10 Things To Expect After Buying An Electric Car - SUV VEHICLE

10 Things To Expect After Buying An Electric Car

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Summary

  • Electric car ownership offers lower running costs due to electricity being cheaper than gasoline in the US.
  • EVs require less maintenance than ICEs, with complimentary scheduled maintenances and over-the-air updates for some models.
  • National charging infrastructure in the US is expanding rapidly, with over 138,000 public charging outlets available.



Electric car ownership is becoming a more common phenomenon across the world, thanks to several factors. The rate of improvement across the segment has been exponential, as companies recognize the increase in demand and requirement to lower their carbon footprint. Despite this, there are still many factors that newcomers to the sphere are uncertain about, because electromobility remains a comparatively niche segment.

For the most part, electric car ownership is an uncomplicated experience, but there are some elements you’ll need to adjust to once you get behind the wheel. As is the case with everything, electric cars have their own set of pros and cons that you need to consider before stepping into the lifestyle. Manufacturers have been slowing down their electric car approach, due to excessive development costs and a lack of global infrastructure, so you still have a bit of time to enjoy your ICE. However, a fully electric future appears to be inevitable, so these are aspects that we’ll all have to prepare for.


In order to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from various manufacturer websites and other authoritative sources, including Consumer Reports, Kelly Blue Book, and J.D. Power.

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1 Low Running Costs

Electricity is much cheaper than gasoline

2024 Tesla Model 3 Front Three Quarter-1

One of the first things you can expect to enjoy when driving an electric car is the substantially lower running costs compared to a conventional internal combustion engine car. The average cost of electricity in the USA currently sits at around 17 cents per kWh. One gallon of regular gasoline is $3.55. Couple this with the fact that EVs are far more efficient than conventional ICEs, and you’ll find that your fuel savings when running an EV will be much lower.


EVs Are Cheaper Than ICEs

  • EVs don’t require the same in-depth maintenance that ICEs do.
  • Electricity is much cheaper than gasoline in the U.S.
  • Electric cars are generally more efficient, meaning you’ll be spending less on energy.
  • Manufacturers fix some faults via cost-free and convenient over-the-air updates.
  • Most electric cars are sold with complementary scheduled maintenance plans.

Additionally, electric cars are cheaper to maintain, thanks to their direct drive units, which don’t require frequent oil and filter changes. Most EVs currently available are sold with complementary scheduled maintenances, so you won’t have to worry about the first few services. Once this lapses, you do have to consider other routine work relating to the brakes and other functional components. EVs also benefit from modern software, meaning manufacturers can resolve some software niggles via over-the-air updates.


2 Convenient National Charging Infrastructure

National charging stations are a lot more present than before

Kia EV6 V2L
Kia

A big concern for most prospective EV owners is range anxiety and the worry of being stranded in the middle of nowhere without any means to charge their car. This is pretty much no longer an issue in the U.S. thanks to substantial government and private investments. As of right now, there are over 138,000 public charging outlets in the country. Most of these are Level Two ports, which recover a full charge for the average electric car in a matter of hours, depending on the battery capacity.


America’s National Charging Infrastructure

  • America’s national public charging infrastructure is expanding rapidly to support the growing adoption of electric vehicles.
  • The infrastructure includes various types of chargers, such as Level 2 chargers AC and DC fast chargers.
  • There are multiple charging networks operating across the country, including Tesla’s Supercharger network, ChargePoint, EVgo, and Electrify America.
  • The availability of charging stations varies by location, with more densely populated areas typically having more charging options.
  • Manufacturers are increasing accessibility and convenience by installing chargers at shopping centers, workplaces, and along highways.
  • The federal government and some states offer incentives and funding programs to support the development of public charging infrastructure.

Some of these are DC Level Three fast chargers, which will replenish a battery from 10 to 80 percent in a matter of minutes. Something that you’ll have to consider is that waiting times at the most popular stations may be longer than what you’d find at a conventional gasoline station. That being said, there are plenty of bills and initiatives that will exponentially expand the national electric car charging infrastructure in the coming years.


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3 You’ll Need A Level Two Household Charger

EVs need fast home charging for optimized convenience

Red 2024 Vinfast VF8 2
Vinfast

For the sake of convenience, it is highly recommended that you have a Level Two charging system installed at your home if you plan to drive an electric car daily. Depending on what output you opt for, Level Two wallbox prices range from $650 to $1,200. This excludes installation costs, which can add anywhere between $800 to $2,000, depending on your location. Wallboxes are generally weather-resistant, meaning you’ll be able to use them outdoors as well.

