DRAWBACKS OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES
20 DRAWBACKS OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES DRIVERS OVERLOOK
Vukasin Herbez December 17, 2019
For almost 10 years now, electric vehicles have been the talk of the car industry. From the early Tesla models up to today’s Mustang Mach E, electric vehicles tried to show what the future of personal transport looks like. To some, they are appealing since modern electric vehicles introduced zero emissions and high-tech driving interfaces.
However, EV manufacturers have hidden the downsides of those vehicles. The purpose of this list is to reveal to you the 20 things they won’t tell you. Keep reading to discover why electric cars are still far from perfect. Here’s why you should think twice before purchasing one.
20. Short Range Anxiety
Range anxiety is the number-one factor when it comes to EV downsides. Simply, modern electric vehicles are still range-limited due to their small capacity batteries. Most affordable electric cars on the market have a bit more than a 130-mile-range. However, Teslas and some other expensive vehicles offer double that number.
That is still not comparable to the average gasoline-powered vehicle, not to mention a diesel-powered vehicle. Modern cars can cover 500 or even more miles on a single tank, so electric cars still have a long way to go.
19. Long Charging Times
Long charging time is another big problem concerning electric cars. To fully charge the batteries, you need to connect your vehicle to a power source. This can often take at least several hours. However, Tesla and Porsche advertise their models with supercharging abilities. That means they can recharge their batteries to nearly 80 percent in just 20 to 30 minutes.
Even though Tesla and Porsche have made significant improvements, charging is still far from the speed to fill a gas tank. Putting the fuel in your car only takes a couple of minutes compared to charging your vehicle overnight. If the industry doesn’t find a solution to this problem soon, it could seriously hurt the electric vehicle market.
18. Trip Planning Problems
Small ranges and long charging times can put a strain on any road trip plans. You can’t plan a fast trip in an electric car without knowing the location of charging stations. You will also need to know the estimated duration of charging or supercharging. Other factors to be aware of are the latest weather conditions and temperature changes. Those metrological circumstances affect the electric car’s range significantly.
That is why electric cars are only suitable for short trips. You can forget driving from coast to coast, at least not in a reasonable amount of time. You’ll have to plan each charging stop along the way to avoid getting stranded in the middle of nowhere.
17. Mostly Good For Urban Use
So, what is the main playground for electric vehicles? Simply put, it’s urban areas. The EV’s range is longer if you drive in the city. Second, there are far more charging stations in metropolitan areas.
Also, if you run out of juice while driving in the city, which often happens with electric vehicles, you can easily find a cab, Uber, bus, or some other form of transportation to get home.
16. Not So Environmentally-Friendly
While it’s true that electric vehicles have zero emissions, did you ever think about what it takes to make just one electric vehicle? Apparently, the process of making a big chunk of Lithium-Ion batteries as well as their disposal is polluting since they aren’t recyclable.
Also, electric vehicles demand more electricity. That comes from thermoelectric or nuclear power plants, which are extremely dangerous because they’re choking the Earth. The rising demand for electric power will only raise the level of global pollution. This is actually far beyond what internal combustion engines are doing now.
15. Too Expensive
Since electric vehicles feature the latest, most advanced technology, they cost more. For example, there is a range of electric cars for sale on the current market, with the top models going for well over $100,000.
Although there are affordable models like the Volkswagen Golf E or Nissan Leaf, electric vehicles still cost significantly more than models that run on fossil fuels.
14. Repair Difficulties
If you own an electric car, you can forget going to your local shop or fixing it inexpensively. Regardless of the type and the model, all-electric vehicles require specific maintenance and service procedures as well as extremely high safety standards.
Also, servicing electric cars can be quite dangerous because most of the car’s mechanics consist of battery packs under high voltage. Also, in case of a fire, you can’t just put it out with water. You have to use a special fire extinguisher since the batteries burn at a much higher temperature.
13. Too Heavy
One of the main downsides of having a big battery pack underneath your car is the additional weight. While most modern vehicles are heavy due to all the extra safety and comfort options, electric vehicles are the heaviest champions. On smaller models like the Kia Soul EV, the electric batteries add around 450 extra pounds of weight.
However, on some of the high-end models like the Tesla Model X, the battery pack weighs in at over 1,000 pounds. Also, the car itself weighs over 2.3 tons. Heavy vehicles mean more tire wear, more energy consumption, and maintenance too.
12. Cold Temperature Issues
When it’s freezing outside, electric vehicles are notorious for displaying specific problems. One of the most common issues is the loss of battery power. It’s similar to old cell phones that would stop working once you took them out of your pocket in the winter.
Since the bulk of the electric vehicle market is in the Northern Hemisphere where the winters are cold and snowy, cold weather battery drain can be a big problem for everyday use. Owners report a reduced range and even the failure to operate in especially harsh winter conditions. That could be life-threatening.
11. Low Top Speeds
Although there are some electric supercars with insane high speeds like the Rimac Concept One, most regular everyday EVs are quite slow. The top speed of the Golf E or Kia Soul EV is limited to below 100 mph, for instance.
