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ICE VERSUS EVS: THE PROS AND CONS

PRO: OPERATING COSTS ARE CHEAPER

Although petrol/gas prices remain affordable in the US, that is not the case generally in the rest of the world. An EV costs less money to run per mile/km on electricity than petrol/gas. Furthermore, an electric car generally costs less to maintain due to a fraction of the moving parts found in an ICE. Servicing an EV is a much simpler task, with few consumables such as oil changes to worry about, no spark plug changes and no transmission system worries.

CON: NEW EVS ARE EXPENSIVE

Although prices are in a downwards trend and will drop significantly over time, you will still be paying an up-front premium to buy, but will start recouping that on electricity costs and lower maintenance charges.

PRO: INCENTIVES CAN MAKE EVS MORE AFFORDABLE

In almost all countries where EVs are on sale, they are eligible for tax credits or government grants, either local or national. These cash incentives effectively can cut up to 25 percent off the total price of an EV, depending on which country and state that you reside.

CON: DRIVING AN EV MAY NOT BE AS GREEN AS YOU THINK – OR IS IT?

The local source of electricity governs an EVs overall effect on the environment. If you have your own stored solar panel source, then emissions are zero from source to road. At worst, if your source is coal powered electricity, because an EVs motor is on average 75% efficient, and a conventional petrol/gas powered car engine is at best 20% efficient, then an EV is still far greener and of course, there are no tailpipe emissions polluting our towns either. Consequently, EVs are generally responsible for far less pollution than conventional vehicles in everyday use.

PRO: PRICES OF USED EVS ARE CHEAP

At the moment, prices of used examples of EVs are looking great value for money. Although, as the myths about endurance of battery packs and the vehicles in general are busted, residuals on EVs are starting to rise, which is great news for owners of new EVs. Furthermore, early examples of EVs had less range than their new counterparts and tended to be driven fewer miles than the average ICE. This equates to less wear and tear, again, making used EVs great value for money.

CON: THERE IS A LACK OF EV CHOICE

The choice to consumers is certainly not as expansive as the range of petrol or diesel vehicles across the main EV markets. Although, in EVs main markets, there is a greater choice available to buyers than ever before. In China, there are more than 20 manufacturers and 35 models to choose from. While in Europe and the US, there are more than 50 new models available now, with more than 25 new models coming out year on year in the near future.

PRO: SOME EVS CAN TRAVEL MORE THAN 200 MILES (320KM) ON A CHARGE

Battery technology is being driven by EV manufacturers to ensure practicality for both daily commuters and long-haul drivers. The Tesla Model S has a range up to 335 miles (539km) per charge in its long-range battery variant and its smaller Model 3 can attain up to 300 miles (482km). The Jaguar iPace has a top range of 240 miles (386km), while the new KIA e-Niro boasts an operating range of 300 miles (482km).

CON: ALL EVS ARE SUBJECT TO RANGE LIMITATIONS

You will need to keep a check on the state-of-charge gauge no matter which EV you drive. Although, that’s true for a conventionally powered car too. Older EVs generally travel 60-90 miles (96-145km) before needing a charge, although to cover the average commute, that range is fine. All EVs rated range can be negatively impacted by other factors. These include driving in extreme hot or cold weather that affects a battery’s charge, and discharge and heater and air conditioning drain on power. Additionally, hard acceleration, poor maintenance and driving at higher speeds also impacts an EVs driving range.

PRO: EVS ARE FAST AND QUIET

An electric motor produces 100% of its available torque instantly, unlike a conventional combustion engine. This means that power is fed to the wheels immediately, allowing formula one style launches and great high-torque overtaking capabilities, with little noise. In fact, all that can be heard is normally the feint hum of the motor and tyre noise. Some new models have added sound tracks to the car that add to the drama and can only be heard inside, such as the Jaguar i-Pace. This is meant to add aural exhilaration to the silent driving experience. Since July 1st 2020 in the UK and the EU, all new EVs must feature a warning noise to alert pedestrians and cyclists at low speed generally under 30mph.

CON: THERE ARE INADEQUATE PUBLIC CHARGING POINTS

Although infrastructure for EV public charging points is expanding, they are still not common outside urban conurbations. There are two distinct types of public charging points. Type 2 slow or semi fast chargers, far outweigh any other type of charger in most countries They are great for minor replenishment, taking between 3 to 10 hours to charge modern EVs to 80 percent charge. Finally, there is the growing breed of Type 3 rapid or ultra chargers. Type 3 chargers can provide a full charge in 30 to 50 minutes and are often found on the main arterial routes and highways across countries, to facilitate long distance EV motoring.

PRO: THE PLEASURE OF DRIVING A ZERO-EMISSION VEHICLE

EVs produce zero tailpipe emissions, unlike combustion engine powered vehicles. They don’t emit greenhouse gases and air-bound pollutants, including oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, carbon dioxide, particulate matter and non-methane hydrocarbons into the atmosphere.

PRO: NO MORE WEEKLY PETROL OR GAS STATION VISITS

You will avoid the weekly visit to the petrol/gas station because most EVs are charged at home, mainly overnight. You may be able to secure a low night rate dependant on your electricity supplier. To fully charge an EV using standard Type 1 domestic current can take more than 24 hours, dependant on the battery pack size fitted to the model of EV. Most countries will subsidise a 230 or 110V Volt (country specific) Type 2 type charger box and this can dramatically reduce charge time to as little as four to five hours.

To recap: EVs have their pros and cons like most consumer goods, though, the Pros do seem to counter the Cons for most users:

PROS

» ​Quiet and fast

​» ​No tailpipe emissions

​» ​Low maintenance

​» ​Cheap to run

​» ​Growing reputation

​» ​Safe and fun to drive

​» ​Cheaper as company cars

​» ​Hold their value

​» ​Local and national government incentives and grants

CONS

» ​High purchase price… But this is offset by government incentives, grants and low running costs.

​» ​Long charging times… But growing rapid charge network means ultra-fast recharging times available now.

​» ​Lack of consumer choice… But this has already improved dramatically and will continue to expand.

​» ​Limited range per charge… but again, rapid charge network means very fast recharging times now.

EVs generally have lower centre of gravity than ICE vehicles (due to floor mounted batteries), making them less susceptible to roll-over.

Fact

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