Renault 5 EV Charging

10 Ways Electric Vehicles Are a Wallet-Draining Scam

The transition to electric vehicles seems promising on many fronts. Many environmental benefits and increased policies make EVs more popular—and affordable. With increased incentives and policies, more and more automobile manufacturers are testing out electric vehicles, which means there’s a more comprehensive selection than in previous years. 

However, while the availability of EVs is undoubtedly present, that doesn’t mean there are enough solutions to make owning an electric vehicle worth its while. There are still crucial drawbacks to the shift towards electric transportation, many of which put EV ownership into question. 

Expensive Upfront Pricing

Cropped view of african american man in formal clothes summing dollar bills near electric car fill-up in parking. Frugal adult person considering cost-effective purchase of battery-driven vehicle.
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The price tag of an electric vehicle is much higher than its gas-powered counterpart. For many individuals, purchasing an EV is entirely out of the question simply due to the high upfront cost. Electric vehicles, by and large, have a higher manufacturing cost compared to internal combustion vehicles. Between chassis, exterior bodywork, battery, and electrical work, EVs do cost more. 

Most EVs are priced between $50,000 to $100,000, but automakers continue to release new electric vehicles. This does create more competition, which can lower prices. But at this point, prices remain much higher than gas-powered vehicles, making EVs inaccessible to many car buyers.

Limited Driving Range 

electric car touch screen
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The all-electric range is how far an EV can travel on a single battery charge. Most plug-in EVs can go between 100 and 300 miles on a single charge. Many people still have “range anxiety” about how far their car will make it on a single charge, whether it’s because of EV battery technology or limited EV charging infrastructure. 

Gas-powered vehicles can typically drive without stopping for upwards of 450 miles. Some cars can even make it over 600 miles. While some people have the occasional fear of running out of gas, there are usually plenty of gas stations around. That’s not the case when it comes to EV charging—at least not yet. EV batteries have advanced, but most electric vehicles still have a limited range. 

Scarce EV Charging Infrastructure 

How to Charge a Tesla Model 3
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EV charging infrastructure is still widely developing. Of course, electric vehicles are still very early in adoption, and gas-powered cars are still dominant. In short, electric vehicle charging stations are inconvenient if they’re not easily accessible to drivers, especially for those on a long road trip. Traveling a long distance can be done, but it’s often not ideal if a driver has to map out a route tailored to EV charging locations. 

Gas stations remain the most easily accessible to drivers. Hence, until the EV charging infrastructure is widely accessible and improved, people won’t be interested in transitioning to electric vehicles. Not to mention, EV ownership is often heavily dictated by the available charging—or lack thereof—where a person lives. Rural communities, in particular, generally do not provide access to EV charging.  

Weather Impacts

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Depending on your location, an electric vehicle might be completely non-viable. EV technology still needs to be improved somewhat in its ability to withstand freezing temperatures and snow. Many EVs are also unable to handle extreme heat. Until electric vehicle technology can survive cold snaps and heat waves, it will likely not become the dominant car type.

Most EV owners are located in California, which has a pretty mild climate overall. However, there are still EV owners situated in even the most remote of places. But that doesn’t mean they’re using their vehicle in freezing temperatures. It’s tough for an EV to charge or hold its charge once the temperature drops below 32. This cold temperature can cause the battery to short-circuit.

Maintenance Costs

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Overall, electric vehicles have far fewer issues compared to internal combustion vehicles. EVs don’t have as many internal components as gas-powered vehicles, which means that you can save money on maintenance. However, just because electric cars don’t have as many maintenance costs, that doesn’t mean EV maintenance is nonexistent.

EVs can go through tires faster than gasoline-powered cars. This might be surprising to many. It’s because electric vehicles weigh more than comparably sized gas cars. Even more, EV batteries are a crucial part of an EV and must be regularly maintained. In particular, because EVs are much more specialized than gas cars, EV owners might struggle to find a qualified mechanic familiar with the required maintenance. 

Battery Degeneration

Automation automobile factory concept with 3d rendering robot assembly line with electric car battery cells module on platform
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As mentioned, EV maintenance might be more costly than a gasoline-powered vehicle. At times, this maintenance cost can ride entirely on the battery. EV batteries are much more crucial to the vehicle’s operation than their gas-powered counterparts ones. An electric vehicle’s driving range becomes highly limited when an EV battery begins to degrade.

A brand-new EV battery starts at 100%, which is expected to last eight years or 100,00 miles, but this will vary by manufacturer and country. A battery’s condition is called its state of health (SOH). Age, temperature, usage, and charging state can all impact an EV battery’s SOH.

Limited Models on the Market

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More and more electric vehicles are arriving on the market. However, there are still limited options when compared to traditional gasoline cars. Considering the expensive price tag of an electric vehicle—and the high price might not get you the exact car you need, an EV might not be everyone’s first choice. 

Many people are accustomed to having diverse inventory and choosing the vehicle that best suits them. Although electric vehicle models are increasing and becoming more varied, there’s still little variety. These limited models make it difficult for potential EV consumers to find an EV they could see themselves purchasing—or driving.

Charging Costs

September 5th 2023: Rivian R1T Electric Pickup at Electrify America Charging Stations
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Electricity is typically cheaper than gasoline. However, the cost of charging an electric vehicle can vary immensely. Some of the varying factors can include local electricity rates and charging habits. Some public charging stations have fees, making owning an EV more expensive. 

Likewise, tax credits are available for individuals who install an electric vehicle charger on their property. However, this tax credit may not sway someone to fully see how EVs are less expensive than their gas counterparts. 

Zero Emissions? Let’s Take a Deeper Look

Downtown skyscrapers silhouettes of the city of Los Angeles. Poor visibility, smog, caused by air pollution.
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Electric vehicles do not emit exhaust fumes, so it is true that they create zero emissions. However, other components detract from this truth. The power stations that generate electricity do emanate emissions. Even more, creating an EV battery is also responsible for creating emissions.

Yes, an electric vehicle has far fewer greenhouse gas emissions than an average gasoline-powered vehicle. However, it is impossible to claim that electric cars create zero emissions and ignore the other emissions associated with EV manufacturing.

The EV Future is Uncertain

Tesla Roadster Convertible Electric Cars
Image Credit: Tesla.

The future seems promising for electric vehicles, but many unknowns exist. Despite many government incentives and policies, what the future will look like is still being determined. There is a push for all-electric transportation by 2050, but getting to that point could be more apparent. In short, we don’t know what the future holds for electric transit—even if initiatives are working to make electrification a broad reality.

With so many unknowns surrounding future EV regulations and incentives, it can be difficult for consumers to predict the long-term benefits of owning an EV. Some consumers are concerned that their EVs will become outdated and experience depreciation. Despite the push to an all-electric future, many individuals are weary about going electric until some uncertain aspects are clearer.

Author: Marisa Higgins

Bio:

Marisa Higgins is a lover of good storytelling, and she’s spent the past decade teaching college English, and writing and researching about American Literature and Culture. She lives in Knoxville, TN with her husband, and their Beagle-Chihuahua, Rumi, and cat, Rory. Marisa’s work can be found at A-Z Animals, FuelsFix, and TellTaleTV. You can visit her website here: www.marisadhiggins.com

 

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