Here Are the Pros and Cons of Electric and Hybrid Cars

Are you thinking of making your next car a fully electric vehicle (EV) or hybrid electric vehicle? Either can lower your carbon footprint and shrink your gas bill, but, like gas-powered vehicles, electric and hybrid cars have both benefits and drawbacks. Before you make the big switch to an electric or hybrid car, you need to know what the pros and cons of these vehicles are.

For example, EVs and hybrid cars can reduce your carbon footprint, but it can be hard to find charging stations for electric vehicles. You’ll spend less money on fuel, but electricity isn’t free – and with EV ranges still limited, it may not be the best choice if you make a lot of long trips. You might be able to get a tax credit to offset the cost of buying an EV, but that depends on which EV you get. And while electric vehicles require less maintenance than gas cars, hybrid cars require just as much maintenance as their fully gas counterparts – and the electric battery packs that power EVs and hybrids are expensive to replace when they finally wear out.

Pro: Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Reducing your carbon emissions is probably the biggest reason most people consider buying an EV. Driving an EV may not totally eliminate your dependence on fossil fuels – it depends on whether your local power grid runs on fossil fuels or not. However, even if your local power grid does rely on fossil fuels, you’ll still lower your carbon footprint by switching to an electric car.

Con: Charging Infrastructure Is Still in Its Infancy

If you’re considering an EV, you may have noticed that charging stations are few and far between. There may not even be any charging stations for EVs in your area. Many people get around this problem by charging their EV at home. You can use a 120-volt outlet to charge your EV, but it will take 16 to 24 hours to reach a full charge. It’s better to install a Level 2, 240-volt charging station in your home. However, this can cost thousands of dollars. Fortunately, the Biden administration has committed to spending $7.5 billion on charging infrastructure to make electric cars more feasible for Americans across the country.

Pro: Spend Less Money on Fuel

Electricity isn’t free, but you’ll sure spend a lot less money on fuel if you switch to an electric or hybrid car. A fully electric car costs about $10 to charge fully during non-peak hours at a home charging station. Charging one up at a public charging station or during peak hours can cost as much as $30. That’s cheaper than a tank of gas these days. And while your hybrid car will still need gas, it’ll use a lot less gas than a fully gas-powered car so you’ll still save money.

Con: EV Ranges Can’t Tackle Long Trips

Lots of people still get range anxiety about relying on an EV. No one wants to get stuck with a dead battery far from a charging station, and there aren’t that many charging stations around right now. Hybrid cars solve this problem by including an internal combustion engine that can operate the car once the batteries run out. EVs, however, have an average range of 150 to 300 miles, so while they might be find for the average commute or running errands around town, they’re not yet up to the challenge of a road trip – at least not until battery technology improves and charging stations become more ubiquitous.

Pro: Some EV Purchases Come with Tax Incentives

Under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, some purchasers of EVs may get a tax credit of $7,500 in 2023. Cars from more established manufacturers, like the Chevy electric SUV lineup for 2023, do qualify for the credit. Since the administration is working on new conditions for the tax credit, it’s a good idea to make your EV purchase as soon as possible, while the full credit is still available.

Con: Not All EVs Qualify for the Tax Credit

Tax credits aren’t available for every EV. For example, the car must be made in North America. Luxury vehicles like the Tesla can no longer qualify you for a tax credit. When shopping for an EV or hybrid, make sure the model you choose is on the list of models that qualify their buyers for a tax credit.

Pro: EVs Require Less Maintenance

Electric vehicles contain fewer moving parts then their gas-powered counterparts, so they require less maintenance. There’s no oil to change and fewer parts to wear out. You’ll spend about half as much on maintenance and repairs over the life of the car when compared to a gas car.

Con: Vehicle Batteries Are Expensive to Replace

The batteries that power EVs don’t last forever, and their charge capacity may vary depending on things like the weather (cold weather can deplete the batteries quickly) or how much you might be towing with the vehicle (towing can deplete the batteries as much as two-thirds faster). When it’s time to replace the batteries in your EV, anticipate a repair bill large enough to justify buying a whole new car. However, the batteries do last 10 to 12 years on average before needing to be replaced, and the cost of replacement is expected to fall as EVs become more common and the technology evolves.

An electric vehicle can save you money on gas and shrink your carbon footprint, but it’s important to understand the drawbacks of EVs before you buy one. When you know what to expect, your transition away from fossil fuels can be a smooth one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *