They’re green. They’re fast. They add AI intelligence to your monotonous commute and catch everyone’s eye as you drive by.
We’re talking about an electric vehicle.
Whether it’s a Tesla or a hybrid Prius, buying an electric car provides several advantages over the competition. But even for avid car enthusiasts, the question is always, “Should I buy an electric car?”
Whether you’re a first-time buyer or on your fourth vehicle, this is a huge financial decision. That’s why we’re here to help.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of an electric car. By the time you finish reading, you’ll know everything you need to before you plan your car finance.
Should I Buy an Electric Car? The Advantages
The first electric vehicle was invented in 1832, long before the combustion engine. When the combustion engine took over, electric vehicles became more of a concept and less of a transport option. Now, they’re surging in popularity once more.
Your reasons for purchasing an electric vehicle will be very different from the next person. You may be a tech enthusiast, a climate protection advocate, or someone who’s simply pragmatic.
Whatever the case, let’s take a look at a few reasons why you should buy an electric vehicle.
Advantage #1: They’re Relatively Low Maintenance
The average internal combustion engine (ICE) has about 200 parts, and some have upwards of 2,000. The motors in electric vehicles, on the other hand, usually have around 20.
This is because a combustion engine is a complex machine. You have pistons, radiators, water pumps, spark plugs, and many more. All of these parts are essential to vehicle operation, meaning the breakdown of just one may necessitate a visit to the mechanic.
To put it simply, ICE cars are complex. Complexity leads to more points of failure.
That’s why your trip to the mechanic often involves you imitating the most recent sound your car has been making. The only way to diagnose these complex machines is to run through a laundry list of symptoms.
Further, repairs tend to be costly. To fix one part, mechanics may need to take out another. Your specific vehicle may need a specific mechanic that’s farther away and charges more.
An electric vehicle, on the other hand, has a much less fussy motor. A motor has fewer parts, meaning diagnosis goes much quicker. And with fewer parts, repairs go faster and cost less.
Further, ICE vehicles require regular maintenance: oil changes, topping up the coolant, replacing spark plugs, etc. An electric vehicle needs only minimal upkeep.
That means asking fewer questions about your car before purchase, too. You know there are fewer concerns to worry about if and when you buy one.
Advantage #2: They’re Chockful of Smart Features
An electric vehicle is the vehicle of the future for many reasons. As a result, you’d be hard pressed to find an electric vehicle that doesn’t include most of the following:
- Automated driving assistance
- Automated parking assistance
- Collision avoidance
- Body sensors to detect proximity to obstacles while parking
- Body cameras for security and parking
- Intelligent climate control and interior coloring
- Remote control via cellphone
- Big, beautiful displays
For the tech enthusiast, an electric vehicle is a goldmine. They use smart technology to the max and software updates to add new features.
Chief among these is self-driving technology. While there is no full self-driving yet, even the most rudimentary self-driving will take you safely down the highway. Many car manufacturers have promised full self-driving in the near future.
Even if self-driving never comes, an electric vehicle is a lot of fun. You can control it from afar, such as turning it on to start cooling before you leave your home. You can control some features with your voice or even play video games on its screens.
Software updates mean you’re always getting new features. Like a smartphone, this means your car can improve in efficiency over time. This may include stability improvements that give you better efficiency and mileage.
For the tech enthusiast, an electric vehicle allows you to appreciate technology in transit.
Advantage #3: They’re Cheaper to Charge and More Efficient
There’s no worse nightmare than climbing gas prices. Oil is always in flux, subject to the whims of geopolitics and war. If you’re going through financial woes with a bad car loan, this can only add more stress to your wallet.
Fortunately, the price of electricity is much more stable. Not only that, but it’s cheaper. A full tank of gas could cost you over a hundred dollars, but a full battery won’t be more than the price of a good meal.
While you might have trouble finding charging stations, electric cars have the benefit that you can charge them at home. If you have a short commute, you may never need to visit a charging station.
Plus, electric cars can charge in places where there are no gas stations. As long as you have the right conversion plugs, you could charge at a trailer park or a remote bed and breakfast.
An electric vehicle uses algorithms to get the most out of your batteries. It will tell you exactly how much range you have left. It uses techniques like regenerative braking to return some of that used electricity back to you.
If you need to plan a long trip, the car will give you a detailed picture. You’ll know exactly where you’ll need to stop to charge, and when you’ll be in the danger zone. An ICE vehicle, on the other hand, will give you an unhelpful low gas light.
Advantage #4: They’re Green
Perhaps best of all is that an electric car is a solution to climate change.
The transportation industry spews an alarming amount of carbon dioxide every year. This exhaust pollutes our cities, making the air unpleasant and unsafe to breathe. They also present the risk of asphyxiation via carbon monoxide.
Electric cars, however, save the environment. Since the Canadian electric grid is including more and more green energy, that means cars make use of it. ICE vehicles always require burning dirty gasoline to get you to places.
