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Still debating whether to buy an EV? Bought an EV and having second thoughts?
There are seven main categories of reasons which might cause EV owners to regret their purchases. These include charging and speed limitations. Costs, environmental factors, and the limited engineering associated with EVs can also be a source of regret.
Charging is one of the factors which might cause you to regret getting an electrical car. The problem of charging is two-fold.
Firstly, there is finding charging stations which are much less common than fuel stations. If you are using your EV for commuting, you can charge the car at home overnight or maybe at work so this isn’t as much of an issue.
However, if traveling longer distances for holidays or on business, finding a charging station is one factor that can become an issue.
There is also the issue of charging time. Again, if charging overnight at home this is not an issue you are likely to face. However, on long journeys, the charging will involve staying somewhere for the night to reach a full charge. This is of course unless you find a supercharger.
These two factors combined, impact the range you can do in your EV. If you have a holiday or road trip planned, you will need to factor in where and how you will charge the car before you leave.
This is not an issue faced by drivers of ICEs, and therefore could cause you to regret buying an EV.
2. Speed Limitations
EV manufacturers limit the speed of EVs for various reasons. These include the need to preserve range, and also to ensure that road users remain safe. In most ICEs, you can drive as fast as the car is capable of going. It’s unlikely that you should ever really drive as fast as most ICEs or EVs can go, however, this speed limitation may be a put-off to some car owners.
Cost is a major obstacle to owning an EV, both in initial purchase cost and certain running costs such as insurance and maintenance or repairs. It might be possible to get an ICE of equivalent value for a lot less money.
Parts and repairs are also more expensive in an EV because they are less common, and because there are fewer mechanics capable or qualified to repair them. These factors combined could cause you to regret buying an EV.
Another major cost factor is the need to replace the battery every five years or so. EV batteries are very expensive to produce, and replacing the battery can render an EV uneconomical to keep on the road.
For an EV owner, battery failure after a certain period could cause them to regret buying the car. For example, an ICE does not need its motor replaced every 5-10 years.
Lastly, on cost, there is also the issue of the cost of electricity. It is easy to think that charging an EV at home or work means that the car’s “fuel” is free. But this electricity still has to be paid for. This is currently an issue in certain Western countries as the cost of living including electricity is currently going up.
4. Environmental Factors
EVs are notoriously quiet compared to ICEs. To some, this is seen as an advantage. The tranquillity of driving an EV compared to an ICE is considered a real benefit. However, the absence of car noise can also be a disadvantage from a safety perspective.
We have grown accustomed to cars and other vehicles making noise as they accelerate and slow down. In an EV, you have to remember that other road users and pedestrians cannot hear you driving.
This can lead to accidents, until such a time that people have become used to having silent vehicles moving around. Repeated accidents or incidents due to the absence of noise could cause you to regret buying an EV.
There is also an argument that EVs are not suitable for cities where a shortage of power is already an issue. Cities are growing at an ever-faster pace worldwide, and many face energy shortages as their populations grow faster than the pace of new energy infrastructure.
The purchasing of EVs adds extra pressure to already stressed electricity networks. If the widespread purchase of EVs leads to power outages or shortages, this would lead many people to regret buying an EV.
Many EV owners opt for electric vehicles as a means of reducing their personal impact on the environment. This is one of the major motivations for switching from an ICE to an EV. However, the manufacturing processes associated with EVs carry considerable environmental risk.
Firstly, EV batteries require rare earth metals. These metals are not always easy to source and can be sourced from places that experience environmental damage or social impacts as a result of their mining.
Learning about these harmful effects of EV manufacture could cause EV owners to regret their purchase after the fact. Another environmental factor that needs to be considered is the source of the electricity used to charge EVs.
There is no guarantee that the electricity used to supply chargers whether in the home or out on the road is derived from renewable sources. This means that driving an EV has associated CO2 emissions. This is another factor that could cause EV owners to rethink their purchases.
That is of course unless EV owners have subscribed to a renewable electricity provider such as Bulb or Good Energy who guarantee that their electricity is from renewable sources.
(The caveat to this, is that electric vehicles are more efficient while driving than combustion cars, so they use less energy for the same mileage)
5. EV Technology
The internal combustion engine was an engineering step that transformed human civilization. Before ICEs, we were dependent on human or animal power to move around or move goods. The ICE enabled humans to cover the globe and transport the materials necessary to build the societies we have today.
The engineering behind an EV isn’t that far from a golf cart with a bigger battery. EVs offer little by way of engineering advancements and therefore are unlikely to impact human society in the way often touted.
That said, Tesla’s concept of positioning EV batteries along the base of the car to distribute its weight and save space did allow for bigger batteries and better range. But the major issues of range, cost, charging times, and hidden environmental impacts are yet to be addressed by EV engineers.
EV owners also frequently encounter and discuss car malfunction. The problems encountered are broad, and can range from the irritating to the downright dangerous.
There are reports of EVs braking suddenly for no reason, charge ports not working, batteries failing, and many others. Such problems are rarely encountered upon the purchase of a new ICE.
6. Uneconomical Repairs
There are reports of some EV owners simply disposing of their cars when they have encountered technical problems. The quotes for the repairs necessary to get the cars back on the road led the owners simply to dispose of the vehicle rather than face the costs.
These are undoubtedly cases where EV owners regretted buying their EVs and likely went back to owning an ICE.
7. Delays In Delivery
Many people ordering an EV report delays in receiving their vehicle after paying. This is to be expected given the high demand and the novel aspects of EV manufacture compared to ICEs. However such delays can be a major source of regret for EV buyers.
Do Many People Regret Buying an EV?
While most people don’t regret buying their EV, there is always a small percentage of people who miss driving an ICE vehicle. This all comes down to personal experience, your choice of EV and your driving habits.
A common complaint is from people who don’t have the space at home to have their own charging station. If you live in a shared complex, then owning a EV become doable but more complex – because you have to charge your vehicle elsewhere.
People Who Are Happy They Bought an EV
Let’s have a look at people who don’t regret buying an EV and are happy they made the switch.