Electric Cars Popularity, Pros and Cons

Electric Car Benefits

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Electric Cars?

Electric cars are more environmentally friendly, fuel-efficient, safer, hold value better, and may have purchase incentives. And at the same time they are often more expensive, less powerful, may lack the spaciousness of a typical family car, and cost more to insure. Let’s explore the popularity of electric cars, and these many factors you should consider for electric cars in 2021.

20 Years of Hybrid & Electric Cars in the United States

Electric cars soared in sales from 2000 to 2019 by almost 8000%. According to the United States Bureau of Transportation Statistics (USBTS), in the year 2000, hybrid-electric, plug-in hybrid electric and electric cars combined for a total of 9,400 sold.  By 2019, that number rise to 732,800 with a breakdown of 407,000 in hybrid-electric, 83,000 in plug-in hybrid electric, and 242,000 in electric cars.  By 2020, Toyota alone sold 337,000 hybrid vehicles indicating when the USBTS 2020 to is annual statistics, the trend will sharply rise.  So, what’s the difference and what are the pros and cons?  Let the experienced team at Cassels Garage, a superior auto repair service center located in Melbourne, FL, break it down for you.

Electric Cars

An electric vehicle (EV) has a large battery and an electric motor that is powerful enough to deliver adequate range and performance.

Hybrid Cars

A vehicle is a hybrid if it is 100% gasoline-fueled but does not rely solely on its gasoline engine for propulsion. Hybrids also have electric motors that sometimes power the car delaying the use of the gasoline engine and save fuel. At times, both systems work in coordination for added power.  A hybrid’s electric motor functions as a generator when you press the brake, and the energy that is regenerated during braking is stored in a small battery for immediate use the next time you accelerate from rest.

Plug-In Hybrid Cars

A plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) is a gasoline-powered hybrid with a much larger battery and a means to recharge it using an external power source. A plug-in hybrid acts as an electric vehicle, with its gasoline engine essentially asleep, when its battery has charge. The engine comes to life when the battery runs down, allowing the vehicle to continue uninterrupted as a regular gasoline hybrid. It too uses regenerative braking. If you can plug it in and fill it up, it is a PHEV.

Rise in Popularity of Electric Cars

Leading to the popularity is the lowering cost of manufacturing allowing hybrid and electrical vehicles to become more cost effective for the public and commercial consumers.  Note, we are not necessarily referring to the pre-order only GMC Hummer EV at nearly $100,000 as” affordable” for most consumers!  More likely, it is the Ford Fusion, Toyota Rav4 and Camry, Lincoln MKZ, Kia Niro, and a few others dominating the hybrid and EV market.  Of course, there is also the movement towards green energy. Electric motor-driven engines reduce or eliminate carbon dioxide emission due to lesser fuel consumption. If you are in the market for one of these popular preowned hybrid, EV, or PHEV, we invite you to consider the hassle-free Car Concierge service provided by Cassels Garage.  A one-stop vehicle locator program where we scout the auto auctions and other vendors to find a perfect match to your criteria.  We also affordably and professionally service your vehicle extending its lifespan on the road, ultimately saving you money.

What are the advantages of Hybrid/Electric Cars?

1. Electric cars are environmental-friendly:

“Hybrid cars produce a lesser amount of emissions up to 90 percent compared to traditional cars with diesel/petrol-powered engines,” according to Ablison Energy.  Again, less fuel, less carbon dioxide making hybrids more eco-friendly than traditional fuel only consuming vehicles.  Some consumers feel that driving a hybrid is responsible; IE: I’m doing my part to reduce my carbon footprint and protect the environment.

2. Better fuel mileage:

Hybrid cars are often built with lighter materials, smaller gas tanks and engines, advanced technology, aerodynamics, and more features to increase miles per gallon (mpg), in some cases up to 50 mpg. The lighter the vehicle, the less energy required to set it in motion.  Engines are also very efficient because they are assisted by the electric motor from time to time. As gasoline prices drive up, mpg efficiency becomes a critical factor in vehicle choice. A hybrid car can move using only electricity when idling, starting up, and at slow speeds while the gas engine steps in at higher speeds.

3. Efficient, safe driving:

Ablison Energy notes that most hybrid cars feature a display that guides you on how to drive efficiently. The display may show current mileage, average miles per gallon and amount of braking energy to adjust your driving accordingly.

4. Higher resale value:

For many of the reasons above, hybrid cars tend to have a higher resale value than traditional vehicles.  As more people switch to hybrid cars, your used hybrid may be in higher demand equaling higher price. However, if you are in the market for one, they may be more difficult to find.  The Car Concierge service Cassels Garage of Melbourne, FL provides is proficient in locating these vehicles saving you time, money, and stress.

