The advantages and disadvantages of electric cars are a current topic that occupies the brains of all the people who believe in this new generation of cars. Electric cars are, for sure, a major revolution of technology in our world. However, many questions overlap in the heads of this kind of car fan: what are the benefits of electric cars? What are its disadvantages? Can electric vehicles conquer fuel cars? Is this new generation of cars a faithful friend of the atmosphere/nature?
The advantages of electric vehicles are numerous and diverse. we quote in the following lines the 7 advantages and disadvantages of electric vehicles.
I) The 7 Advantages of electric cars.
The impact of electric vehicles on the environment is reduced
Overall, the impact of electric vehicles on the environment and public health is much better than that of internal combustion models. However, it depends on the supply chain of raw materials, the manufacture of vehicle components, the electrical source for recharging, the use of the vehicle, and its recycling at the end of its life.
The various players involved in these different points are working hard to improve, sometimes under pressure from Europe and NGOs. What we can say, however, is that an electric car does not emit chemical pollutants or CO2. There is still the case of fine particles, which you will find below in the disadvantages.
Electric cars save money in use.
One of the most important advantages of electric cars is saving money. On average, driving 100 kilometers in an electric car costs about 2.20 euros, compared to 10 euros in fuel for an equivalent diesel model or 12 euros for a gasoline-powered vehicle. With such an equation, the more kilometers you drive per year, the more financially interesting it is to drive an electric car. This advantage is even greater if you produce your electricity. On the other hand, if you have to recharge at charging stations open to electric motorists, we could find situations where mathematically it would be more expensive to drive electric, as some charging networks charge dissuasive prices.
Electric cars are more reliable.
The electric car is much simpler to operate than a combustion engine car. On an electric car, there are fewer wearing parts to change regularly. For example, there is no gearbox. And some parts wear out less quickly, especially the brake linings, thanks to regenerative braking.
With fewer moving parts, an electric motor that can accumulate hundreds of thousands of kilometers without failing, and battery packs that are managed efficiently, the overall reliability of EVs is incomparable to combustion models. This results in maintenance savings in addition to energy savings.
Electric cars: a religious silence
It may be confusing at first, but it’s not disabling for driving since the absence of a conventional gearbox eliminates the need to pay auditory attention to engine speed when changing gears. For music lovers, the quiet operation of an electric car means they can enjoy listening to their favorite music. However, this is only a detail compared to the overall comfort of the ride, which allows for an atmosphere in the cabin that is both more conducive to discussion and more relaxing upon arrival.
No traffic restrictions for electric vehicles
The number of LEZs (Low Emission Zones) is increasing. They will even be mandatory in urban areas with more than 150,000 inhabitants from 2025. It means permanent traffic restrictions for older vehicles and occasional restrictions for newer vehicles during pollution peaks. But electric vehicles are not a concern!
Filling up with electricity is potentially easier.
For those who have a domestic recharging system and use their car mainly for short and medium-sized daily trips, recharging their electric car only takes the time to connect it to the network when they arrive home in the evening and the time to do the reverse operation the next morning. That’s just a few dozen seconds!
In some households, the time saved can be considerable since this ritual avoids trips or detours that are sometimes significant when you have to go to a service station to fill up your fuel tank. The scenario can sometimes exceed one hour if we include the waiting time at the pump, the filling time, and then the time to pay at the cash desk. Some managers even require you to come in once before you can use the fuel.
Electric cars promote the development of renewable energies and the stability of the grid.
Because the beneficial effects of converting the vehicle fleet to electric power must be maximized, various professional players – including energy companies – and public authorities (Europe, government) are devising smart grid scenarios and architectures that increase the efficiency of electricity production from intermittent renewable sources.
EV batteries then become storage units that recover the excess flow, to proceed in reverse when the electricity demand is greater than the green production. These are the broad outlines of the V2H (Vehicle to Home), V2B (Vehicle to Building), and V2G (Vehicle to Grid) principles, which apply respectively to the scale of a home, a building, or the national electricity grid.
