A study by the Argonne National Laboratory found that the cost of entry for electric vehicles (EV) is more than $22,000 more than gas-powered cars. So, as a consumer, you're left to wonder: is the added cost really worth it? While some have made the justification, with companies like Hertz selling back a considerable portion of its EV fleet, I've been erring on the side of caution. It's not just that news that's swayed me, though, as there are also these 14 reasons that make owning an EV sound far less beneficial than we're led to believe.
1. Rising Electricity Costs
Do you think just your home electric bill is rising as rates increase? If there’s any sort of trend upward in electricity rates, that’s eventually going to impact your EV costs. If you charge both on the road and at home, you’re getting hit twice.
By purchasing an EV, you may think you’re skirting the constantly fluctuating gas prices, but now you’ll need to keep your eye on the price of electricity. Though electricity is considerably cheaper than gas, you just may not be saving nearly as much as you thought over time.
2. Limited Driving Range
If you have a long daily commute to work, then you may find an EV to be annoying. If you choose a model with an average range, you can drive 250 miles before recharging. However, this doesn't account for time spent sitting in traffic or days when your air conditioner is blasting.
It is a well-known fact that electric cars have a more limited range compared to traditional gasoline vehicles. If you don't have a home charger, you'll have to spend a couple of hours every other day at a charging station, and who has time for that?
3. Extra Features Will Drain Your Battery
In our age of ridesharing and using phones as GPS devices, charging via a USB car charger is quite prevalent. Unfortunately, charging your phone off your car reduces its efficiency. The same goes for using the built-in Infotainment and climate control.
For every feature you use — yes, even your windshield wipers — you’re reducing your range. While gas-powered vehicles suffer from the same issue, when you’re already limited on where you can charge, you may have to be more conscientious about what features you use in your EV.
4. Limited Charging Stations
While the Biden administration has promised funds toward improving electric car charging infrastructure, the reality is that public charging is not yet adequate. If you live in a rural area, you can pretty much guarantee that your charging station options will be slim to none. And if you have to rely on public charging, you may come to regret your EV purchase pretty quickly. All it takes is being stranded on the side of the road once before you'll want to swap electric for gas.
5. Longer Charging Times
It takes, on average, about two minutes to fill up a gas tank. From paying with your credit card to pumping the gas to printing out the receipt, you're looking at a pitstop of under 10 minutes. However, the time for recharging an EV is considerably longer. Charging an EV to 80% takes anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the level of charger you use, the quality of the charger, and how much your battery has discharged.
6. Higher Initial Price
The Zebra reported that the average electric car costs around $67,000. That is a considerable price tag, considering the average gas-powered car costs $48,000. This doesn't factor in additional costs, like if you wanted to install a home charger. If you're on a tight budget or worried about your monthly car payment, buying an electric car may be a regretful decision.
7. Battery Replacement Costs
Maybe you believe that you can invest in an EV by paying a higher price upfront, then reap the savings by cutting out your gas bill completely. This seems like a good idea, but you have to remember that EV batteries are designed to last ten years or 100k miles. And if you weren't aware, electric car batteries cost anywhere from $4,000 to $20,000, depending on the model. If you plan to keep your car long-term, it will be like having to make a sizable downpayment just to keep your car running.
8. Battery Production Impact
We are being sold the story that electric cars are better for the environment and will help to reduce carbon emissions. However, the truth is that the impact of battery production is a considerable concern since mining and manufacturing lithium-ion batteries can be harmful to the environment. For now, we don't know the long-term effects EV battery production will have on the environment, but as more research and data surfaces, you may regret buying an EV if it becomes more harmful to the planet than we thought.
9. Electricity Sources
The only way an electric car is better for the environment is if the electricity used for charging is from natural energy sources, such as wind or solar. If your region relies heavily on fossil fuels, then the eco-friendly advantages are not prominent. Three states that rely heavily on fossil fuels for electricity are Utah, Louisiana, and Texas, meaning the inherent sustainability of an EV is virtually null and void.
10. Complex Technology
Gasoline engines have been around for years, and most repair and maintenance information can be found on YouTube or a quick Google search. However, electric car repair information is not as readily found since they are packed with new, advanced technology. This can make repairs and maintenance more challenging and, in turn, more expensive. It's possible you may even live in a region with limited options for mechanics, as not every independent repair shop will be versed in EV maintenance.
11. Limited Model Selection
If you're picky about cars, you may want to reconsider purchasing an electric car. As of March 2023, there were just over 40 EV models on the market compared to more than 100 gas-powered cars, which means that pickings are slim. If you're looking for an SUV or pickup truck, options are even more sparse. This limited selection may cause you to settle on a car that you end up regretting later on.
12. Home Charging Requirements
If you don't want to be dependent on the public charging infrastructure, then you may need to invest in a home charger. If you don't have a garage or dedicated charging space, this may be an issue. Plus, home chargers are a significant investment since it costs anywhere from $500-$1,200 to have them professionally installed. Then there's the increase in your monthly electric bill for charging your car at home, which can jump nearly $60 each month.
13. Hot Weather Impact
If you live in a region that is particularly hot, like Texas, Arizona, or Florida, you will find that electric vehicle ranges are negatively impacted by hot weather. Electric batteries perform poorly in hot weather, experiencing a loss of range when the temperature reaches 85 degrees. I live in Texas. The weather is rarely cooler than 85 degrees Fahrenheit, which is problematic over time because EVs can lose up to 31% of their range in extreme heat.
14. Cold Weather Impact
If you thought you were exempt from EV range loss because you live in a cooler region, think again. Electric cars don't perform well in cold weather, either. EV batteries can experience a 20% loss in range as soon as the temperature reaches 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This range loss may cause you to regret your EV purchase later on.