What are the disadvantages of electric cars?
Some of the disadvantages of all electric cars have been their limited range, long recharge times or exorbitant costs associated with continual powering of the battery that runs the electric motor. Although solar-powered electric cars, which are equipped with batteries that are charged by the sun, have longer ranges, they are still dependent on batteries, which have size and weight limitations. To meet public acceptance, a car must include specific conditions: drive a minimum of 300 miles (482 km) between re-fueling, fill-up promptly and drive fast enough to match traffic. An electric car cannot go more than 100 miles (161 km) between re-charging, is difficult to re-charge in some instances and doesn't drive beyond 60 mpg as yet.
With all the current emphasis on going "green" and protecting the environment, it is no wonder that the electric car has come center focus. Especially now with soaring gas prices, consumers want to know their options. Traditional gas powered vehicles have long been the focus of those concerned with environmental issues, and so invariably inventors and car manufacturers look to improve the technologies available on the electric car.
If you are considering the purchase of an electric car, you need to be realistic about their benefits. They've come a long way recently but they still have some significant disadvantages, and there are still limitations to their use and wide spread availability. Here are some disadvantages you may want to consider when evaluating if an electric car is feasible for your transportation needs:
1. Electric cars are expensive to own. If you've checked into the price of an electric car, you know they are not "low end". It's not so much the price of the car as it is the price of the batteries which they run on. If you've purchased batteries you know how the costs can add up quickly, and the batteries used in electric cars are lithium-ion, which are expensive. Also keep in mind that eventually the battery packs will need to be replaced, as they have a life of approximately 3 to 4 years.
2. The batteries will need to be recharged. A second disadvantage to an electric car is that the batteries will need to be recharged. This will require advanced planning because you'll have to allow adequate time for the batteries to be fully charged. Now this might not sound like that big of a problem but if you are thinking of purchasing an electric car then you will need to make an honest assessment of how much you will use your vehicle. An extended or unplanned trip could be problematic if you haven't had time to fully recharge the batteries.
3. Limits on driving distance. If you drive long distances, an electric car might not suit your needs, so you will need to consider how far you plan on driving your car. Most of the electric cars have limits on how many miles they can go before needing a recharge. Electric car maker ZAP recently announced that their electric car could travel up to 100 miles per single charge, but many people drive more miles than that round trip on a daily commute to work. This is definitely a limitation for those who intend to use the vehicle for getting to and from their place of employment. You certainly would not want to run out of batteries if you got stuck in a rush hour traffic jam.
4. Lack of power. Another disadvantage to the electric car is the lack of power, specifically quick pickup. If you do a lot of interstate driving there are going to be times when you will need to accelerate quickly to merge into traffic.
Electric cars have come a long way in recent years but still have to overcome a few more obstacles before becoming widely embraced as a solution for many consumers.