II) the 7 disadvantages of electric cars
The initial purchase price of an electric car is higher.
It is precisely because electric cars are more expensive to buy that the French government has introduced an environmental bonus (6,000 euros until the end of 2022), which can be combined with a conversion bonus (2,500 euros, or even 5,000 euros for most modest) if an old combustion engine vehicle (diesel car or light commercial vehicle registered before January 1, 2011, or a gasoline model first put into circulation before January 1, 2006) is turned in for destruction.
These aids do not yet fully cover the price difference between combustion and an equivalent electric vehicle. But don’t forget the difference in the cost of use, mentioned in the advantages above, or the cost of maintenance.
The long-distance range can be a barrier to purchase
With the technological progress made in traction batteries, a new electric motorist is less and less confronted with the limits of a range that does not exceed 150 km. Electric city cars now offer a range of 300 to 400 km, and family models 400 to 500 km.
But if you regularly drive long distances, the range may seem too short to many motorists.
Recharging time varies from one vehicle to another.
While recharging an electric car at home is often not a problem, driving long distances requires the use of charging stations installed in public areas. And there, to fully regenerate the batteries, it is necessary to count several tens of minutes of fast charging, more than one hour on accelerated terminals, and sometimes more than 10 hours on a domestic E/F type socket. It is also essential to understand the approvals in force.
From 50 to 350 kW, through different levels, manufacturers of fast charging stations are trying to accompany the increase in battery capacity of new electric car models. However, network managers do not often prioritize this very expensive equipment, whether public or private. Hence, choose the right electric car model according to your travel needs and the associated charging possibilities.
Charging station networks can be improved.
Tesla owners can look forward to an efficient and almost always available network of Tesla superchargers throughout Europe and elsewhere. Electromobility who drive a Renault Zoe will find most of the time very easily accelerated AC 22 kW charging stations that will facilitate their travel. It’s also starting to look good for brands associated with the Ionity network, such as BMW or Hyundai.
But beware, between breakdowns, queues in some places, squatting by thermal vehicles, or unnecessarily by electric models not or no longer charging, you will have to include the possibility of being unable to refuel where you thought. With EVs designed for fast charging, it’s even worse because the equipment is scarcer, sometimes too expensive to use, and not always well maintained or managed.
Add to that the need to have the right access badges. ChargeMap proposes solutions to improve the situation: a map of the charging stations with their operating status and a pass that is increasingly widely accepted on the different French networks.
Vehicle recharging in condominiums sometimes complex to implement
The right to plug in co-ownerships has been in effect for years. It implies gathering the general assembly of the co-owners. But on the ground, it is not yet easy, and the trustees are often reassured when the electromobility accompanies their request with a contact with a service company that proposes a solution, including a dedicated invoicing system and the realization of the necessary wiring.
What will help the situation to evolve in the right direction is the obligation to pre-equip a certain percentage of parking spaces associated with the construction of new buildings for residential, commercial, industrial, public service, commercial, or cinema use.
The electric vehicle too quiet at low speed
If the relative silence of electric vehicles is not a problem above 35 km/h – because of the noise of the tires on the asphalt and the air sliding on the body – when it is a question of moving in a parking lot or a meeting zone limited to 30 km/h, caution is required. The risk of surprising a cyclist or pedestrian is very real here. Some EV models have noise makers available, which are not always effectively perceived by other area users.
Fine particle emissions
Do passenger cars emit fine particles on their way? In the current state of knowledge on the subject, it would seem that the extra weight caused by the traction battery means that an EV throws more fine particles into the atmosphere from tire abrasion or pavement than a recent diesel equivalent, even including its exhaust emissions.
In the end, the advantages of electric vehicles are numerous and multiple. We have mentioned above the most important 7 advantages and disadvantages of electric vehicles. So, can electric vehicles beat fuel cars? Is this new generation of cars a faithful friend of the atmosphere/nature?