For years, electric vehicles have been slowly gaining in popularity in the U.S. The current explosion in gas prices has created a new surge in interest in EVs.
The environmental and financial benefits of driving an EV are easy to understand, but there are many misconceptions about EVs that make buyers hesitant to consider them more seriously.
Following are some reasons why a driver might not choose an EV — despite the fact that they offer a great way to save on high gas prices — and how those objections might not be deal-breakers anymore.
They’re more expensive
EVs and hybrids are more expensive to buy than standard all-gas vehicles, so the sticker price can be a bit of a shock.
The costs may balance out over the life of the car, though, because it costs less in fuel and maintenance costs to run an EV or hybrid.
A way to get the benefit of low maintenance and fuel costs without the high entry costs of a new EV is to buy a used EV or hybrid.
They’re not distance cars
A major complaint about all-electric EVs is that they can’t drive long distances on one charge. Certainly, that’s a valid complaint for people who log many miles in one trip.
The simplest way to avoid this issue is by buying a hybrid instead of an all-electric EV. You get the same low-maintenance costs as you would with an EV without the distance worries.
If you have an EV that you need to drive a long distance, know that more commercial charging stations are being installed across the country. There are websites and apps you can use to plan your route ahead of time to make sure you can get to a charging station when you need one.
Power isn’t there yet
Some drivers want a muscle car or a car with big power bursts and speed. Unfortunately, EVs aren’t there yet. That’s because many of those shopping for EVs and hybrids want a lighter car that can run on less gas — or no gas — and don’t care so much about power.
As EVs have become more mainstream, designers are pushing the specs to expand into cars with more power, such as the Tesla Roadster and Ford Mustang Mach-E. As gas prices cause more power-car drivers to consider the EV market, more EVs with power should become available.
The batteries will wear out
Drivers may be scared that the batteries on their EVs will wear out. But hybrid and EV batteries tend to last for much longer than the car batteries in traditional vehicles do.
The common problem with EV and hybrid batteries is that they may lose their charge if they sit without use in very hot or very cold weather. But you can manage this by running the car regularly enough to prevent the battery from losing charge and keeping the vehicle in conditions that aren’t too hot or cold.
They feel strange to drive
New EV and hybrid drivers often express the complaint that the lack of engine noise is disturbing and the vehicles handle differently than traditional vehicles. While this can be disconcerting at first, you’ll get used to these differences.
There is a learning curve with any new-to-you vehicle. It’s worth a week or two of adjustment.
They’re slow to charge
When EVs were first introduced, the time it took to charge them was a legitimate concern, especially since they needed to be charged at a station. However, charging times now are shorter, and many EVs can be charged at home.
In some ways, keeping your car charged is the same process as keeping your phone charged. Most of us don’t think very much about the process of keeping our phones charged. Instead, we simply develop a routine and stick to it.
Keeping an EV charged takes roughly the same amount of work and energy on your part: Plug in your car overnight, and you’ll be ready to go in the morning.
You can’t buy one
It is difficult to actually buy an EV or hybrid right now, with supply-chain issues creating shortages of the materials needed to manufacture the vehicles.
Of course, this problem isn’t specific to EVs, and it can’t be solved by deciding to buy a new standard vehicle. Consumers are stuck waiting for supply-chain issues to resolve across many industries and product types.
Change is difficult, and switching to an EV requires an entirely different mindset about driving and using resources. Of course, there will be aspects of driving an EV that can make consumers hesitate.
For example, if you are hoping to save on car insurance, know that EVs generally are more expensive to insure than traditional cars.
But overall, the big picture shows that EVs are better for drivers and the planet. Driving an EV also can simplify your life in ways that aren’t just financial.
- No more pumping gas in frigid winds in January.
- No more adding oil changes to your calendar so you don’t forget them.
- No more worry about gas prices.
Getting your first EV will be a lot like getting your first smartphone: There is a learning curve, but pretty soon you won’t remember what life was like without one. And with any luck, you’ll save enough money on fuel and maintenance costs to fatten your bank account over time.