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The Pros And Cons Of Electric Cars

To meet the tightening emissions and fuel economy regulations, more automakers are quickly jumping on the green bandwagon. Shifting from traditional gasoline-powered cars to electric ones will play a key role in curtailing climate change, yet people are still sceptical about this new method of driving. While electric cars do, indeed, have their drawbacks, there are also considerable benefits to owning one.

Home-Charging-Car-Port-1920.jpgImage Source: Liberty PlugIns

Pro: Electricity Is Cheaper Than Gasoline

Singaporeans pay an average of S$2.25 per mile driving gas-powered cars, which really doesn’t seem like much — until you compare it to the fact that many electric cars run at a fraction of that cost, given that electricity is significantly less expensive than gasoline. And since you will likely charge your electric car in your garage most of the time, installing solar panels on your home can save you even more money on powering both your car and residence.

Pro: Easy To Refuel And Recharge

With a conventional vehicle, one is at the mercy of gasoline prices, which can fluctuate wildly based on global events. With an electric car, you never have to go to another gas station again. Instead, you can power up right from the comfort of your home through your own charging inlet.

Pro: High Performance And Low Maintenance

Electric cars are free from the usual maintenance requirements that take a toll on gas-powered cars. According to a paper by Idaho National Laboratory, the electric motor, controller, and the charger in an electric car all have little to no moving parts and overall require little or no maintenance. The longevity of electric car parts save money in the long run and spares drivers from having to troubleshoot problems. In addition, the brakes in an electric car usually last a lot longer than those on a conventional car.

Pro: Quick And Quiet

It only takes one ride in a battery-powered car to understand the improved ride quality of an electric car compared to a car that uses a petroleum-powered internal combustion engine. Starting an electric car is a completely silent process void of the rumble and vibrations of a combustion-engined car, while tyre and wind noise is the only noticeable sound when on the move.

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However, some manufacturers are coming up with creative ways to warn pedestrians that a car is approaching while still retaining an EV’s almost silent characteristics.

Pro: Zero-Emissions Cars

While hybrid owners are singing the praises of their cars, it is still dependent on the gas-powered portion of the engine to make the car work. On the contrary, electric cars produce zero emissions. Also absent are antifreeze, oil and other fluids which makes it quite environmentally friendly. Yes, the batteries do pose a potential environmental issue down the road, but the automotive industry has already proposed various methods to recycle used EV batteries effectively.

(Related Story: Top Hybrid Cars in Singapore)

electric_car_13Image Source: Car Magazine

Con: Expensive Initial Cost

If you have never looked into an electric car before, you might experience a bit of sticker shock upon beginning your research. The battery packs within an electric car are expensive and may need to be replaced more than once over the lifetime of the car. Electric cars are also more expensive than gasoline-powered cars, and the upfront cost of an electric car can also be prohibitive. However, the fuel cost savings, tax credits, and state incentives can help to offset this cost overall if they are available.

Con: Lack Of Consumer Choices

While Tesla’s no longer the monopoly in town, this doesn’t mean that there is a great selection out there. Most automakers are still focusing on a single electric car as compared to a whole lineup like what Tesla is doing, which means that consumers only have a few options to choose from in the end. On the bright side, the situation will change in the not-too-distant future as nearly every major manufacturer plans to commit heavily to electric vehicles in the coming years.

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Con: Limited Range

The driving range of a gas-powered car is much longer than an electric car which can be problematic for long-distance trips, especially when taking into account the potential lack of charging stations.

Con: Long Recharge Times

While adding gas to a fuel tank doesn’t take much longer than five minutes, recharging an electric car can take a few hours depending on the car model and charging station. Even the fastest charging stations will take approximately half an hour to get near 80 percent capacity.

Con: Public Charging Stations Are Limited

Though electric cars have attained tremendous popularity over the past several years, the availability of charging stations remains sparse in numerous areas. Fortunately, Singapore countered the shortage with energy provider Singapore Power — who rolled its first wave of electric vehicle charging points islandwide earlier in January, and will be launching another thousand soon.

Shell-Recharge-at-Shell-Sengkang-1Shell-Recharge-Singapore-Location-MapImage Source: Shell Singapore

Shell has also stepped up and become the first fuel retailer in Singapore offering electric vehicle charging points at its stations. To meet the evolving demand for convenience and mobility solutions, the Dutch oil giant has equipped its Sengkang station with a 50kW direct current (DC) fast-charger. Nine other stations across the island will have this facility, dubbed Shell Recharge, by October.

Ultimately, electric cars, like any vehicle, must be assessed based on personal needs and vehicle usage. There are many pros to owning an electric car, such as fuel savings and reduced emissions, but this can come at the cost of relying on battery charging and higher costs. It is important to consider what works best for you if you are looking into getting one!

Image Source: Electrek

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