Is It Worth It to Buy an Electric Car? [a Well-Rounded Evaluation]

Is buying an electric car worth it? You will need to consider the pros and cons of electric cars before finalizing your decision.

There is no doubt that electric cars are becoming increasingly popular. But are they right for you?

Here are the pros and cons of electric cars that you need to know about.


No Gasoline

The most obvious benefit of electric cars is that you no longer have to buy gasoline.

Americans spend around $2,000 to $4,000 on average on gasoline each year to power their cars.

If your car is fully electric, you don’t have to buy gas. However, you will have to pay for electricity.

A PHEV or plug-in hybrid vehicle will also eliminate a part of the gas cost. However, to extend the range, it still has a gas engine.

Low Maintenance

Besides helping you save money on fuel, electric vehicles may also help save money on maintenance.

Since an electric vehicle does not have an internal combustion engine, it does not need lubricating oil.

So oil changes may no longer be necessary with electric vehicles. The same applies to engine work that may need to be done on a conventional car.

Brake pads will also not wear out that quickly. Hence you will need to replace them less often in electric vehicles. This will save you some money.

The federal government also requires electric vehicle manufacturers to provide a 100,000 mile/8 year warranty at the very least to customers. You can save a lot of money thanks to this warranty requirement.

Certain manufacturers are going even further. For example, the Hyundai Kona electric vehicle has a lifetime battery warranty.

In addition, Hyundai will also handle the maintenance expense incurred during the first 3 years for its electric vehicles.

Is buying an electric car worth it
Is buying an electric car worth it

Tax Incentives and Credits

Besides having lower maintenance costs, electric vehicles may also cost less to buy thanks to federal tax credits and other tax incentives.

For example, the cost of the Mini Cooper SE begins at about $30,000. To bring down its cost, there is a federal tax credit of $7,500. States are also offering tax incentives which means that the Mini Cooper SE can cost less than $20,000.

Leasing electric vehicles is also an attractive option. Certain leasing companies make use of the tax credit and thus offer lower prices to their customers.

Reducing Carbon Footprint

The reduced carbon footprint is a key factor that will encourage many drivers to buy electric vehicles. There are a lot of people who will buy an electric vehicle simply because they know that it is better for the planet.

Electric vehicles can reduce greenhouse emissions and are thus the key to fighting global warming.


Range Limitations

The range of electric vehicles is a major drawback for drivers. Many drivers feel anxious that they will run of charge when they are not close to a charging station.

However, the range is improving with evolving battery technology. Hence, range anxiety will soon become less of a problem. For example, Toyota will launch a model that has a 600-mile range.

Till that happens, here is what you can expect in terms of EV range. The Environmental Protection Agency has stated that the 2021 Nissan Leaf Plus can travel 226 miles thanks to the 62 kWh battery.

This range is far enough for most drivers and will calm down range anxiety for many.

Tesla cars have the longest range among electric vehicles. The EPA estimates that the Tesla Model S has a range of about 380 miles. Newer Model S sedans will have an even longer range.

EV Charging Stations

A big disadvantage for electric vehicles is that drives may have to install an electric charging station in their homes.

Of course, installing one is not necessary, especially if plenty of public charging stations are located nearby. However, the convenience of having your own charging station cannot be denied.

But buying your own charging station means higher costs. This will eliminate part of the costs savings that come from driving an electric vehicle.

You can certainly charge an electric vehicle using the conventional 120 V electrical outlets available at homes. However, 240-volt charging stations can do the job much faster.

Cost of Battery Replacement

Owning an electric vehicle can mean fewer maintenance hassles. For example, oil changes may not be necessary. But battery replacement in electric vehicles can prove to be costly.

Batteries in electric vehicles are expected to last around a decade. Replacing them may set you back by thousands of dollars.

Electricity Costs

You can save on gas, but that does not mean that fuel costs will be zero for electric vehicles. You will still have to pay for the cost of electricity to charge your vehicle.

And if charging happens during peak hours, you will have to pay extra. However, most drivers will not have to pay much higher fuel costs for their electric vehicles than gasoline vehicles.

You need to ask yourself some important questions before buying an electric vehicle to find out whether they are worth it or not.

Electric vehicles are becoming an increasingly popular choice for car drivers. In places like California, electric vehicles are now common.

