Today’s electric cars are fast, fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly. They also boast 200-plus miles of range and unique high-tech features. While EVs offer more power and longer range than traditional gasoline vehicles, they must overcome challenges that deter many consumers from switching. Luckily, these challenges are often easy to overcome.
A big reason why some potential electric car owners may be hesitant to make the switch is because they need to figure out where or when they’ll be able to charge their new vehicle. Many public charging stations are still fairly new and have yet to be fully tested or vetted for safety or reliability. EV owners often find themselves frustrated when trying to charge their car, and the identified charger needs to be in order, or they are experiencing technical issues. Several other factors can affect the recharging experience, too. For example, EVs not enrolled in managed charging programs or time-of-use pricing rates can experience power quality issues when charged at peak hours. It can result in a “soft start” and a less rapid charge than what the vehicle’s battery is capable of. For EV owners, a smart quality connected vehicle charging solution can help them if they are experiencing any problems. In addition, some cities and towns are using software to estimate how many recharging stations will be needed as the electric car adoption rate increases. Those communities can then apply for federal and state agencies’ funding to help them build their charging infrastructure.
Electric cars are a great option if you’re looking for an alternative to gas-powered vehicles. They’re quieter, cheaper to operate and kinder to the environment. However, a few challenges come with owning an EV that you should be aware of. One of the biggest challenges is maintenance. EVs have unique maintenance needs because their battery packs are critical to the vehicle’s operation. They must be kept at a specific temperature range and charged and discharged in a particular way to extend their lifespan. It requires specialized technicians to work on them, which can increase maintenance costs.
Another issue is that EVs are relatively new, so manufacturers haven’t worked out all the kinks. It can lead to problems like faulty display screens, doors that don’t lock or interior lights that turn on themselves. Additionally, many EVs have a higher rate of defective parts than gas-powered vehicles. While these issues can be addressed properly, they can still deter potential buyers.
While many EV owners feel that penalizing them with extra fees for driving a fancy computer on wheels is unfair, some states are looking at ways to address infrastructure costs related to EV adoption. They are concerned that increased EV sales will lower gas tax revenues to fund highway repairs. Long-studied ideas such as charging a mileage-based fee, imposing taxes on electricity sold at commercial chargers and levying sales and registration charges are getting renewed attention. As a result, some states are passing laws requiring that EV drivers pay an additional annual fee to offset road-use costs. It is especially true in states that already have high gas taxes. Such a policy can be particularly harmful to low-income drivers.
Moreover, the policy can discourage EV ownership because it increases upfront vehicle prices. A better solution is to make EV fees more progressive. Instead of a flat annual fee, states can adopt a mileage-based system similar to Oregon and Utah’s. It could be based on regular odometer readings or using an EV’s onboard GPS to track mileage. The resulting fee would then be adjusted yearly to keep it on par with the revenue collected from gas taxes. In addition, the costs could be waived for EV drivers in low-income groups.
Range anxiety, or the concern that their batteries would run out and leave them stranded, is one of the main problems EV owners encounter. It is especially true for drivers who plan long trips or travel on roads where charging points might be few and far between. The EV industry has been working to address this issue by developing new batteries with longer life spans, more stable charge rates, and expanding charging infrastructure. However, it is important to remember that managing range anxiety is only part of the solution. The other key factor is providing a more user-friendly experience around using charging stations. It can include making them easier to find, providing more convenient payment options, and ensuring that they are reliable and do not cause drivers any extra stress or frustration due to inconvenient locations, long queues, vandalism, unreliable software or hardware, or even if a spot is already being used by a gasoline-powered car.
Understandably, many people are nervous about switching to an electric car. After all, most people are accustomed to driving traditional internal combustion engine vehicles (ICE) that require regular fill-ups at gas stations. EVs are different and offer a more eco-friendly, sustainable way to get around. It is important not to let this initial uncertainty deter potential buyers from exploring the benefits of an EV.