BUYING A CAR

Pros and cons of electric cars

There are many pros and cons of electric cars, including price, fuel efficiency, charging times, and miles per charge vs. miles per tank of gas.

Pros and Cons of Electric Cars

 

Electric cars are becoming more popular these days. This could be because the price of electric cars is becoming more affordable. Electric cars also offer many benefits for both the environment and your wallet.

Before you think about getting an electric car loan, you’ll want to decide which type of vehicle fits your driving needs. Would an all-electric vehicle (AEV) work for you? How about a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle? Or maybe a conventional gasoline-powered vehicle is your best option right now.

Learn about the pros and cons of electric cars so you can make an informed decision when you buy your next car.

 

Pros and cons of electric cars

Electric cars have drawbacks and benefits, just like conventional cars. Here are a few to keep in mind before you buy an electric car.

Pros of Electric Cars Cons of Electric Cars
More energy efficient Can't travel as far
Reduce emissions "Fueling" takes longer
Require lower maintenance Sometimes more expensive

So the short and simple version is that electric cars are:

  • Energy efficient
  • Good for the environment
  • Low maintenance

However, the cons of electric cars include:

  • You can’t travel as far
  • Refueling, or recharging, takes longer
  • Upfront costs can be high

Let’s take a deeper look at the advantages and disadvantages of electric cars.

 

Advantages of electric cars

Electric cars are energy efficient. A vehicle is considered energy efficient when it converts a high amount of potential energy from the fuel source to actual energy used for powering the car. AEVs are far more efficient at this than traditional gas-powered cars. They convert 59 – 62% of potential energy to actual energy. Compare this percentage to gas-powered vehicles, which only convert between 17 – 21%, and you can see why the energy-efficient label for electric cars is well-earned.

Electric cars reduce emissions. Since electric cars rely on a rechargeable battery, they don’t produce any tailpipe emissions, which are a major source of pollution. The rechargeable battery also means most energy can be sourced domestically through renewable resources like solar panels.

High performance, low maintenance. Electric cars are high performance vehicles with engines that run quiet and smooth. The engines of electric cars require less maintenance than internal combustion engines. AEV motors react quickly, are highly responsive, and have good torque. The engines are newer and more technologically connected than gas-powered engines. This means more interconnectivity with the car’s computer and display panels. There is even the option to use an app to control the charging of an electric car.

 

Disadvantages of electric cars

Shorter driving time. On average, AEVs have a shorter driving range than gas-powered cars. Most electric car models range between 60 – 120 miles per charge, with some luxury models reaching 300 miles per charge. For comparison, gas-powered cars average around 300 miles on a full tank of gas. The shorter driving range is something to consider if you frequently take long trips or have a long work commute. More charging stations could eventually make this a non-issue, but we’re not there yet in terms of availability and accessibility.

Take longer to “refuel.” Fully recharging a battery pack with a Level 1 or Level 2 charger can take up to 8 hours. There are fast-charging stations, but even these take 30 minutes to reach an 80% charge. This means that driving an electric car may require more planning on your part, since you can’t just pull in for a pit stop at a gas station. Charging capabilities may change as technology evolves, but you should consider the realities as they are now before you buy an electric car.

Higher sticker price. Pretty much all electric vehicles have a higher sticker price than gas-powered cars. And the battery packs are expensive and will most likely need to be replaced more than once during the life of the car. However, savings on fuel costs, tax credits, and state incentives could help offset these costs.

 

If you’re thinking about buying an electric car, make sure it fits your personal needs. There are certainly advantages to electric vehicles, but for certain people those might be outweighed by the disadvantages.

If you want to reduce emissions, reduce your fuel costs, and don’t think the recharging time will be an issue, an electric car might be right for you. However, if you frequently take long trips or have a long work commute, or if the initial costs are just too high, you might want to look at other options.

Use our helpful calculator to find out how much car you can actually afford. And if you have other questions about car loans, or other types of loans, check out the other articles in the car buying section of our Learning Center.

Related Content

Buying a Car

Online Car Loans in San Francisco

Get a car loan from home. Shop for cars and car loans online quick­ly through the Cred­it Union Direct Lend­ing program. 

Learn More

Buying a Car

Private Party Auto Loans

There can be some advan­tages to buy­ing a car from a pri­vate par­ty, but there can also be some risks involved. Learn how to pro­tect your­self. Find out every­thing you’ll need to apply for a loan and trans­fer own­er­ship of the car. 

Learn More

Buying a Home

Should You Rent or Buy a House?

Think­ing about rent­ing or buy­ing a new home? Learn the pros and cons of each to decide which is right for your situation.

Learn More

Discover More

Nehemiah, international photographer.
Putting him first since 2012.
FREE CHECKING

Checking you can count on

We offer the Bay Area’s best checking account. No minimum balance, no monthly fee, and up to 12 ATM surcharge rebates per month.

Learn More
Nehemiah, international photographer.
Putting him first since 2012.
Kundan, Bay Area artist.
Putting her first since 2016.
CREDIT CARDS

Get the card that works for you

Our fee-friendly Platinum Visa Credit Card comes with rewards, travel benefits, and a low APR.

Learn More
Kundan, Bay Area artist.
Putting her first since 2016.

Let's Talk

As a local credit union, we want to get to know you and help you achieve your goals. Come into a branch or call us today. Our people are happy to serve you.

Call

(415) 674-4800
(888) 499-FIRE (3473)
Mon – Sat 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM*

*Please note that 'After Hours Phone Support' is available outside of regular Contact Center Hours.

Stop by a branch

Branch hours
Mon – Fri 8:30 AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM

Find a Branch or ATM