Why are Electric Cars Bad

Electric vehicles aren’t ready yet, and we have ten reasons why, such as being potentially more expensive to run and more harmful to the environment than their gas-guzzling counterparts.

Electric cars are coming into force, and it looks like they’re here to stay. The Nissan Leaf will launch in 2011, as will Mitsubishi’s iMiev, and a host of other electric vehicles — from Renault, BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes and others — EVs for short. In fact, nearly every manufacturer worth their salt is investing in technology, citing greener, zero-emissions driving as their inspiration.

As exciting and significant as their arrival may be, we have major reservations that they may not be the eco panacea the world has been waiting for – at least not yet. We’ve seen several significant drawbacks to EVs, which means they are potentially more expensive to run and, in some cases, more harmful to the environment than their gas-guzzling counterparts.

With that in mind, we’ve highlighted ten reasons you might want to rethink before venturing into an electric car.


10 reasons why electric cars are bad

10. Buying Them Is Expensive

Electric cars are a total rip-off, often costing more than twice as much as their closest petrol counterparts. The G-Wiz, the cheapest electric vehicle on the market in the UK, costs £15,745 in lithium-ion form. For that kind of money, you can buy two Chevrolet Spark Superminis—an option that benefits from good looks, unlike the G-Wiz, five seats, ABS brakes, six airbags, and a chassis that folds in half when someone sneezes. Will not break on this.
The Nissan Leaf electric car offers all the necessary safety features, but predictably, you will have to pay for the privilege of staying safe and driving comfortably. One card will set you back £23,350 and that’s after government incentives. Without the hand of Big Brother, Nissan will charge you a whopping £28,350.

09. Running Them Is Expensive

There is a common misconception that electric cars are cheap to drive. They are frequent, but if you’re not careful, they can cost you roughly the equivalent of a standard petrol car. Take the Nissan Leaf. Charging its 24kWh battery pack (which offers a 100-mile range) can cost you as much as £6 on British Gas’s CO2-offsetting Future Energy tariff.
We chose this particular tariff as an example because British Gas claims all of its electricity comes from green sources, and would ideally be suitable for electric car customers looking to neutralize all their car-related carbon emissions. want to do.

It costs 25.114 pence per kilowatt hour (ppkWh) for the first 42kWh consumed per month, followed by 11.374ppkWh for any subsequent consumption. The total cost of charging a Nissan Leaf at this tariff is either a maximum of £6.02 (24kwh x 0.25114ppkWh = £6.02) at the highest rate or £2.72 (24kwh x 0.11374ppkWh = £2.72) at the lowest.
This doesn’t compare very favorably to the cost of driving a highly efficient petrol car. The Volkswagen Polo Bluemotion uses 3.4 liters of petrol every 100 km. It makes 83.1mpg, which (using the magic of math) equates to 21.95 miles per liter of petrol. Based on current fuel prices of £1.20 per litre, putting enough petrol in your Polo Bluemotion to travel 100 miles would cost the Leaf only £5.46 (100 / 21.95 x 1.20) at the highest rate charged. This makes the Leaf, at higher tariffs, 56p more expensive per 100 miles to drive than the more expensive petrol vehicle.
To learn more about the costs of running an EV, visit Ben Rose’s excellent Jaffacake.net gadget blog.

08. Zero Emissions is a Lie

It is true that electric cars do not emit any exhaust gases, but the same cannot be said of all the power stations that generate the electrical energy they rely on. In the UK, most of our electricity comes from coal or gas-fired power stations, which emit CO2 in the process of generating electricity.
According to the National Energy Foundation’s CO2 calculator, a full charge of a Nissan Leaf’s 24kWh battery pack produces 13kg of CO2. This is 13,000 grams each time the Leaf is driven for its full 100-mile range, or 130 grams per mile, or 81.25 grams per kilometer. Compare this to the 89g/km emitted by the Toyota Prius and you’ll see that EVs aren’t particularly green – unless you switch to more expensive electricity tariffs that reduce carbon emissions, as we’ve seen. More expensive to drive than some petrol cars.


07. They take forever to recharge

Refueling a car that uses an internal combustion engine takes about two minutes. It can take up to two days to fully recharge the Tesla Roadster. 48 hours is worst case, but if you plug the roadster into a simple 120 volt, 15 amp household wall socket in the US you will be looking at that time.

Let’s do the math: Ordinary US household sockets provide a maximum of 1.8kW (120V x 15A = 1,800W or 1.8kW) and the Roadster uses a 56kWh battery pack. 56kWh / 1.8kW = 31.1 hours to recharge — but that’s only a best-case scenario, assuming Tesla’s Roadster’s charger and battery pack are 100 percent efficient at receiving an electrical charge. The reality is that no device is 100 percent efficient. The heat generated during the charging process, as well as the increased resistance of the charging battery, means that a full charge can take a full two days.

