Today, we live in a world which strongly believes that electric vehicles (or EVs) are the way of the future. In fact, the International Energy Agency predicts that the number of electric vehicles around the world will grow from three million to a staggering 125 million by the year 2030. And while the global electric vehicle market was only valued at $118,864.5o million back in 2017, it is believed that this number would go up to $567,299.80 million by the year 2025, according to a report from Market Insider. That means it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of about 22.3 percent from 2018 to 2025.
Indeed, there are several factors propelling this electrical vehicle movement forward in an almost bullish manner. Primarily, today’s car buyers are determined to cut back on their carbon footprint. And so, they set out to find a vehicle that would have as little carbon emission as possible. At the same time, car buyers also believe that going electric also means they get to save a significant amount of money on gas. In addition, car buyers may also be persuaded to opt for electric vehicles since there are a number of incentives that help make the price of each electric car relatively more attractive.
Without a doubt, there are a number of strong reasons that can compel anyone to choose to drive an electric car. However, it must also be noted that electric cars come with their own set of issues and problems. Just to give you a better idea, here are 24 things wrong with electric cars that today’s millennials are simply ignoring.
24 No more long road trips
Admit it. One of the best parts about owning a car is that you get to go on some amazing road trips whenever you wish. You can just wake up one morning, pack a bag, and drive off to another state for the weekend. When it comes to electric cars, though, you may have to be a bit cautious about this. In fact, you may not want to take long road trips anymore. That’s because electric cars can only cover a limited mileage on a full charge. And in some destinations, charging stations can be hard to find.
23 Common traffic issues don’t get resolved
Sure, there’s something quite appealing about electric cars. Some argue that it makes you a more environmentally responsible citizen of the planet. However, it doesn’t mean that these cars have a solution for all existing traffic issues that motorists around the world are facing today. With or without electric cars in the world, there is still the issue of traffic, which can be truly worrisome for electric cars and their battery life. Moreover, electric cars would not address the issue of car congestion in certain areas. And that means that parking-related problems will also remain, as well.
22 Battery recycling
As it stands today, the electric car industry is expected to boom by the year 2025. And according to a report from Auto Evolution, 20 years after that, we will have a battery recycling issue from these cars. After all, you can’t expect a car to keep running on the same battery for too long. Sure, both lithium-ion and Ni-Mh batteries can be recycled. However, the market for these is currently not significant. If there is no development in the coming years, it's likely that we will have used batteries just dumped wherever possible because nobody would be willing to go through the hassle of recycling them.
21 The rarity of lithium and essential minerals
Typically, the battery being utilized by an electric car is made up of lithium. And the problem is that this particular raw material also happens to be a limited natural resource. Because of this, an increase in demand for lithium by car manufacturers is also driving its price up. At the same time, there are also other rare minerals that are used in electric cars. These include praseodymium, lanthanum, dysprosium, and neodymium. All of these are also particularly hard to source. Because of this, their price might go up and further increase the starting price of an assembled electric car.
20 Cobalt controversy
In case you didn’t know, cobalt is a necessary ingredient in the making of the lithium-ion batteries that electric cars need to run. In fact, this silvery-gray metal is said to help “cathodes concentrate a lot of power in a confined space,” according to a report from the San Diego Union-Tribune. The problem is that cobalt is wrapped up in controversy. For starters, working around cobalt can be dangerous for one’s health. In fact, according to Lenntech, exposure to it can cause heart problems, vision problems, and more. Aside from this, several reports have also linked cobalt mining with child labor.
19 Actual demand
Sure, various automakers around the world are aggressively pursuing the development of more and more electric vehicles. There is one question that still remains, however: are more people going to be willing to buy them? Today, the outlook is hopeful, but still improving rather slowly. In fact, according to the Electric Vehicle Outlook 2018 by BloombergNEF, electric vehicles will pick up sales of around 11 million by the year 2025. As you can see, that’s still several years away. Until then, there will only be relatively moderate increases in sales. And this probably won’t make carmakers very happy.
