Is it the right time to buy an electric car?

Is it the right time to buy an electric car?

Have you thought about buying a fully electric car recently? Many people still have concerns about them. They include the price of the car charging, chargers available and how green they are. So are these valid concerns?

Fully electric cars are often expensive and much of that has to do with the price of the battery itself which makes up a significant proportion of the cost of an electric vehicle but battery prices are expected to fall.

So the price of a new car should fall significantly over the next few years hopefully bringing the cost down to a level comparable with petrol and diesel vehicles.

Currently charging a car can take anything from 30 minutes to over 24 hours depending on the size of the battery, the type of car and the charging station you’re using.

But these times will almost certainly be reduced in the future. Porsche currently testing a who charging station that could reduce charge times to just a few minutes.

Where you charge your car can be a big worry. For those who have no access to a home or local charging station, easily accessible public charging locations are vital.

For example, the UK currently has about 22000 charging stations but will need many more to meet growing demand, not enough charging stations means longer distances to travel to top up and perhaps longer queues when you get there.

The UK like other countries is encouraging the installation of more charging points for the provision of grants to local authorities and to qualifying electric car owners.

But a recent UK parliamentary report has criticised the Government for failing to ensure proper national charging network is being developed. It argued that greater financial support is needed to build up an effective network.

Electric vehicles don’t pollute the environment with harmful carbon emissions but they do have other environmental costs such as mining the minerals for the batteries and then manufacturing them. Also, the electricity used to charge an electric vehicle may well not come from a renewable source.

The disposal of the batteries at the end of their lifespan has also a potential environmental impact. Although current UK regulations do require manufacturers t pay for the collection recycling and disposal of the batteries.

Technologies are improving all the time making batteries more efficient with greater capacity and with longer life.

And there were major benefits to the local environment of having non-polluting electric cars replacing the traditional internal combustion engine so if you are thinking of buying an electric car today there are certainly challenges.

Depending on where you live and where you drive but with growing awareness of the environmental damage done by petrol and diesel engines many vehicle manufacturers have focused their attention on developing electric-powered cars that will surely bring down prices and encourage us all to consider the benefits of greener electric vehicles.

The arguments about buying a fully electric vehicle

The arguments both against and for going fully electric are strong and good on both sides.

I’ve heard pretty much everything there is to hear from both sides of the fence.

Arguments against fully electric cars:

“It’s like buying the latest iPhone, it’ll be expired by tomorrow”.

“What do I do on longer trips? It’ll take me forever to arrive if it needs hours to charge every 200 miles”.

“The electricity is not green anyway”.

“An electric car is way more pollutant to produce than a gasoline car”.

“The range is so low I would have to charge it all the time”.

“Electric cars are over twice the price of normal gasoline cars”.

Arguments for fully electric cars:

“Buying towards a greener future”.

“It gives me more pleasure to drive with the extreme acceleration”.

“It has almost no maintenance costs”.

“It keeps it value very good over time, so I can sell it for more then I could with a gasoline car”.

“Continues fast development gives me software updates regularly – once I got a software update which gave me 5% better range”.

“It feels and factually is much safer to drive”.

There is no doubt that the arguments both for and against electric cars are many and some of them are very subjective. So I think the right time to buy an electric car will depend much on your current situation and needs.

For me personally, at this moment I drive a gasoline car myself because I have almost an hour to work every day, while my girlfriend have 10 minutes so she has a small electric car which very little range. A hybrid could also work fine for me I guess, but the money just isn’t there for it yet.

When batteries get cheaper and the range get larger, I think I will most certainly reconsider. The charging time is not an issue because of the option to charge it every night at home.


Morten Pradsgaard

Morten has been working with technology, IoT and electronics for over a decade. His passion for technology is reflected into this blog to give you relevant and correct information.