There was a sharp growth in the sales of electric cars in the past ten years, with improvements in technology bringing them into closer competition with petrol and diesel powered automobiles. Action by governments to boost electrically-powered transport is also encouraging many drivers to think about the option of switching to an electric vehicle. This report explains the key advantages and disadvantages of a plug-in electric vehicle.
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The Pros and Cons of Buying an Electric Car
The earnings of plug-in electric vehicles have seen a massive rise in the previous ten years, as environmental issues have deepened and technology has progressed to generate more functional vehicles and greater public charging infrastructure.
Making the switch from an internal combustion engine automobile to an all-electric one is a big step for most people, considering that a car is usually the second most expensive item someone will ever buy. Here’s a contrast for individuals considering changing from an ICEV (internal combustion engine car ) into a PEV (plug-in electric vehicle).
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Maintenance and repairs
ICEVs have a lot more components that wear or move out than their electrical counterparts. Once automobiles have done 50,000 miles or longer, repair and replacement of components become significantly more expensive for the ones which are gas or diesel powered. With the exception of battery replacement (see below), electric cars are much cheaper to maintain.
Noise and vibration
PEVs win hands down over their gas and diesel counterparts in this regard. Electric motors are nearly silent. Unlike ICEVs, they remain that way throughout their whole working lifespan. PEVs typically don’t have a gearbox or clutch mechanism, which further reduces noise.
Electric cars are cheaper in terms of direct running costs, i.e., the cost of charging the battery versus purchasing gasoline or diesel. A study conducted in 2018 found electrical cars much cheaper to operate in each state, without exception. On average a PEV will cost $485 per annum to operate, while an equal ICEV will cost $1,117. In Hawaii, where the figures for the two kinds of car are nearest, the expense of a petrol car and a PEV is $1,509 p.a. and $1,106 p.a. respectively. In Washington State, the gap is widest, with a PEV costing $372 p.a. compared to $1,338 p.a. for an equivalent gasoline car.
That is where PEVs are at a substantial disadvantage compared to ICEVs. An economical petrol or diesel family car can easily offer a range of 500 miles on a tank full of gas. Most PEVs have a selection of between l00 and 175 miles, although battery technology is progressing to boost that.
Usually, a full charge will take eight to ten hours from a standard domestic power point, even though a unique quick charge will bring the battery up to 80 percent of its whole capacity in 30 minutes (these rapid chargers are expensive to own, so this is typically done in a public charging station). A 7kW home charging system may give a complete charge in about four hours, but costs from $500 to $1500 for a routine installation.
The complete cost of batteries is dependent upon how long they last, and their lifespan may vary based on the model and the sort of usage they’ve seen. Most manufacturers give a guarantee of five to eight years on a battery, which usually means they will replace lost capacity if it drops below a predetermined percentage of its initial maximum, e.g., 75 or 8o percent.
Larger capacity batteries tend to last longer. A complete battery replacement for a Nissan Leaf prices around $8,500 including labor, for example. This adds much to the total cost of owning a PEV, but improvements in technology are expected to reduce it. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, electric car batteries cost 80 percent less per kilowatt/hour in 2018 than they did in 2010, and costs continue to fall.
It should also be added that batteries are vulnerable to damage in accidents. This increases the insurance premium on a PEV.
Initial cost and depreciation
Generally speaking, PEVs are more expensive to purchase than their fossil fuel equivalents. However, there are a lot of government financial incentives (both national and state) that decrease the cost to the purchaser of a new PEV. Some areas also give subsidies for home charging units.
There’s greater depreciation on PEVs than on petrol or diesel cars of equal size and specifications. A 2018 study showed a typical four-year-old compact electric car is worth 23 percent of its original sticker price, as against 41 percent for an equivalent ICEV. This is largely due to battery depletion and is therefore likely to be alleviated in the future by the diminishing cost of battery replacement.
The pollution caused by the use of electric cars varies based on the way the electricity used to recharge the batteries is generated, and this also varies by region. A study conducted in 2015 reasoned that in areas inhabited by two-thirds of the US population, driving an ordinary PEV will lead to lower global warming emissions than forcing a 50 mpg petrol car.
So buying an electric car requires careful consideration. You won’t have the pleasure of a 600-mile driveway without needing to fill up, and the prohibitive cost of batteries still makes PEVs more expensive in terms of overall cost of still makes PEVs more expensive in terms of total cost of ownership.
You may, however, be driving a quiet and clean car, and current trends indicate that situation will become ever more beneficial to possessing electric vehicles. According to some estimates, PEVs will match ICEVs concerning total cost of ownership by 2025. And, with dwindling reserves of fossil fuels as well as the urgency of cutting greenhouse gas emissions, there is no denying that electric cars are the future.