18 Possible negative effects on local labor
A lot of experts are now saying that electric vehicles are the way of the future. In fact, the report from BloombergNEF also mentioned that full adoption of electric vehicles is expected by 2040. Unfortunately, current forces in the electric car market can have a negative effect on local labor. Today, electric car buyers can claim tax credits, which adds to the appeal of going electric. However, the current head of government has said he may remove these subsidies. This would make the cars more expensive and cause demand to go down. In the end, companies may be forced to let people go.
17 Delivery timeline problems
The simple truth is that manufacturing an electric car is quite different from making your standard gas- or diesel-powered car. After all, you have to make the batteries first and it’s only when this is done that you can proceed to complete the car. Aside from that, the whole production process may also run into other issues that can cause delays. As a result, some electric car buyers find themselves facing delivery delays. That means that even if you have already given your reservation payment, your car might still take several months to come out.
16 Transport dangers
Especially for electric cars that are assembled out the U.S., transporting them to their delivery country can prove to be quite a challenge. That’s because taking these cars from point A to point B has always been associated with certain risks, particularly fire risks. As the company Trans-Rak International has explained, “Of 35 fires examined in a Maritime Cyprus study published online this year, the presence of Alternative Fuel Vehicles (a category covering hybrid, electric, hydrogen and biogas powered cars, among others) was linked to greater damage in both open Ro-Ro spaces and closed decks”
15 Price and other associated costs
Granted, there are electric cars today that you can readily buy for a little over $20,000. In fact, the 2018 Toyota Prius has a starting price of $23,475. At the same time, the 2019 Prius has a starting price of $21,530. However, wouldn’t electric cars be more appealing if their starting price was less than $20,000? Aside from prices becoming lower, you also have to admit that driving an electric car comes with certain associated costs. For starters, you need to invest in a charger and that will also increase the utility bills at your house.
14 Low resale value
For some car buyers, the whole reason for buying a new car is to invest in something that could be worth more in the future. Unfortunately, that is not the case when it comes to electric cars. In fact, according to a report from Car and Driver, electric cars tend to lose an average of over $5,700 in value during the first five years of ownership. That is around $28,500 off the original price. In contrast, other cars only depreciate an average of $3,200 a year, or $16,000 across five years.
13 Warranty issues
As car buyers may know, car ownership can come with several issues. And sometimes, they are unexpected. These include issues with the car’s warranty, which is something that many electric car owners have experienced. In fact, according to posts on Consumer Affairs, several owners of the Toyota Prius have raised this issue. One wrote, “I have the latest generation 3 Prius, now driving for 4 years. Unfortunately, the battery failed, but the warranty expired at 100,000 and we drive kids to school and sports and put on 30,000 per year.”
12 Too many recalls
You can’t deny it; EVs have been subject to several recalls in recent years. In fact, a lot of them were issued in 2018 alone. For starters, Tesla had to issue a recall on its Model S due to a power steering issue, according to a report from Wired. Meanwhile, Volkswagen, Porsche, and Audi recalled their hybrid and electric cars due to fears about poisonous cadmium. Aside from this, Ford also recalled its electric and hybrid cars due to a fire risk. All these indicate that there is a long way to go towards true electric car safety.
11 Electrolyte spillage dangers
Today, there are a number of known dangers associated with electric cars. Among them is the risk of electrolyte spillage. EVs won’t run without batteries and unfortunately, these batteries get more life only with the help of fluorinated electrolytes. And in case the battery leaks and there is electrolyte spillage, it can pose dangers to one’s health. In fact, according to a report by Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd., it can cause sores on the skin and also trigger inflammation in the eyes.
10 Electrocution hazards
Aside from electrolyte spillage, another serious danger regarding electric cars involves electrocution hazards. As Electrocution Lawyers PLLC have explained, “DC voltage is potentially more dangerous than AC, with a shock as low as 55 volts possibly being fatal under some conditions, compared to the household standard of 110 volts for AC.” In addition, there are also electrocution hazards further associated with the charging stations for EVs. Typically, these stations have ground fault circuit interrupter breakers (GFCI) to prevent electrocution. However, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found that such GFCIs are “often non-operational.”