Household Level Two Chargers

  • Level Two household chargers are sold by third-party companies like EVgo.
  • Some manufacturers, including Tesla and Jaguar, offer their own branded wallboxes.
  • Accredited professionals are needed to install Level Two household wallboxes.
  • These boxes are typically weather-resistant and suitable for outdoor use.
  • Charging speed is dependent on an EV’s onboard charging capacity.


Technically speaking, it is possible to have a three-phase DC fast charger installed at your home if you want to benefit from 350-watt charging speeds, but this would come at an astronomical cost that simply wouldn’t make sense. Experts say that a conventional Level Two system is all you need and will easily recover an EV battery’s full charge when plugged in overnight. It’s also worth noting that electricity rates are lower during off-peak hours, typically between 11 PM and 6 AM.

4 Unrivaled Comfort Levels

The new technology promotes better ride and NVH levels

2024 BMW i7 Exterior Right Front 3-4
Lyndon Conrad Bell / TopSpeed


EVs generally benefit from much better comfort levels compared to the average gasoline-driven car. Most electric cars feature a fully independent suspension, resulting in a combination of improved comfort and handling characteristics compared to torsion beams. Manufacturers also tune EV suspensions to be a bit softer for the sake of improving the overall ride quality. However, a major reason for improved comfort is because of an EV’s quiet nature.

Why EVs Are More Comfortable Cars

  • The absence of an ICE means EVs benefit from much lower NVH levels.
  • Wind noises are also reduced by their more aerodynamic bodies.
  • Manufacturers tend to fit EVs with more forgiving suspension setups.
  • More expensive EVs use adaptive suspension for a more plush ride.
  • Electric car tires are designed with comfort and efficiency in mind.

The lack of a combustion cycle means that electric cars make close to no noise during operation. They also typically have sleeker exterior designs that reduce drag for the sake of conserving energy, but this also translates to lower wind noise. Combine this with better-insulated cabins, and you’ll find an EV’s interior to almost whisper quiet. Some users find this to be a bit unsettling, so there are companies who add synthetic engine noises through the speakers to create a more familiar feeling.


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5 Battery Replacement Costs

Be prepared for this costly and inevitable repair

Toyota bZ4X's battery pack
Toyota

After eight to 10 years of owning an electric car, it’s highly probable that you’ll have to have the battery pack replaced. This is likely to be a substantial repair that could cost in the region of $10,000. Manufacturers back the reliability of their packs with substantial warranties that range between eight and 12 years or 100,000 to 150,000 miles, with a clause that states they’ll repair the battery if its overall capacity dips below 70 percent in this time.


Replacing An EV’s Battery

  • Battery replacement costs for electric cars can be significant, often ranging from several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the make and model of the vehicle.
  • The cost of replacing an electric car battery depends on factors such as the size of the battery pack, the technology used, and any warranty coverage.
  • Many electric car manufacturers offer warranties for their battery packs, typically covering a certain number of years or miles. These warranties may include provisions for a battery replacement if the battery degrades beyond a certain threshold during the warranty period.
  • Battery replacement costs will decrease over time as battery technology advances and economies of scale improve.
  • Third-party companies may offer aftermarket battery replacement options, which could potentially be more affordable than replacing the battery with the original manufacturer.
  • Some electric car manufacturers offer battery leasing or subscription programs as an alternative to purchasing the battery outright, which can help mitigate upfront costs and provide peace of mind regarding battery replacement expenses.


Once your battery’s capacity starts to dip, the manufacturer will open the casing and replace any identified faulty modules as opposed to replacing the entire pack. This results in cheaper repair costs and a lower impact on the environment, as the materials required to construct a lithium-ion pack still require harmful mining practices.

6 More Interior Space

EVs tend to offer better interior dimensions

2024 Cadillac Lyriq Front 3/4 shot
Cadillac 

Naturally, the benefit of a more compact drivetrain system means designers have more freedom to create a spacious cabin setting. EV battery packs are sizable and heavy, but their flat design means that they are conveniently placed in the floor. Electric drive units don’t require bulky drivelines or transmissions, so EVs also benefit from much more legroom and shorter front and rear overhangs. One of the best advantages of an EV is the frunk compartment, which is possible thanks to the lack of a bulky internal combustion engine.


Why EVs Feature More Interior Space

  • EV systems are heavier, but they take up less space compared to a full ICE drivetrain.
  • Slim battery packs and the lack of a driveline frees up a lot of cabin space.
  • No engine means EVs benefit from an additional truck up front.
  • Many smaller EV crossovers accommodate three rows of seating.
  • Trunk spaces are similar, but EVs benefit from much more rear legroom.

EVs tend to have less trunk capacity compared to some ICE hatchbacks and crossovers, which don’t have any drive unit-related components at the rear. However, the presence of a frunk acts as a great counterbalance, as these are usually large enough to accommodate a small shopping trip or store the mobile charging cable.

