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What are the advantages and disadvantages of electric cars?

We’ve listed down all the benefits and potential shortcomings of driving an electric car to help you make the right decision when you buy your next car.

Nimisha Jain

Words by: Nimisha Jain

Last updated on 28 March 2022 | 0 min read

Benefits of driving an electric car:

1. Electric cars are energy efficient

Electric cars use electricity up to a third more efficiently than conventional cars use fuel to run a car.
Electric cars source electricity from a power grid and store it in the car’s battery. This electricity is then converted into mechanical energy by the electric motor to power the car. An EV’s electric motor is highly efficient and converts around two-thirds of the electricity to mechanical energy. This is much higher than conventional cars, which usually convert less than one-third of fuel to power the car. Find out everything you need to know about electric car charging in our easy-to-understand guide.
The rising cost of fuel is making diesel and petrol cars increasingly expensive to run. This is not an issue for BEV owners as fully electric cars don’t require fuel. This saves electric car owners money spent on fuel and the time spent queuing up.
If you drive an electric car, you still need to spend money on charging your car but you can choose your electricity tariffs when charging an electric car at home (and save even more if you install solar panels!) or use public chargers at off-peak hours to recharge at a cheaper rate. Many supermarkets and car parks allow you to recharge your car for free when you’re visiting the store. You can find all the charging points available close to you on our map. Some workplaces, too, allow their employees to charge their EVs for free. Electric Car Charging Points: Charging On The Go

3. Electric cars emit zero direct emissions

In this context, direct emissions refer to the pollution emitted when the vehicle is being used on the road.
Conventional vehicles use an internal combustion engine (ICE) which produces direct emissions through the vehicle’s tailpipe – known as tailpipe emissions. ICE also produce direct emissions through the fuel system during evaporation. Fully electric cars, on the other hand, emit zero direct emissions since they run on electricity. There are, of course, many elements to producing and running a car – you can learn more about the total environmental impact in our guide: How green are electric cars?

4. Home charging points make electric cars more convenient

It can be time consuming to take out time to visit a petrol station in-between your busy schedule and then queue up to get the tank full.
If you have a home charger, you can recharge your electric car from the comfort of your own home. This helps in avoiding waiting in long queues for fuel and it means that you can recharge your car at any hour of the day. You can also pre-heat your car in winter without stepping out of your house – simply use an app. Another great thing about EVs is that they are more spacious as they don’t have a large engine taking up space. Related: • Charging an electric car with no driveway

5. Electric cars require lower maintenance

Conventional cars use a combustion engine which has hundreds of moving parts that increases their chances of breaking down. These parts also need to be lubricated from time to time to keep them running smoothly.
Electric cars, on the other hand, use very few moving parts – usually less than 20 – in the electric motor so there are fewer serviceable items which makes them less likely to require maintenance.

6. Electric cars are fast and have better performance

The driving experience is different with electric cars – they usually feel responsive as the torque is near-instant once they’re put in motion. In fact, some electric cars are even faster than supercars!
This can make a thrilling driving experience. Electric cars are also lighter, which enhances the car’s performance. A Rimac Nevera can accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 1.85 seconds while a Tesla Roadster can go from 0-60mph in 1.9 seconds.

7. Electric cars are easy to drive

Electric cars are simple to drive – they have only one gear, so you don’t need to keep shifting between gears. It also means that electric cars don’t stall.
Electric cars only have two pedals – brake and accelerator – much like an automatic car. But, with an electric car, the accelerator can do most of the job because of its regenerative braking mechanism - a way of recovering energy when you let the car slow down on its own rather than applying the brakes. Related: What is an electric car and how does it work?

8. Improvement in infrastructure as EVs grow in popularity

The number of EVs on the road has grown massively in the last couple of years.
The increase in demand for EVs has helped support the expansion and improvement of the required infrastructure for electric cars. This has also resulted in the growth in the number of EVs produced by manufacturers and the introduction of government subsidies and grants to support the uptake of EVs.

9. Reduced noise pollution

Since they don’t use an internal combustion engine, electric cars do not make the noises that we’re used to hearing when travelling in a diesel or petrol car as there are no gears, valves, fans or engines being used when the car’s in drive.
This is a nice advantage for those who enjoy a nice and quiet car ride. On the flip side, the noiselessness of an electric car can be quite dangerous for pedestrians as they’re unable to hear the car coming.