Having such a low speed is not only disappointing but it can also be a problem in emergency conditions or for European drivers where the speed limit on the highways is much higher.
10. Highway Driving Consumption
To fully understand the range problem of modern electric vehicles, you have to comprehend the energy consumption circle. The advertised range that many manufacturers brag about is the average or city driving figure. However, the highway range is much smaller, sometimes up to 50 percent less.
The reason is that electric vehicles get a lot of energy from regenerative braking, which is the process of getting some power back from stopping or coasting. During city driving, you use your brakes a lot, which reduces your energy consumption. However, while driving on the highway, there is far less or even no braking so the batteries drain quickly.
9. High Heavy Load Consumption
Tesla may tease their fans with the Cybertruck, a rig they designed to be the first fully-electric commercial vehicle, but the truth is, that is far from reality. No matter how strong or big your battery pack is, the energy consumption under a heavy load is excessive.
Regardless of the big torque that electric engines produce, when you put a lot of weight on them, they drain the battery, and quickly. Yes, the internal combustion engine also uses more fuel under a load, but not nearly as much as the electric.
8. Ease of Tracking Your Movements
Most upscale electric vehicles like Tesla Model S or Porsche Tycan have advanced infotainment and driving aid systems as standard equipment. Tesla even has the infamous autonomous driving system, which has proven to be far from perfect, resulting in many crashes, even some fatal ones.
Those systems are designed to track your driving habits, locations, charging points, and so on. Are you sure that you want your every move to be recorded on a server?
7. Just Plain Ugly
There are some electric vehicles that are stunning beauties, but most of them are just plain ugly or ordinary at the very least. In the case of the Golf E and Kia Soul EV, the design hasn’t changed a bit. However, in the case of Tesla cars or the Nissan Leaf, the design is specific to the model and not everyone’s cup of tea.
Even the 2021 Mustang Mach E, which shares many design elements with the regular, gasoline-powered Mustang, is not an attractive car. Most car enthusiasts think of the Tesla Model X as a big, egg-shaped design failure with falcon doors.
6. Threatening Existing Economy Models
Some economic experts fear that the mass production of electric vehicles and focus on this kind of technology will destroy the current economic model. That, in turn, will affect global politics and all the worldwide monetary systems as well. If the oil companies lose their monopoly on energy and the oil-rich nations lose their authority on the global political scene, the world could be heading to another crisis.
Also, think about the enormous car industry with all the companies that make fuel-related products, such as engine parts, fuel injection systems, transmissions, and drivetrain components. All those companies and millions of people will be out of a job, which would put further strain on the economy and global standards.
5. Major Car Companies Aren’t So Sure
Although almost all the major car manufacturers have at least one electric vehicle in their lineup, most of their CEOs are not fully convinced that electric cars are the future of the industry. Their board of directors and marketing people have observed how problematic the EV segment is, so they hesitate to go all-in on electric cars.
Also, there is still a lot of money to be made on internal combustion engines and a lot more development to do, so none of the big-name players is going fully electric anytime soon.
4. Practically Unusable in Third World Countries and Markets
The EV craze is limited to just a few first world countries and markets in the world. But other than that, electric vehicles in other areas are nonexistent. Even China, the world’s biggest market, has a hard time implementing any initiatives for electric cars.
If you go to remote parts of the world or any of the developing countries, you’ll notice that fossil fuels are still the primary source of energy, and that’s not likely to change soon.
3. Buyers Still Consider Them A Gimmick
Although Tesla has sold over 300,000 cars all over the world, with other manufacturers posting considerable production numbers, most car buyers still consider EVs to be some sort of a sales trick. Their specific operation procedures, limited usability, and different driving dynamics make them cars for tech geeks, but not as regular transport devices.
Car consumers are still waiting for mass-produced electric vehicles that will fully replace gasoline-powered models. But to do that, they’ll need to introduce some improvements that will draw buyers to EVs.
2. An EV Can’t Be the Only Car in Your Household
Clearly, there are many limits to electric vehicles in general. Even if you own one or are looking to acquire an EV, you should know that it can’t fulfill all your transportation needs. That’s especially true if you have a family and need a dependable vehicle for your family.
You could use your electric vehicle in the city for your everyday commute. However, if you want to go on a road trip with your family, you will need an internal-combustion vehicle due to range concerns and personal peace of mind.
1. A Hard Sell
Most drivers lease their electric cars and then return them to the dealer after a few years to get a new model. However, those people who have bought electric vehicles could experience great difficulty selling them on the used car market or trading them in at the dealership. That is because electric cars depreciate much faster than gas-powered vehicles since the technology is so new and still evolving.
People looking for deals on the used-car market are still extremely cautious when it comes to electric cars. They don’t know how the used electric vehicles act or how to maintain them properly. Many also don’t know what the common problems are, for example. Hopefully, EVs will continue to evolve and improve, making them easier to drive long distances, less expensive to repair, and more dependable.