Are You Ready for an Electric Vehicle?
Today’s car-shopping experience provides many options that weren’t even around a decade ago. Not only can you choose a variety of makes and models, but now you also have the option of buying an electric vehicle (EV). With gas prices steadily climbing, you may already be considering going electric.
Electric cars are gaining popularity between their gas-saving abilities and environmentally friendly designs. However, these vehicles may not yet be suitable for everyone. By weighing the pros and cons of electric vehicles, you’ll be better equipped to decide which option will better suit you and your family.
Pros & Cons of Electric Vehicles
There are obvious perks to owning an electric car. However, as with anything new or involving change, many people are still hesitant to commit to one. While both gas-powered and electric vehicles have their benefits, it’s up to you to determine which one better fits your driving needs.
Pros of Electric Vehicles:
Better for the Environment
Electric vehicles are designed with the environment in mind. Driving a car that produces zero emissions lessens the effects of climate change, improves air quality in cities, and ultimately creates a less polluted planet for future generations.
In addition, electric cars are typically more energy-efficient than gas-powered cars. Battery power in electric vehicles typically converts into energy at a higher rate than in gas-powered engines.
Lower Fuel Costs
Rising gas prices make electric vehicles look even more enticing. While your energy costs at home may increase somewhat due to charging your car, the average driver should expect to save a significant amount each month on fuel costs.
Less Maintenance Required
Electric vehicles don’t have the same maintenance requirements as gas-powered cars. Overall, the wear and tear on a gas-powered engine can be costly for the car owner. Since EVs don’t require oil to lubricate the engine, many maintenance costs, such as oil changes, are a thing of the past. The main concern for electric car owners will be battery maintenance.
Tax Credits Available
Electric vehicles usually qualify for specific tax credits that can help reduce the cost of the car. These credits can change annually, so it’s wise to speak with a CPA to learn how they will impact your yearly tax bill.
Quieter to Drive
Because EVs don’t have a combustion engine, the cars are typically very quiet – both inside and out. A quieter cabin can offer a more enjoyable journey, particularly if you want to converse with your passenger or listen to music, a podcast, or an audiobook.
More Storage Space
In addition to a standard trunk, many electric vehicles also have a “frunk” – or front trunk. Since EVs don’t require a traditional engine, this area is typically converted into more storage space. While storage will vary by make and model, the extra space gives car manufacturers flexibility in designing their vehicles.
Cons of Electric Vehicles:
Limited Long-Distance Driving
While more and more charging stations pop up across the country, drivers are still limited in how far they can travel. Most new electric vehicles have a range of about 200 miles. So, if you’re driving long distances, it can be a challenge as you’ll have to plan your trip around charging station locations.
Fueling (Charging) Takes Longer
When charging your EV at home, it can take up to eight hours or more to charge your battery. This aspect can come into play if you have to go somewhere unexpectedly. And while public charging stations take quite a bit less time, you will still have to devote about 30 minutes for a full charge on your vehicle.
High Initial Cost
The price tag of electric vehicles can be pretty high. Because there are tax credits available when purchasing EVs, many manufacturers price this “discount” into the car’s cost. Unfortunately, the higher vehicle price may completely offset any potential fuel savings depending on the vehicle you choose.
Higher Electric Vehicle Repair Costs
Electric vehicles do not require the same routine maintenance costs as gas-powered cars, for example, oil changes. However, should maintenance be required, it’s typically more costly. If you have to repair or replace the battery, it can be quite expensive, depending on the manufacturer. Before deciding to purchase an EV, make sure to research these costs so you’re not surprised later down the road.
Higher Insurance Costs
Electric vehicles generally are more costly to insure than conventional gas-powered cars for two reasons: 1) electric vehicles have a higher sticker price, and 2) electric vehicle parts are typically more expensive to replace. It’s always wise to call your auto insurance provider for a quote before you buy a new car.
Resale Value of Electric Vehicles
Cars, in general, can depreciate quickly. However, because the technology involved in electric vehicles is advancing rapidly, older EVs may lose their resale value even more quickly than traditional vehicles.
Before you decide whether or not you want an EV, it’s important to explore why you want one. If you’re looking to help the environment, you won’t find a better option. If you simply want to pay less at the pump, the higher price tag of the vehicle might completely erase those potential savings.
However, as more car manufacturers release electric vehicles, prices should begin to decline. The decision is up to you, and you need to consider whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages yourself.
We’re Here to Help!
Whether you decide to purchase an electric vehicle, a hybrid, or a gas-powered car, take your time and weigh your options. Our team is here to help answer all your questions and work with you one-on-one to get approved for your loan.
To get started, please contact us or stop by any of our convenient branch locations.
If you like what you read, then join our e-mail list!
Each individual’s financial situation is unique and readers are encouraged to contact the Credit Union when seeking financial advice on the products and services discussed. This article is for educational purposes only; the authors assume no legal responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the contents.