Almost all automakers are now offering fully electric vehicle models. The Tesla Model 3 is now a common sight on the roads.

As the cost of electric cars goes down and as they become increasingly available, more people will want to buy them.

In addition to the environmental benefits, there are many more reasons why an average driver will want to own an electric vehicle.

These include better performance, less maintenance, lower energy costs, and higher efficiency.

However, before you transition to an electric vehicle, you will have to ask certain relevant questions to know whether or not they are worth it.

Here are the questions that you should be asking.

Does the Electric Vehicle Have Long Range?

Many electric vehicles today offer a range of at least 200 miles. However, there are still some models that have less range.

Automaker Tesla offers a range of over 300 miles for its cars. The Model S of Tesla has a range of around 400 miles on a full charge.

Since most electric vehicles have a range above 200 miles, this will not prove to be a problem for most people during their daily commute.

Many factors affect the range, including the weather, driving habits, and speed. To be on the safe side, you should expect less range than the EPA estimate.

If you have to travel more than 200 miles each day, then electric vehicles may not be worth it. But since most people travel less than 200 miles per day, electric cars may be a fine choice for them.

Can an Electric Vehicle Be Charged at Home?

One convenience of electric vehicles is that you can charge them at home. Hence, you do not have to go to the gas station to refuel the same way as conventional cars.

When you come back home, you can just plug the car in and wake up in the morning to find it fully charged.

However, charging with your home’s electrical outlet is a slow process. With the standard 110 V electrical outlet, your car can charge up to 4 miles of range in one hour. This means that it could take a few days to charge a car with a range of 250 miles.

Instead of using Level 1 110 volt electrical outlets, you can choose to install a Level 2 240 volt electrical outlet. This charges at a rate of 25 miles range in one hour. Hence, the charging for Level 2 is much faster.

You should find out how much it will cost to install the 240 volt Level 2 charging station before you finalize your decision.

Can an Electric Vehicle Be Charged at Home
Can an Electric Vehicle Be Charged at Home

What is the Cost of Electricity?

The cost of electricity depends on your location, much like the cost of gasoline. Electricity costs around 13 cents per kWh in the US.

In Louisiana, the cost is down to about 10 cents, while it is almost 20 cents in California. So there are big variations in the cost of electricity.

But no matter where you live, the cost of electricity to charge an electric vehicle will be less than the cost of gasoline.

For example, the EPA states that the BMW 3 series fuel cost is three times more than the cost of charging a Tesla Model 3.

However, there are a few things you should know to save money on charging.

You can often charge more cheaply at home than at a public charging station. But keep in mind that some public charging stations are free.

Also, electricity costs vary according to what time it is. The cost of charging will thus be cheaper overnight and during weekends as compared to charging during peak times.

You should contact your utility company to find out electricity costs for different times. Some utilities have special plans available for electric vehicle charging.

Read How Long Does It Take To Charge An Electric Car

Are Electric Vehicles Good for Road Trips?

It is possible to take out your electric vehicle on a road trip since they have a range of more than 200 miles on average. By the time your electric vehicle travels this far, you will probably want a break.

If you are traveling on major highways, you can map out your road trip to ensure enough public charging stations along the way.

Many electric vehicle owners also have a gasoline-powered car that can be used for road trips. You can also rent a car to go on a road trip. For daily driving, you can use an electric vehicle.

Are Electric Vehicles Good for Road Trips
Are Electric Vehicles Good for Road Trips

Read Fastest Charging Electric Cars To Buy

What Incentives Are There for Electric Vehicles?

A federal tax credit of $7,500 is available for electric vehicle buyers. New and fully electric cars carry this tax incentive.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles or PHEVs also have this tax credit, but it may be reduced on account of battery size.

With a longer range, such as Honda Clarity and Chrysler Pacifica, PHEVs have the full tax credit. But the Kia Niro and Toyota Prius have a tax credit of just $4,500.

All-electric vehicles are not eligible for the tax credit. The tax credit reduces in phases after automakers sell over 200,000 electric cars. As a result of this, GM and Tesla electric vehicles are no longer eligible for the tax credit.

The availability of the tax credit also depends on your tax situation. You should talk to a tax professional to find out whether you qualify for the tax credit or not.

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Bottom Line

Is it worth buying an electric car? It depends on your personal situation and preferences. But given the environmental benefits and cost savings, electric vehicles are a feasible option for many.