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7 Limited Towing Abilities

EVs can’t tow as much as ICEs

GMC Hummer EV Towing
GMC 


We often recommend not considering an EV truck or SUV if you are a frequent tower, as these cars typically tend to struggle with hauling loads over longer distances. Several independent tests reveal that some of the most capable utility EVs with high power outputs struggle with a drastic increase in consumption as soon as you start towing, even if the load isn’t close to the total capacity. Other than this, EVs can be competent towers.

EV Towing Pros And Cons

  • Towing remains one of the biggest weaknesses of an EV.
  • Hauling extra weight places a significant strain on the battery, resulting in steep range reductions.
  • Some manufacturers limit towing abilities in the U.S. for the sake of preserving mechanical components.
  • Even though EVs generate much more torque, their towing capacities can be lower than diesel-powered models.


As far as mechanical longevity is concerned, experts respect EVs for being more resilient towers because of their higher and immediate torque outputs and less complicated designs. The result is better reliability and longevity. Gasoline-driven cars need more frequent scheduled services if they frequent towing. This is also the case for EVs, but the intervals aren’t as short and the required work is not as extensive.

8 EV Tires And Brakes Are More Expensive

EVs perform better off-road than you might expect

Bronze Porsche Taycan
Porsche

EVs are more affordable to maintain in the long-run, but there are some costly and frequent maintenance costs you need to be aware of. Electric car tires are generally much more expensive than those used on ICEs for several reasons. EVs deliver instant torque, so they need better-quality compounds to offset the rapid wear. These tires are also sometimes specifically designed for electric cars, resulting in higher development costs that are passed on to the end user.


Another expensive routine maintenance cost is the brake pads. These are less frequent than ICEs, because some of the stopping is taken on by the direct drive unit’s regenerative system, but EVs still use conventional braking systems for most of the braking event. Electric cars are heavier than competing electric models, mainly because of the weighty battery packs. Thus, manufacturers need to fit their EVs with stronger and more resilient brake pads and discs, which will cost more to replace.

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9 Next-Generation Acceleration Speeds

EVs deliver immediate power

Rimac Nevera
Rimac


An EV’s instant torque delivery results in much faster acceleration characteristics, regardless of power output. Thankfully, all-electric cars come with intuitive traction and stability control systems to make things easier and less intimidating, but the sense of speed coupled with the lack of an engine note is still something that takes time to get used to. Naturally, there are some electric cars with very poor 0-60 MPH times, such as the Kia Niro EV, but for the most part, they’re all pretty impressive.

Amazing Acceleration Abilities Of Electric Cars

  • Instant torque delivery from EVs results in acceleration speeds that ICEs can’t compete with.
  • Direct drive units don’t suffer from the same loss of power that an ICE drivetrain does.
  • EVs also have more intuitive traction systems, allowing for better launches.
  • EVs struggle with top speed sprints because of their limited range and high power requirements.
  • Electric cars also have better braking characteristics, partly thanks to regenerative braking.


It’s gotten to the point where manufacturers can no longer make ICEs as quick off the line as EVs without extensive modifications that implicate their viability as daily-driven cars. The Rimac Nevera currently holds several acceleration and deceleration records, while full-size luxury sedans like the Tesla Model S and Lucid Air Sapphire cover 0-60 MPH in hypercar-rivaling times without sacrificing the comfort of interior space.

10 Noteworthy Quality Concerns

New electric technology doesn’t always come with the best quality

Fisker Ocean Force E black with orange trims
Fisker 

Electromobility is still in its early days, and it has birthed many new and returning manufacturers. Unfortunately, some of these new cars have seriously struggled with quality control, particularly with interior fittings and components. This is a peculiar issue, considering EVs have lower vibration levels, but this problem stems more from cost-cutting than anything else. Electric cars are considerably more expensive than conventional ICEs, and lowering interior trim and upholstery quality is the best way to shave down production costs.


Common Electric Car Quality Concerns

  • Some newer brands struggle with maintaining a high manufacturing quality.
  • Many EVs have been prone to software glitches relating to the driving and safety systems.
  • EVs benefit from easier over-the-air software repairs, resulting in better convenience for the owner.
  • There have been cases of some EVs struggling with cabin qualities due to the usage of cheaper materials.

Products ranging from Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Fisker, and Lucid have all been slapped with perceived quality criticisms from several respected publications. These range from poorly fitted trimmings, to quick-wearing upholstery, and noisy plastic interior panels. Tesla has also frequently come under fire for its constant inconsistent body panel fitment, which many attribute to its fast production cycle. There are some manufacturers who appear to garner good reviews for interior quality, such as BMW and the Hyundai Group.


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