9 Fire risks
Another serious issue associated with owning an electric car is the common fire risk. And unfortunately, fires have already occurred in electric cars without warning. In fact, according to a study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in the U.S. and the Australasian New Car Assessment Program, “There have been numerous real-world examples of electric vehicles catching on fire after a crash and in the garages where they were being stored; in some cases, this may have been while the vehicle was being charged.”
8 Various electrical issues
Over the years, it has become clear that electric cars can become subject to a host of electrical issues. The problem with this is that it can affect the car’s drivability and safety on the road. For instance, one of the most common complaints with regard to the Toyota Prius concerns its headlights. One owner stated, “I have changed my headlight bulb twice now, but it keeps going out. I can turn the light off and it will come back on every time, but then it fades out.” Meanwhile, there are reported problems regarding power steering for the Chevy Volt.
7 No jump-starts allowed
Whenever a typical gas or diesel-powered car has broken down, you can always take comfort in the fact that it might be possible to give it a jump-start. In the case of an electric car, however, this is something you can’t do. This can pose quite a problem if your electric car is already out of warranty and you are suddenly experiencing major problems with the car’s powertrain. For diesel and gas-powered cars, this can be readily fixed at a workshop for a pretty reasonable rate. For EVs though, you need to bring it to the dealer and pay more.
6 Complicated repairs
If you experience problems with an electric car, chances are you can’t just buy a new part and make the replacement yourself. Instead, you would need to bring it to a dealer and wait for them to get the job done. Unfortunately, if the replacement is no longer covered by your warranty, you will also have to pay a lot of cash for it. For instance, one Prius owner experiencing a headlight problem posted on Car Complaints, “Take it to Toyota and they want $632 to replace $300 bulb PLUS $300 in labor!!!”
5 Green energy costs
Sure, green energy is good. It’s a more environmentally-conscious choice and it will help decrease carbon emissions in the world. However, green energy also comes with staggering costs. For instance, if you happen to live in a place that can accommodate solar panels, it would be possible to use these to charge your electric car. However, you would need several solar panels to be able to charge a car effectively, and unfortunately, these panels are anything but cheap. Hence, you are going to need to make a sizeable investment to make your green energy vision come to life.
Electric cars are not as environmentally friendly as you may think they are. As Resources for the Future has pointed out to Wired, “If you use coal-fired power plants to produce the electricity, then all-electrics don’t even look that much better than a traditional vehicle in terms of greenhouse gases.” Furthermore, car expert Clive Mathew-Wilson also wrote, “Claims that electric cars are ‘emissions-free’ are simply a lie; they merely transfer the pollution from the road to the power station. Not only will electric cars not reduce emissions, they may actually increase emissions.”
3 Lack of models
Sure, more and more electric cars have been making their way to the market, both in the U.S. and throughout the rest of the world. However, compared to the number of petrol- and diesel-powered vehicles, electric car models still number quite a bit fewer.
For instance, Toyota only has seven available electric car models to choose from and three of them are variants of its popular hybrid-electric car, the Prius. Meanwhile, Chevrolet only has two electric models currently. At the same time, electric variants are still not available across all vehicle types. In fact, we have yet to see a fully electric pickup truck on the roads today.
2 Charging stations
With electric vehicles, the only way to keep on running is to charge the car as needed. Ideally, if you are an electric car owner, you have a charging station in your home. This way, you can charge the car before you have to head out. However, once you’re driving around town, getting a full charge can be quite a challenge. Today, the number of charging stations around the U.S. are still relatively few. In fact, a report from Forbes revealed that there were only 47,117 electric vehicle charging points around the U.S. in 2017.
1 Charging times
Aside from the availability of charging stations, there is also the issue of charging times. Ideally, you want your electric car fully charged before you continue driving. For this to happen, however, you may have to wait for quite some time. For instance, the 2018 Chevrolet Volt reportedly takes 4.5 hours to charge, according to Chevrolet. To be able to charge faster, you would need to access a fast charging station while out and about. And unfortunately, according to The Verge, there are only around 22,000 public fast-charging stations in the U.S. and Canada today.
Source: The Verge, Lenntech, Forbes, and BloombergNEF.