13 Unfortunate Facts About Electric Cars You Didn’t Know

Stephanie Allen

If electric vehicles (EVs) are the future wave, then the future is now. The shift away from gas and diesel-powered vehicles is growing, especially with tax incentives for those buying electric cars. 

For all the pros of buying an EV, including the lower cost of refueling, prospective buyers may not be aware of many cons. Before investing in an electric car, it’s best to first know the detractors of ownership. 

1. Cost

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As appealing as electric vehicles are, they’re more expensive than traditional cars. Although the selling price of EVs has dropped since they were first produced, they might be cost-prohibitive for some buyers.

According to Kelley Blue Book, the average cost of a new car was $47,401 as of January 2024. Conversely, the average cost of a new EV as of December 2023 was $50,789. Fortunately, clean vehicle federal tax credits help reduce this cost. 

2. Mileage

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A common question about electric cars is how many miles they can be driven on a single charge. The mileage depends on the type and size of the EV, but it can generally range from 110 to more than 300 miles per charge. 

Depending on how much you drive, this can seem like a little or a lot, but anyone who regularly does a lot of driving may find the necessity of repeated chargings a nuisance. 

3. Charging Time

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Refueling a gas—or diesel-powered vehicle typically only takes a few minutes. However, the majority of EVs take up to 12 hours to fully charge. 

According to MotorTrend, some electric car models have relatively faster charging times, ranging from 37 minutes to just over 1.5 hours for a full charge. 

4. Emissions in Production 

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EVs are more environmentally friendly than gasoline—and diesel-fueled cars, but that doesn’t extend to how the vehicles and batteries are produced. 

The production of electric cars generates about the same amount of carbon dioxide as traditional vehicles, and EV battery production creates even more emissions, making them less green than their counterparts. 

5. Battery Issues

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Lithium-ion batteries power electric vehicles. These batteries perform consistently even when they’re not at full charge and don’t require electrolyte maintenance, which is a benefit over lead-acid batteries or the ones used in hybrid cars. They’re also estimated to last eight or more years.

The downsides to EV batteries are significant, including the potential for overheating and fires, the damage sustained when fully charged and fully discharged, the high cost of production, and the negative environmental impacts from production processes. 

6. Lack of Charging Stations 

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Gas stations are commonplace and can easily be found in most areas of the country. If someone runs out of gas, there’s likely a gas station nearby. 

The same can’t be said for public charging stations. As of 2024, there are just 175,000 of them. This number needs to increase as the popularity of electric cars grows. 

7. Battery Costs 

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Lithium-ion batteries last at least eight years or longer. It can be costly if and when they need to be replaced, depending on the warranty. 

If the battery is no longer covered under a warranty, depending on the make and model of the EV, owners can expect to pay at least $2,500 to more than $20,000, plus the cost of installation. 

8. Charging Costs

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Owning an electric vehicle frees owners from buying gasoline and diesel, which seem to creep up each week steadily.Unless the charging station is free, drivers have to pay to recharge their batteries. 

The cheapest option is probably to charge at home, but if drivers have to use a pay charging station, the average monthly fee is $58. This amount varies according to how often the EV is charged and the amount of charge.

9. Not Completely Green

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How a lithium-ion battery for electric cars is manufactured directly impacts how much carbon dioxide is emitted. If the battery maker has a coal-fired power station, the emissions are higher than a gas-fired power station, which is cleaner. 

The same issue applies to the source of electricity for the battery charge. If the electricity at a charging station comes from a coal-fired power station, the emissions are considerably higher than those of a charging station that uses renewable energy. 

10. Lower Maximum Speeds

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Unlike gasoline and diesel-fueled cars, EVs don’t experience pauses in power delivery, making them accelerate fast. Except for the luxury and higher-end models, most EVs have relatively low maximum speeds, coming in at less than 100 mph. 

Unless you plan to drive the Autobahn regularly, this top speed should be okay for most owners. If you need an EV with a higher top speed, there are more expensive models with top speeds ranging from 200+ mph to 258 mph. 

11. Reliability Issues 

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Any time new technology is introduced to consumers, issues will always need to be worked out. Subsequent product generations usually fix these issues.

Electric vehicles are no different. Problems with batteries, EV charging systems, and drive system motors are some of the more commonly reported issues, making EVs less reliable than gas, diesel, and hybrid cars. 

12. Charging Station Challenges 

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Besides the scarcity of EV charging stations, incompatibility with the power grid exacerbates this problem. The power grid uses AC (alternating current) power, but lithium-ion batteries, such as those used in EVs, require DC (direct current) power. 

Another issue arising from electric vehicle ownership is the lack of compatibility between charging stations and EV plugs. Electric car models have different types of plugs, and not all charging stations can accommodate them. 

13. Higher Insurance Rates

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Car buyers looking to keep their insurance rates as low as possible may want to reconsider buying an EV. A 2024 report from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) found on average it’s up to $44 a month more to insure an EV versus a gas-powered car. 

This amount can increase with luxury and higher-end EVs. Prospective buyers must decide if the fuel savings and reduced maintenance offset the increased cost of insurance. 

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Pontiac Firebird
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