If you’re concerned about climate change, an electric vehicle is an obvious choice.
Of course, we have a long way to go before we’re entirely reliant on renewable energy. Electric vehicles are not perfect, and neither are the batteries they run on. However, they’re an investment in clean energy and a brighter future.
Advantage #5: The Government May Subsidize Your Purchase
Following on the heels of the previous point, many governments love electric vehicles. They’re a way to make cities greener and cleaner. As such, the Canadian government might pay you as much as $5,000 if you go electric.
Governments across the world are incentivizing electric vehicles. This may have the added benefit of making electric vehicles more affordable and more available as time goes on. If you’re looking to reduce the burden of a down payment, this is a great way to do it.
Before you buy an electric vehicle, make sure you do your research. There’s no guarantee that you’ll get the full $5,000. Find out how much coverage you’ll get before making such a large financial decision.
Should I Buy an Electric Car? The Disadvantages
An electric vehicle is not a silver bullet. It comes with its own litany of downsides, some of which may be a dealbreaker for you. An ICE vehicle may be the more sensible option for you.
Let’s cover a few of the major downsides of an electric vehicle.
Disadvantage #1: They’re Not Cheap
The cost of an electric vehicle is often the elephant in the room. You can expect to pay around $40,000 just to get an entry-level electric vehicle. This won’t be the car that has full self-driving potential or the best features, either.
The biggest reason for this cost is the batteries. Lithium-ion battery technology has come a long way in recent years. The price has dropped by a huge margin, making the batteries cheaper than ever.
But for an electric vehicle, you need a huge battery pack. Even with the low cost of lithium-ion now, they still require a large array of cells.
This presents an added disadvantage. You’ll need to replace that battery in 3-5 years, and that replacement won’t be cheap.
Plus, some electric vehicle manufacturers can be uncooperative when it comes to fixing your vehicle. This could lead to greater maintenance costs. Even if you don’t take your car to the mechanic often, the one time you do may prove expensive.
Not only that, but it’s not a smart idea to purchase a used electric vehicle. Since batteries have a limited amount of charge cycles, a used electric car will have a lesser range.
If you’re looking for a cheap vehicle, you’ll want to go ICE. You can buy used without limited your car’s range. Then you can wait for the price of electric cars to drop in the future.
Disadvantage #2: They Have Limited Range
The range of an electric vehicle is the second elephant in the room. If you love road trips or have a long commute, an electric vehicle might not be for you. Even the highest-end electric vehicles only have up to 600 miles of range.
Adding more batteries might seem like the obvious solution, but that adds more weight. More weight means more stress on the motor. Counter intuitively, that means more batteries provide a negligible difference.
Batteries weigh a lot. The average electric vehicle is much heavier than its ICE counterpart. Further, there’s another issue exacerbating the range limitation: limited charging stations.
Whenever you plan a long trip with your Tesla, you have to map out the charging stations. Unlike with an ICE vehicle, you can’t stop by any gas station and top up as needed.
This can make some trips with an electric vehicle impossible. If there’s no charging station between you and your destination, you may be physically unable to drive to it.
Granted, this is an issue that the grid will solve over time. As demand for electric vehicles increases, so will the demand for charging stations. But this change will come slowly since the burden of electric vehicles is already a heavy one on the grid.
If you only make short journeys, an electric car is perfect. But if you don’t like sitting around at a charging station for 30 minutes or longer, it may not be for you.
Disadvantage #3: They’re Prone to Battery Fires
Lithium-ion batteries can, on rare occasions, suffer from extreme failure. When a battery combusts, the fire is hot and proves impossible to put out.
Add hundreds of lithium-ion cells to an electric vehicle, and you have a recipe for disaster. You don’t have to go far to find instances where it has happened. Search on YouTube for “electric car fire,” and you’ll find dozens of videos.
These fires are rare, but they’re a nuisance for fire departments. They burn for hours, sometimes longer than a day. No matter how much water or chemical extinguisher you apply, they just keep burning.
That means that you could lose your car once it sets fire. If you have an electric vehicle, then you need to be prepared to take out another auto loan to replace it. This may cause financial strain if you have a car loan on your existing vehicle.
To be fair, automakers are well aware of the issue. Tesla and other major electric vehicle makers are rushing to fix this problem. Current iterations have much better cooling and prevention measures, making recent electric vehicles very safe.
And to be clear, this chance of fire is very, very small. You’re just as likely to have a fire in an ICE vehicle.
However, it is a risk to take into account before making a purchase. A fire in an ICE vehicle may not destroy it, but an electric vehicle fire will.
Get the Best Car Finance When You Buy Electric
If you were asking, “Should I buy an electric car?” now you know how to evaluate your options. At the end of the day, the decision is yours. Electric vehicles appeal to many, but to some, the dealbreakers may be too large to stomach.
Whatever the case, you’ll need to finance your new electric car. And the best way to do that is with Carsfast. Use their questionnaire to evaluate your car loan options today.