Electric engines are a big step up compared to traditional internal combustion engines (ICE) when it comes to efficiency and maintenance. But EVs are not perfect, and they do lack in some aspects compared to ICE cars, sometimes so much so that they actually seem like a downgrade.
We are at the beginning of a new era of motoring, newer cars will start offering electric powertrains more frequently, and ICE will slowly be less and less exciting and more and more expensive to run. But if we do transition completely, there are some aspects worth talking about.
It’s not yet time to let go of ICE because we are not even nearly ready. The infrastructure is in its infancy and the technology is progressing rapidly. There are a ton of reasons why an internal combustion engine is better than an electric engine.
Probably one of the most apparent differences between an ICE car and an EV is the range. Modern-day EVs are good for up to 300 claimed miles of range, but in reality, the range is almost always shorter. The way you drive, the outside temperature, the speed you are going, your weight…
All of these aspects can shift your expected range drastically, and most people look for a charger a lot earlier than claimed. On the other hand, an ICE car offers multiple hundreds of miles on a single tank, and filling it up is easy and more importantly – fast.
If you run out of fuel, all you have to do is go to a nearby petrol station, open your gas cap, fill the car with gas, close it up, go pay for it, and you are back on the road. This entire process might last you 3 to 10 minutes on average, and there are loads of fuel stations anywhere.
On the other side of the spectrum, if you own an EV, you are highly dependant on the charging network around your area and the availability and functionality that it possesses. This means that owning an EV only makes sense if you charge it up at home, everything else is just a tad bit too unsure to rely upon.
Fuel/charging station network
As mentioned previously, we are still at a 1000:1 fuel to charging station ratio, and the number of EVs on the road is increasing rapidly. Furthermore, there are loads of different charging companies with specific apps and paying methods, and lots of them often don’t work as intended.
Different charging speeds, out-of-order chargers, a two-car traffic jam for a charger, or someone parked their BMW on a designated EV parking are all your usual everyday EV ownership stuff. This just can’t compare to refueling your car on a gazillion of fuel stations nearby.
Probably the biggest differentiating factor between an EV and a regular combustion-engined car is the time you waste doing EV-specific everyday stuff. Charging to 80% capacity in a best-case scenario usually lasts about 30 minutes, waiting for a charger takes even more.
This is especially obvious if you go on a long road trip. If you go on a 1000 mile road trip, you are looking at at least 4 recharging stops for most EVs in a best-case scenario. This means that an additional 2-4 hours extra on your way if you don’t plan accordingly, and if a charger is always readily available.
In general, EV maintenance should be less expensive compared to an ICE car. But batteries tend to wear out, and after a few years, they might even need replacing. Not too long ago, battery costs were around $1000 per kWh, nowadays they don’t cost as much, but they will surely make a huge dent in your bank account.
As per a few legitimate Tesla owner forums, a Tesla Model 3 battery costs $190 per kWh. If you multiply that with the Model 3’s total output, you are looking at a $10-12k bill. But if you manage to damage the battery at an earlier stage, the replacement bill might be horrendous.
EVs are not all that environmentally friendly
Contrary to popular belief, EVs aren’t all that environmentally friendly either. Even though the idea towards a carbon-neutral production is as relevant as ever, at this stage, EVs rely upon lots of fossil fuels throughout production, but nobody tends to mention that.
Of course, this ought to change in the upcoming years, but as of right now as much as 67% of America’s electricity comes from dirty old fossil fuels. Per the American Energy Information Administration, it seems like EVs do rely upon fossil fuels throughout the cars life, even though it seems that the final customer does not.
No one can deny the absurd 0-60mph time of a Rimac C_Two, an Aspark Owl, or a Tesla Roadster. But you are indeed able to deny the excitement of an EV beyond that. EVs are silent, robotized, and they also suffer on the top-end.
EVs don’t offer such a wide spectrum of identity-defining powertrain aspects as regular ICE cars do. Without sound and specific power delivery and torque curves, all EVs are the same. And most petrolheads fear that the supercar of the future will have everything, but a soul.
Are we ready for EVs?
Some parts of the world are more ready than others, but in general, we are not. We are yet to expand our knowledge of batteries and charging before EVs take over entirely. Some car manufacturers are planning to cease ICE car production before 2030. But this is rather ambitious.
What are we benefiting from EVs?
If designed and developed properly, EVs will help us understand that we ought to take care of our environment. EVs will also show us that you don’t need a million-dollar hypercar for a 0-60mph time of 2.5 seconds. EVs will show us many things, but only after we transition completely.
Are ICE cars going to be banned in the future?
It’s yet still unclear if ICE cars are indeed going to be banned in the future, but it seems that’s not the case. Maybe the sales of newer ICE cars will be prohibited, but all the cars on the road now are likely to stay there if they adhere to all the safety standards.