Some may think electric vehicles are the future of clean transportation, but if you put your ear to the pavement, you'll hear grumblings that suggest otherwise. Americans are not ready to buy into electric cars, and there is a good reason for it. While it’s true that we need an answer to carbon emissions, EVs are showing signs that they may not be the savior we are looking for. At least, not yet.
If you’re considering purchasing an EV, here are 13 reasons why you should wait.
Just like with any new technology, the beginning days are for early adopters willing to work through the kinks that new tech comes with. When a new, big iOS update comes out, I always wait until an updated version rolls out before I update my phone. I know there’s cool stuff in store, but I like to wait until everyone else tests it out and the developers have a chance to fix the bugs. The same is true for EV technology. Some will choose to test out the brand-new tech, but others may prefer to wait awhile and let the bugs get solved first.
Cost of Ownership
EVs save on fuel costs, but the initial price tag is much higher than a gas-powered car. There are several more affordable EV options, but as a rule, you can expect to pay an average of $20,000 more for a new electric car. By choosing to wait, you could let the prices continue to drop and wait for more affordable options and incentives.
Public charging is just not on par with what’s needed yet. The Biden administration pledged funds to improve the charging infrastructure, and it may be worth the wait if you will need to depend on public charging options. As the infrastructure begins to improve in the future, EV ownership may be a better idea.
Battery Degradation Concerns
There are a lot of worries about electric car battery degradation. Currently, batteries are designed to last ten years or 150k miles. If you’ll be on the road often, you may be concerned about your EV battery quickly wearing out. These batteries are costly, with replacements running upwards of $20,000. Waiting to buy an EV may give manufacturers more time to improve their battery technology to last longer and be more valuable to consumers.
Even the Tires Are Costly
The cost-savings that come with buying an EV may be questionable, especially as you break down the price of different components. Take tires, for example. On your average gas-powered car, you can spend roughly $100 to $150 per tire. For the most basic EVs, tires run $150 to $300. When you consider that EV owners find their tires are wearing out 20 percent faster than standard emissions vehicles, that’s quite a jump in cost.
But why the difference? EVs are heavier than gas cars, weighing roughly 30 percent more.
Limited Model Options
As of July 2023, only 40 EV models were on the market. In the next two years, 50 more EV models are already announced to be released. If you don’t particularly fancy any of the models currently available, just wait a bit, and your selection will at least double by 2025. By that time, a few more kinks may have been worked out, too, making it a more trustworthy ride.
Home Charging Access
If you’re not a homeowner, you may not have the option to install a home charger, so you must rely on public charging stations. Some apartments and rentals don’t have or don’t allow an EV charger on site, so waiting until you’re a homeowner or until your rental or apartment installs a home charger may be a good idea.
A recent study showed how we don’t yet know the impact EVs will have on the environment. We can make a good guess, but the reality is that until it plays out, it’s only speculation. EVs produce mass amounts of emissions in production, but they reduce significantly once they are off the production belt. The current worry is that the mass amounts of “front-loaded” emissions during production will have an unknown environmental impact that outweighs the short-term benefit of switching to an EV. Waiting on EV ownership will give automakers and scientists more time to see exactly how EVs will impact our planet.
Extreme Weather Performance
Current EV batteries don’t perform well in extreme weather. If you live in a cold climate or extra hot climate, you may consider waiting on an EV purchase. As automakers improve their batteries, they may become less susceptible to range decreases in extreme temperatures. For now, you can expect to lose 20% of the battery range in either really cold or really hot weather conditions.
One of the biggest worries about EVs is their range. However, electric car’s range has significantly improved since the beginning. The original Teslas got around 75-150 miles in range, while 2023 models are getting as high as 400 miles on a full charge. If this is still not long enough to dissipate your range anxiety, just wait a while, and we will see these numbers continue to increase. Also, while this does sound like a lot and can rival what many internal combustion cars can reach, you still have to consider the relative unavailability of chargers. A 400-mile range is plenty until you have to spend a portion of it scrambling for a charger.
Another thing we are unsure of when it comes to EVs is their resale value. If you’re someone like me who enjoys buying and flipping cars, we're not quite at the point where you can do so with a greater guarantee of a decent return. If batteries only last 150k miles, this may throw a wrench in resale values in the future. While brands like Jeeps and Hondas retain their value for years, it may be worth waiting to see how EVs hold their value over the long haul.
Maintenance and Repairs
If you don’t like working on your car and rely on the mechanic shop, it’s important to know that EV mechanics are hard to find right now. Not many have gone through specialized training outside of the dealership. And we all know dealerships charge an arm and a leg for maintenance and repairs compared to your local mechanic. Waiting on EV ownership will give mechanics and techs time to learn more about EV technology, and hopefully, it will be easier in the future to find reliable EV mechanics in our local areas.
Regulatory Changes and Fees
In 2023, states began announcing additional fees for EV ownership. In states like Texas, they are realizing that they are losing out on gasoline tax with the emergence of electric cars. Gasoline tax pays for roads and other driving infrastructure, so Texas is adding additional fees to EV registration to compensate for the loss. When you register a new EV in Texas, you will pay an additional $400 plus an extra $200 for each year after that. By waiting on EV ownership, you can wait to see how regulations and feed play out for EV owners so that you can make a more informed decision on whether an EV is right for you.