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The Pros and Cons of Buying an Electrical Vehicle

By Mark Phillips.

A survey by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that almost 42 percent of the country is ready to consider purchasing an electric vehicle (EV). If you see yourself in the group that’s ready to buy, we’ve got the pros and cons of such a purchase. This way you can decide if this is the right time for you, or if you should wait for the industry to evolve and mature.
The Benefits

The first obvious benefit is that EVs don’t use fossil fuels. They are non-polluting when driven, and you are not using up a non-renewable resource. This is the main reason the early adopters of EVs purchased their cars. With more cities around the world complaining of poor air quality, this is a benefit to the environment overall.

You will save money on gas, since you won’t be buying any. Note that we are speaking of purely electric cars (such as the Nissan Leaf) as opposed to hybrids (like a Toyota Prius) that also use gas. One interesting issue that’s recently made the news: States make a considerable amount of money from taxes on gas, which is then used to maintain roads. To compensate for the loss of revenue from the EV owners, states are considering special taxes and fees for those drivers. It’s unclear how this will finally be resolved, but it will likely cut into your cost savings.

Many insurance companies give discounts for owning an electric vehicle, especially if you’re an AARP member. Check with various insurance companies to see what your total savings may be.
The Challenges

Current battery technology is such that you’ll only be able to drive a short distance before needing to recharge. According to the Federal Highway Administration, EVs can accommodate more than 90 percent of our average car trips. Most EVs have a range of 50 to 100 miles, so longer trips require some planning, especially due to the lack of charging stations. More are popping up every month across the country, but until they are as available as gas stations, you may have to be content sitting in a Denny’s parking lot while your EV is charging.

Because the technology is new, repair and maintenance can be expensive. There are fewer places ready to do the maintenance and fewer trained technicians. The most costly component in your EV is the battery, which the Wall Street Journal says could cost you up to a third of the car’s cost to replace.

Like a gas-powered car battery, if thrown into a landfill, an EV battery is harmful for the environment. There is active research on improving EV battery technology that may reduce this danger to the environment.

And the lithium batteries used in EVs don’t do well with temperature extremes, reports Navigant Research. You may need to have a temperature-controlled garage to store your car when not in use.
It Depends Who You Ask

The automotive manufacturers and the ecology-minded consumer groups each put out their own spin on the benefits and disadvantages of owning an electric vehicle. This is a relatively new industry, and people are still working out the kinks. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a benefit right now to owning an EV. But you’ll need to decide if your lifestyle can accommodate the limitations.
Source DigitalPros.org

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