Things are a bit better than we have here in the UK, but even then, it will take over 17 hours, again assuming peak efficiency, to charge your Tesla Roadster over a domestic 240V, 13A outlet. Fast chargers are available, but these only reduce charge times to 3.5 hours and if you run out of juice in an area that doesn’t have one (ie almost everywhere in the UK) you’re on the creek without a paddle.


06. Charging too quickly can damage the battery

High-capacity quick chargers make it possible to charge electric vehicle batteries relatively quickly. In the case of the Leaf, one can charge the battery up to 80 percent capacity in 30 minutes. However, as tempting as quick charging is, it’s not something EV owners should particularly rely on, as excessively quick charging can affect the lifespan of the battery.

After ten years of use, one can expect the battery in a Nissan Leaf to shrink to about 80 percent of its normal capacity, meaning you can expect to get 80 miles on a single charge instead of a full 100. can do. Repeatedly quick charging can deplete the battery by up to 70 percent in one go.


5. Driving range is pathetic

48 miles. How far can you drive G-Wiz before you’re stuck in the middle of the road. More modern electric cars can cover twice this distance, but it’s still not enough when you consider that the Volkswagen Passat set a single-tank distance record of 1,527 miles on a single tank of petrol. For a more realistic comparison, the Prius has a range of about 800 miles—and can be refueled at any petrol station.


04. EVs Make Other Devices More Expensive

Having an electric vehicle can increase your electricity bill, that’s obvious. What’s less clear is that owning an EV can make your other electrical equipment more expensive to use. Many electric car advocates recommend that EV owners switch to the Economy 7 tariff, which provides cheaper electricity for seven off-peak hours during the night.

While this lowers the cost of charging your EV overnight, however, it actually increases the cost of using your normal gadgets if you switch them on any time before you go to sleep. The cost of Economy 7 varies from supplier to supplier, but it can be as low as 2.5p per unit for affordable nightly rates and as low as 8p per unit for peak hours.


03. EVs Could Raise Electricity Taxes

The government pays a very heavy fuel tax. In September 2009, when unleaded petrol was priced at 105.64p at the pump, 56.19p was the fuel duty, while the other 13.8p was VAT, levied 17.5 per cent. Currently, domestic electricity is not taxed as heavily as fuel. UK residents typically pay VAT at 5 per cent instead of the normal rate, due to the fact that we humans depend on the stuff to keep us warm and fed.

If there is a heavy uptake of electric vehicles that results in fewer people buying petrol, the government will have to replace that revenue – possibly by taxing the electricity we use to recharge our EVs. A blanket tax hike on all electricity is highly unlikely, but it is a distinct possibility that EV owners will need a dedicated meter, which will allow the application of a higher rate of tax on all electricity that ends up in a vehicle.


02. Where is the resale value?

So you’ve bought your electric car, you’ve had it for five years and you’re bored with it. It’s a simple matter of selling or trading it, isn’t it? Wrong. As we have already mentioned, EV batteries gradually lose their ability to store energy over time. Buyers in the second-hand market will be aware of this and may shy away from paying nose-to-nose for an EV that is out of warranty and whose battery has lost nearly a third of its storage capacity.

The obvious solution in this case is for the owners (or buyers) to replace the battery prior to the change of ownership, but doing so is extremely expensive. The Nissan Leaf battery is estimated to cost $18,000 (£11,180). We can’t imagine that many people would want to spend that kind of cash on a five or ten year old car. The price of a replacement battery will drop over time, but even if it drops in half over the next five years, you’re still looking at a £5,500 bill and labor charges.


01. They are useless to inner city dwellers

Electric cars are aimed at people living in cities – their short distance and absence of exhaust emissions make them ideal for such people. Sadly, most people living in cities can’t really use an EV as only a privileged few have a garage to charge a car. Even homes with driveways, which are a bit more common, aren’t ideal. Charging your EV on the driveway will involve snagging a cable from your hallway through your letterbox and out, where mangy foxes and errant rats will gnaw on it.

And what should the rest of us do? Mark a 50-foot length of power cable running down the side of our high-rise block? It is possible to set up an infrastructure to allow easy on-street charging, but it is currently in its infancy.



Electric cars have a long way to go before they are a viable alternative to cars that use internal combustion engines. We welcome their development and in many cases are deeply impressed by the fine examples of electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Roadster. However, the simple fact is that EVs still have several flaws that seriously restrict their appeal.

The problems we mentioned above can be fixed, but some will take longer than others to solve. Until that time, it looks like hybrids and old-fashioned gas-guzzlers are more sensible bets for the average punter.

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