Op-Ed: Electric Cars are Cheaper than Ever, But Should You Buy One?

As electric vehicles (EVs) have quickly become the new trendy thing in the automotive industry, many people have started rushing to get their hands on one. It seems only natural that EVs have become cheaper than ever. For example, according to Consumer Reports, “Chevrolet, Hyundai, and Nissan lowered prices on their entry-level models, and now Tesla has cut its prices by $3,000 to $19,000 across its model line.” You might have even seen Teslas or Nissans popping up more and more on the roads. But, with this craze for these revolutionary vehicles, the question arises: Should you buy one? Will an electric vehicle be a good fit for you? To answer this question, it’s important to examine several possible concerns with EVs.

  1. Electric Grid Capacity 

The U.S. electric grid cannot handle the mass adoption and usage of electric vehicles. With the power grid already being strained, seeing as heat waves alone have caused major disruptions to it in recent years, if the majority of the country’s growing population were to transition to electric cars, there simply wouldn’t be enough energy to power all of them at once. This is because the electric grid doesn’t scale quickly enough to meet the rising demand for EVs. Thus, electricity prices would become higher than gas prices, making EVs unaffordable for most people.

  1. Repairs and Maintenance 

EVs are a relatively new and far more complicated technology compared to gas-powered vehicles, which have existed since as early as 1886, so there hasn’t been as much time for people to learn how to efficiently fix them. If you’re a beginner driver, EVs may not be the best option for you, as damages to an EV from an accident that would’ve been easy to fix on a gas-powered car could take weeks or even months to repair due to EVs’ complex internal design. Specialized technicians who are trained to deal with high voltage and EVs’ intricate equipment are often required to work on the electrical systems and components, which can result in longer repair times. 

  1. Charging Time and Accessibility 

Let’s face it: charging EVs can be extremely annoying. Many EVs require hours, not minutes, to charge fully. For long-distance trips, these extended charging stops can be very inconvenient, so forget about taking a week-long road trip with your family in an EV. Also, not everyone has easy access to a charging station, such as those who live in an apartment complex. 

  1. Environmental Impact 

Electric cars are touted as the “environmentally friendly” alternative to gas-powered cars. But is that really true? Electricity used to charge EVs actually comes from fossil fuel sources, such as coal or natural gas, depending on the region. If you consider power plant efficiency, along with power grid transmission and charging losses, EVs are, as of now, not more energy efficient than gas cars and, therefore, aren’t “greener.”

In the end, while EVs are getting more affordable and are marketed as flashy, cool and the next “new thing” in the automotive world, there are major issues with them that people need to be aware of and think wisely about when choosing a new car.