV batteries are smaller on average than AEV batteries, charging them with a Level 1 charger can take several hours. A Level 2 charger might take anywhere from one to four hours to complete. Furthermore, while rapid charging is available, most PHEVs lack this functionality.
Another thing to consider is price: PHEVs, like AEVs, are more expensive than many gas-powered automobiles. These expenses can be mitigated by fuel savings, tax credits, and state incentives, and as PHEV manufacturing develops, these prices may fall down.
How long do electric cars last?
To answer “are electric cars worth it”, we must know the downsides, the life and the costs that come with the electric car.
Best electric cars and their price
In India, the most prominent companies that sell electric cars are currently:
Prices range from 13 lakhs for a more economical option (Tata & BYD) to 1-2 crores, giving luxury options for saving the environment. (Know more here)
On an international basis, the revolutionary TESLA MODEL 3 is here to change the game. Tesla has been making electric cars since 2004, and 2021 was really their year. With its generous range at a price that’s more accessible to the average consumer, the Model 3 also offers well-rounded performance, too. (Price range from $44,990 – $58990)
Other companies that are focusing more on electric cars internationally are:
Hidden costs of owning an electric car
The process seems easy; buy a car with an electric built-in battery, charge it and drive. But, this process, when we expand and dissect, seems to have a lot of internal expenses that come with it. What are they? Let’s find out.
This is according to Mr. Patrick Anderson, a car enthusiast who got his own Porsche Taycan EV recording his experiences for Detroit Free Press.
- There are four additional costs to powering EVs beyond electricity: cost of a home charger, commercial charging, the EV tax and “deadhead” miles.
- For now, EVs cost more to power than gasoline costs to fuel an internal combustion car that gets reasonable gas mileage.
- Charging costs vary more widely than gasoline prices.
- There are significant time costs to finding reliable public chargers — even then a charger could take 30 minutes to go from 20% to an 80% charge.
Real cost to charge up
- Cost of the residential charger
- Cost of commercial electricity
- An annual EV tax, which in Michigan ranges from $135 to $235, depending on the vehicle model. This is to make up for not paying a gas tax
- Deadhead miles to get to a fast charger
Are electric cars cheaper to insure?
Simply put, no. they are definitely not. Why? Yes, you know the drill; let’s find out.
Electric cars are expensive
Electric vehicles are equipped with cutting-edge technology such as high-capacity batteries, advanced auto parts, and more. As a result, as the cost of automobiles rises, so does the IDV (Insured Declared Value), and hence the premium.
Electric car parts are expensive
While electric automobiles have fewer moving components than gasoline or diesel vehicles, the lithium-ion battery is the most costly component. They account for more than half of the vehicle’s cost. Batteries are expensive to repair or replace, which is one of the reasons why insurance rates are higher.
Battery replacements are common
It’s possible that you’ll have to continuously replace the batteries for a while. Replacement expenses are greater because lithium-ion battery prices are high; as a result, insurance rates are higher. If the battery replacement cycle is reduced, the cost is reduced as well, leading to cheaper rates.
Fewer electric vehicle mechanics
Because of the high cost and complexity of automotive parts, electric cars need a high level of maintenance. To maintain or repair an electric car, highly qualified mechanics are required. When compared to traditional vehicle technicians, the talent pool is currently limited.
So, are electric cars actually worth it?
So now we did find out everything green and not so green about electric cars. The baseline anyway is that the reason why something is expensive is that it is not a commoner’s commodity yet. As and when EVs become the mainstream mode of transport leaving behind gas cars, the prices will come down and the production will rise tremendously.
Are electric cars worth it? Yes, it is the inevitable future.
The time is right for electric cars; in fact the time is critical.Carlos Ghosn