Pros and Cons of Purchasing an Electric Vehicle Aug 31, 2016 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)

When it comes time to buy a new car, many people are now considering an electric vehicle instead of a traditional model with a gas engine or even a hybrid. Electric vehicles are not just for an eco-conscious driver; they come with distinct benefits as well. That being said, they are not without their complications, and it is a good idea to consider your decision thoroughly before making a purchase. It’s unreasonable to dismiss an electric vehicle out of hand, and it’s equally foolish to claim that they are inherently “better” than other cars. If you are considering an electric vehicle, then be sure to think about all the pros and cons associated with these models.

Pros: Save Money

As opposed to running on gasoline, electric vehicles run on electricity and require regular charging. Nearly everywhere in the world, an electric car will be much cheaper to operate than its gas counterparts will. This is because electricity is almost always significantly cheaper than gas; it is plentiful and incredibly affordable. To make the savings associated with driving an electric vehicle even more obvious, you can work out the math regarding the cost to drive a single mile. Driving a mile in an EV will typically cost a third or a quarter of what it costs to drive a mile in a gas-powered car. This is because not only is electricity cheaper than petroleum, but electric cars tend to be more efficient than the internal combustion engines found in traditional vehicles.

Pros: Low Maintenance

Compared to traditional gas-powered vehicles, electric ones are much easier to maintain because of their simpler construction. The engine under the hood of an electric vehicle is incredibly simple and doesn’t even have a transmission. Since there are significantly fewer parts in these vehicles, the risk of a problem or a component breaking down is dramatically reduced. This can save you money on necessary repairs. It also reduces the number of components that require regular maintenance, meaning you have to deal with fewer trips to the mechanic, saving you time as well as money.  There aren’t even exhaust systems in an electric vehicle since no exhaust fumes come out of the car, and there are zero emissions. You won’t need oil changes or engine inspections. Brakes even wear more slowly on electric vehicles. In many cases, you will just need to rotate your EVs tires and check their inflation to keep the vehicle running smoothly. Because of this, you may even get a longer powertrain warranty than you would on a gas vehicle.

Pros: Energy Independence

The electricity used to power your EV can come from nearly any source. You can use your local power grid, whether it gets the power from renewables, gas, or coal. You can also install solar panels on your roof and use the energy from the panels to charge your vehicle and power the rest of your home with a battery system like a Tesla Powerwall. Purchasing an electric car from a domestic automaker reduces our dependence on foreign oil and continues to reduce the amount that the country as a whole relies on gas and other foreign energy sources. There are a growing number of energy solutions for homeowners and drivers that are better for the country, the planet, and your gas bill.

Pros: No Emissions

One of the main reasons that people choose to drive electric vehicles is that they produce zero emissions, decreasing pollution and greenhouse gasses and reducing the urban smog and damage to the ozone layer. Unfortunately, almost every diesel or gas vehicle produces harmful emissions, even if the quantity is minimal. Only an electric vehicle produces zero emissions. This is particularly true in areas where there are various renewable energy sources, like solar, hydro, and wind, and for those who drive electric vehicles and use solar panels to get their electricity at home. Even if you live in a region that is dependent on gas or coal, your EV will have a smaller impact on the environment than a conventional vehicle, although the effect isn’t as great.

Pros: Tax Credit

If you look at the price of an electric vehicle, you will want to keep in mind one of the financial benefits of these models: tax credits. Owners of EVs will typically be entitled to both state and federal tax credits that will lower the cost of their new vehicle. In fact, many estimates say that when you combine tax credits with other incentives, the cost of an electric vehicle will decrease by $7,000 to $10,000. In some areas, however, the incentives may be revoked in the future. Keep in mind you will also still have to pay the full price of the vehicle at first. A tax credit is simply applied when you file your taxes later in the year, meaning you still need the money or financing for the full cost. That being said, tax credits will still help ease the cost of most EVs.

Next: The cons of buying an electric vehicle.

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