If you’re in the market for a new car, you might be considering an electric model. If you’ve never driven or had an electric car before, it can be intimidating, however.
You might have questions such as whether or not electric cars are safe, especially if you’re in an accident. You might wonder about the logistics of driving an electric car and what the pros and cons are.
The following are some of the main things to know about electric cars right now.
Are Electric Cars Safe?
First, when you’re choosing a new car, safety is probably a top priority, particularly when it comes to collisions.
Whether or not an electric car is safe in a collision is measured in the same way as any other vehicle, and it depends on the specific make and model. You have to go over crash test ratings that will let you know how well a vehicle protects the driver and passengers in side-, front, and rear-impact collisions.
As far as collisions go, there’s no evidence that electric vehicles are any safer or inherently unsafer than gas-powered vehicles.
Some people do have concerns about flammability because of the lithium-ion batteries that serve as the power for all-electric vehicles.
Some have expressed concerns that these batteries can overheat and combust. In reality, compared to gasoline’s flammability, there is a lower risk with lithium-ion batteries in most cases.
Many electric vehicle manufacturers have also put a lot of effort into making their designs safer than ever before.
With that being said, if you are involved in an accident and you have an electric vehicle, the cost of repairs can be more than it would be with a traditional gas-powered car.
Plug-In Hybrid vs. Pure Electric
There are two types of vehicles that will fall into the larger category of electric vehicles.
There’s a plug-in hybrid. A plug-in hybrid can operate on electric power for anywhere from 15 to 50 miles. Then, when the battery power runs out, there’s a transition to operating as a regular hybrid.
If you only go short distances, a plug-in hybrid may work for you. You can still ultimately get the range of a gas engine when you need it.
A pure electric vehicle is going to have fewer components than a hybrid. The ranges have also gotten significantly longer in recent years.
All-electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles that plug-in have different levels of required maintenance. Overall, there will be scheduled maintenance to the motor, electronics and battery. With that being said, the unique braking systems of electric vehicles typically last longer than what you’ll see on a traditional car.
There may also be less maintenance with electric cars because there are fewer moving parts and fluids that need to be changed.
When comparing an all-electric vehicle to a hybrid, there’s more maintenance required for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle because there are many of the same maintenance requirements that come with gas engines.
What Are the Benefits of an Electric Vehicle?
Some of the upsides of buying an electric vehicle include lower fuel costs and lower maintenance costs overall.
There is less pollution associated with an electric vehicle because there’s no tailpipe emission. There is less carbon emission from an electric vehicle over its lifespan than a gas-powered car.
Electric vehicles also tend to be very quiet, and some people find that they’re more enjoyable to drive.
What Are the Downsides of Electric Vehicles?
An electric vehicle is probably going to be more expensive on average than a gas-powered car. If you only have one car in your household, there are still range limitations to consider.
You have to be able to access an outlet or a charge and also a dedicated parking spot to charge your vehicle, so if you live in a city without a lot of parking options or in a multi-family property, that can be a challenge.
You have to regularly plan how and when you’re going to charge your vehicle, and it can take a while to do so you have to consider that, whereas refueling takes just a few minutes.
Overall, whether or not to buy an electric vehicle is very much a personal choice that you should base on your preferences and your lifestyle. There have been great advances in recent years as far as their range, convenience, safety, and technology, and they’re also increasingly accessible to more people.
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