If you are on the fence about an electric car, you might be eager to know more about how they work and what kind of savings you could make if you get one. We will discuss this and more below, including having look at the pros and cons of electric vehicles.
According to Bankrate, the electric vehicle market saw massive growth in 2023. It is expected that this trend will continue. More people are looking to EVs, and there are many reasons for this. It may be that they want to move away from gas and diesel, especially as prices continue to rise. It could be that they are looking to reduce their carbon footprint. But as the cost of electric vehicles remains so high, many are wondering if now is a good time to buy or whether they should just wait until prices come down.
How Do Electric Vehicles Work?
Unlike traditional cars that are powered by fossil fuels such as gasoline or diesel, EVs are powered by electricity that is stored inside batteries. The electricity that is stored in the battery provides power to the electric motor, which then drives the wheels. Because there is more torque generated by an electric motor and no need for a traditional transmission, all power goes straight to driving the wheels. This then provides quicker acceleration.
How Can You Save Money with an Electric Car?
As EVs are powered by electricity rather than fossil fuels, there are savings to be made in terms of running costs. According to LeafScore, the average price of gas per gallon was $4.33 in the United States in March 2023. This compares to the cost of running an electric vehicle at the equivalent of $2 per gallon.
You do need to remember that electricity is not free. Furthermore, with the current global energy crisis as it is, there are fears that the cost of running an EV is just going to get higher and higher. Of particular concern is the cost of charging electric vehicles at commercial charging stations. When away from home, owners of EVs have the option to choose between a fast or a slow charge. Fast charging is more expensive, but the cheaper option may not be feasible for those in a hurry. Depending on the option chosen, charging an electric vehicle away from home could cost three times as much.
There are ways to save money on running costs for EVs, however. According to Vivint Solar, those with a solar panel system can effectively charge their car for free if they use the surplus energy their system generates to charge their car. A solar panel battery system is perhaps the best way to make the most of an electric car because the battery system can store surplus energy generated during the day and then this can be used to charge the car overnight.
Even those without a solar panel system can make some savings by charging their car overnight, particularly if they have a reduced tariff at certain times of the day. Savvy EV owners can set timers on their chargers to begin charging at off-peak times in the middle of the night, meaning they will pay less.
The Pros and Cons of Electric Vehicles
There is certainly a lot to think about before buying an electric vehicle. Whether it makes financial sense or not really depends on the cost of the car and your ability to make savings on the running costs. But here are some other things to consider before making your mind up.
Benefits of Electric Cars
If you are passionate about doing your bit for the environment and want to reduce your carbon footprint, then an electric car is definitely worth considering. Evs produce no exhaust fumes so have much lower total emissions than traditional internal combustion or gas-powered engines. If your electric vehicle is powered with solar energy, your carbon footprint will be reduced further.
The current cost of charging an EV is much lower than the cost of fueling a traditional car. Indeed, if you are clever about how and when you charge your car, you can save even more money over the course of a year.
The fact that electric vehicles have fewer moving parts also means that they require less maintenance than gas-powered versions. They have lower wear and tear and because they do not require regular oil changes, the need for servicing is lower. When compared to gas-powered cars, EVs last longer, meaning they will save their owners money in running costs and maintenance.
Downsides of Electric Vehicles
The biggest downside of an EV is the fact that it does not provide the same driving range on a full charge that a gas-powered vehicle does on a full tank. An electric car can typically travel between 150 and 200 miles on a full chargewhile a gas-powered car gets around double that amount. For those who regularly travel long distances, an EV may not make sense, especially when you consider the fact that charging at commercial stations is much more expensive than charging at home.
Another drawback is the fact that charging an electric vehicle takes far longer than it does to fill up a tank of gas. Even on an expensive fast charge, an electric car can take thirty minutes to reach a full charge, while it takes a couple of minutes to completely fill a gas-powered car’s tank.
There are definitely benefits to having an electric car in terms of running costs and the impact on the environment but for convenience, a gas-powered vehicle is the big winner. If you want to reduce your carbon footprint and only ever use your car for short distances, an electric car might be ideal. If you do get one, you should consider charging it overnight to take advantage of lower electricity rates, or utilize solar power if you have a home solar panels system.