Disadvantages of owning an Electric Vehicle

1. The range of an electric car depends on its battery

Range is an important consideration when it comes to buying an electric car.
The number of miles an EV can cover in a single charge depends upon the battery size, the weather, the age of the battery, as well as your driving habits. However, this holds true for diesel and petrol cars as well, with the only difference being that their range is dependent upon the age and performance of an internal combustion engine, instead of a battery. With EVs, you need to keep in mind the number of charging stations available en route to recharge, especially when you’re out on a long drive You would need to map out the petrol station on the way for diesel/ petrol cars as well, but they are usually more readily available on the way. You can use our handy map on where the electric car chargers are available and at what price to help make your journeys smoother. Related: Driving an EV in winter

2. Recharge Points

The number of recharge points available to you depends upon the area you stay in – some places have enough charging points while other places might require a bit more time to find a suitable charging station.
The infrastructure required for electric cars is under development which contributes to drivers’ range anxiety. This is especially a problem – or rather something that requires a bit more planning – if you’re headed out for a long drive. The number of petrol stations has been on a constant decrease since 2000, with 2013 being the only year to observe a year-on-year increase, while the number of charging stations has been increasing each consecutive year, with the number rising from 19,487 in October 2020 to 25,927 in October 2021.


Charging an electric car takes much more time than it does to refuel a petrol or diesel car, even when using a rapid charger that can take up to 30 minutes to recharge an EV to 80%.
Thus, charging requires more time and planning than it does when refuelling a petrol or diesel car. If you have a home charger, you could either plan and recharge your electric car when it’s parked in your garage for a long time – it could be, for example, at night when you’ve run your daily chores or returned from work. You could also charge your Electric car at your workplace if there’s a charging station available. If you need to use a public charger, you could refer to a charging stations map to find the most convenient charger near you and plan to run your chores while your car recharges. Supermarkets usually have a charging station, that may even be free to use, while you shop at the store.

4. Battery repairs or replacement can be expensive

Batteries are the heart of an EV – they’re responsible for storing electricity and powering the car to make it run. This makes batteries one of the most expensive components in an EV.
While it doesn’t happen often, batteries can break down or need repairs, the cost of which can be quite high – depending upon the damage and the model. Batteries are backed by a warranty promise of a few years so in case the battery fails within the warranty period, manufacturers usually provide a free replacement.

5. EVs cause pollution and e-waste

Electric cars may not produce tailpipe emissions but they still contribute to emissions.
EVs emit harmful gases when they are manufactured. They also use unsustainable materials and methods of extraction to access these materials. EVs may also source energy from a grid that uses fossil fuels which again contributes to greenhouse emissions. Another source of emissions is the batteries – Electric cars are fitted with lithium-ion batteries that use a lot of energy and raw materials. Finally, there’s no fully sustainable way of recycling these batteries yet, although, there are ways to re-purpose these batteries for other uses once they become inefficient for electric cars.

6. Low number of electric cars available to choose from

The electric vehicles market is expanding but it’s still nowhere near the traditional cars market. The number of diesel and petrol cars available today, along with the different choices in models and features surpass the selection of electric cars available today.
This can be a disadvantage, especially for those looking for a car that fulfils specific needs, for example: someone looking for a family car. There are more options available for two-seater electric cars than bigger cars that fulfil family needs.

7. Reduction in government grants

As EVs grow in popularity and the cost of producing and buying an EV goes down, the number of government grants available may also reduce.
So, while government grants may lure buyers in purchasing an electric car at the moment, this may not be a major incentive in the near future. We have already noticed a fall in the discounts being offered by the government, with the changes to the Plug-In Car Grant that has been reduced from £2,500 to £1,500.

8. Missing out on the driving experience

Since electric cars use a single-speed transmission, some drivers feel that the driving experience isn’t as engaging as when you’re in control of the gears and can control how powerful the car feels.
Also, electric cars can be much heavier than their petrol or diesel counterpart because of the battery packs. For example, a Mercedes EQV weighs well over 2,500 kg.
Want to learn more about electric cars? Head to our electric cars hub and learn more – from how electric cars work to the latest cars available in the market today.