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ViaMichelin Le Mag

Advantages and disadvantages of the electric car

Advantages and disadvantages of the electric car

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©praetorianphoto/iStock

Like internal combustion vehicles, electric cars also have both advantages and disadvantages. To help potential buyers of green eco-vehicles make their choices, here is an overview of some of the main advantages and disadvantages of electric cars.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of electric cars?

An electric car has many advantages, particularly in terms of the environment, driving comfort and maintenance. However, the positive points come with certain disadvantages that are important to consider when choosing a green vehicle.

Advantages

  1. It is ecological
    Unlike an internal combustion vehicle, an electric car does not emit chemical pollutants or CO2 while driving. Thanks to its lower impact on the environment, biodiversity and human health, it is not always subject to the same traffic restrictions that are increasingly common within the city centres of major metropolises. Choosing an electric car, therefore, makes it possible to reduce your carbon footprint while preserving mobility.
  2. It is economical to use
    Today’s electric cars consume an average of 15 kWh for every 100 kilometres travelled. The cost comes to around £2 to £5 per 100 kilometres. In comparison, the costs to travel the same distance with a diesel or petrol car is between £7 and £10. Electric vehicles, therefore, are less expensive to use than a vehicle with an internal-combustion engine, enabling motorists to save as they travel.
  3. It requires little maintenance
    Thanks to its simplified engine system, the electric car requires less maintenance than a vehicle with an internal combustion engine. Indeed, its mechanisms involve fewer moving parts and, therefore, much less wear and tear. Moreover, it has no gearbox and does not require the changing of oil, which saves drivers from breakdowns due to wear and tear or lack of vehicle maintenance.
  4. It is silent
    The engine of an electric car emits almost zero decibels. Inside the cabin, this translates into a restful and soothing atmosphere conducive to a pleasant drive. Thanks to its silent engine, the electric car hardly produces much less noise pollution in the cities and on the roads, thus contributing to a better quality of life for all residents or locals.

Disadvantages

  1. It is moderately expensive to purchase
    For an equivalent model, the purchase price of an electric car is higher than a combustion-engine vehicle. Despite the environmental bonus and benefit of reduced first-year road tax, the price difference is a barrier for many motorists who wish to use green energy when driving.
  2. It has a limited range
    Today’s electric cars have sufficient range to cover short journeys and daily commutes, especially in towns or around the city. But when it comes to travelling a long journey, the range capability can be a constraint. The main problem is that there still is not enough charging stations and the complication of sometimes accessing them. But car manufacturers are working to provide increasingly more-efficient batteries, while charging station networks are planning for rapid expansion, helping improve the practicality of electric cars for long journeys.
  3. It sometimes has a long recharging time
    The charging time for an electric car can depend on the individual charging station used, plus the capacity and the equipped battery type. It takes roughly 10 hours to fully recharge an electric car battery when plugged into a mains household socket. Some quick-charge stations can recharge batteries in a matter of mere minutes, but this type of infrastructure is not compatible with all-electric car models.
  4. Its production significantly impacts the environment
    Electric car batteries contain rare metals, such as lithium, cobalt and graphite. The metals, mainly from South America, China and the Republic of the Congo, require large amounts of water and chemicals during extraction. The recycling of car batteries seems to be a solution to this environmental challenge, but the process is still under-utilised.

 

While the electric car is a mode of transport becoming increasingly higher valued for its environmental benefits and low-maintenance requirements, it also has some drawbacks that may hinder its development. To encourage eco-mobility and convert more motorists, considerable progress is made every year to remove the inherent obstacles of driving an electric vehicle.