5. Purchase incentives and other financial benefits:

Some hybrids qualify for government incentives, state rebates, and other tax credits due to their environmental friendliness and efficiency. Take a close look here, as hybrids, PHEVs, and EVs are becoming more popular, incentives and credits tend to become less popular.

But like all good things, there are some noteworthy downsides.  Take a look at some of the cons before making your final choice.

What are the disadvantages of Hybrid/Electric Cars?

1. Higher purchasing price and expensive mega-dealer maintenance costs:

Hybrid cars are more costly to purchase than their traditional gasoline-fueled counterparts. Although some would say their higher sticker price can be offset by the lower cost of use overtime.  If you prefer to replace your car every couple years, you may not benefit from lifetime lower utilization costs. Finding an experienced auto repair service center such as Cassels Garage in Melbourne, FL where our technicians are experienced and proficient in the latest hybrid technology, may not be so easy. Because hybrids are increasing in demand, the price point will most likely continue to climb.

2. Switching to a hybrid can cause operator confusion:

If you drive a traditional vehicle and recently had to rent a car, you may have asked yourself, “Wait is this thing even on?”  Today there are many different types of hybrid vehicles on the road – hybrid, PHEV, and EV.  Some hybrid engines shut off when the car stops, and the electric motor won’t run on its own.  Some automatically shut off the air conditioning or heating system when the gasoline engine quits, not acceptable for commuting in Florida’s brutal heat.  You need to know about fuel cells, natural gas, and batteries when making the switch from traditional to hybrid.  Some dogs just do not want to learn new tricks and that’s okay too.

3. Less power for the performance-driver types; less size for families:

What are considered pros for some, for others these signal a less powerful engine, less acceleration, and less room.  If you are prone to revving your engine to be first off the line when the light turns green, that can probably happen in a Tesla, but unlikely in a Prius. Many of the more affordable hybrids lack some of the performance, handling, or sport features of traditional cars. If you have a big family or transport a lot of equipment for work, options for a larger hybrid vehicle are less abundant.  Comparable towing capacity of hybrid / EV vehicles is also highly limited.

4. Batteries are heavy in weight and price:

Replacement batteries on average are about $2,500. According to the Wall Street Journal, “China is by far the biggest EV market, and to boost its standing in the fast-growing industry, China began pressuring foreign auto makers to use locally-made batteries in the country several years ago.”  While the argument may be that the high battery cost will balance out over time in terms of less fuel expense, it likely will depend on American manufacturers’ ability to produce EV batteries to scale, your driving style, and how long you keep the vehicle. It is important to learn about the battery situation of the car you are considering.  Some hybrid drivers have reported that the heaviness of the battery impacts vehicle handling.

5. Higher insurance costs are most likely:

The higher sticker prices, technical parts, and maintenance result in higher insurance costs.  An advantage of the hybrid car is city commuting. Yet, insurance companies consider city driving riskier and pass the risk on to consumers in higher insurance rates.

6. Lesser-known environmental impacts:

Although hybrids / EVs are seen as eco-friendly on the road, they are not exempt from all environmental concerns.  It takes electricity to charge all EVs which is generated from coal burning, natural gas, oil burning, and nuclear power plants (not totally renewable).  Disposal of millions of lithium batteries and lithium mining are taking a detrimental toll on the environment throughout the globe.

For more information on some of the lesser-known facts about lithium visit:

 

Cassels Garage is your Melbourne, FL Electric Car Mechanic:

If you are facing the decision to go from traditional to hybrid / electric or hold on to your tried-and-true classic, Cassels Garage, the premier auto repair service center in Melbourne, FL, has you covered from headlight to taillight.  We can help you locate your next vehicle through our Car Concierge and provide service and maintenance for the life of your vehicle. Our focus is providing our valued customers exceptional auto repair and tire service at reasonable rates. We take pride in hiring only trustworthy, knowledgeable ACE certified technicians and staff that mirror our company’s philosophy.  As a family owned and operated local company serving Brevard County for over 50 years, we provide traditional friendly service and the latest in technical expertise.

Give us a call today, we’ll help you get where you are headed.

The following sources were utilized in consolidating expert information for the article above:  The United States Department of Transportation Statistics, Kelley Blue Book, Wall Street Journal Article entitled “The Key to Electric Cars Is Batteries. One Chinese Firm Dominates the Industry”, Edmunds, Albison Energy and the links embedded.

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