Not all drivers are keen on electric cars, with their limited ranges and typically underpowered performance, but there’s no denying the benefits to be gained from driving an electric vehicle, and these cars are improving all the time. Drivers will enjoy significant savings when it comes to charging versus fueling a vehicle, especially considering how many models recycle the kinetic energy generated by braking to extend the battery charge when driving (making for better mileage for around-town driving).
In addition, there’s the environmental impact to consider. Although electric car technology is still in relative infancy, as opposed to internal combustion engines that have been popular for over a century, the electric car market has delivered several vehicles that create zero emissions. Unlike gas-powered vehicles that contribute significantly to harmful greenhouse gas emissions, electric cars are clean. The batteries themselves have proven somewhat problematic in terms of recycling, but generally speaking, electric car models are significantly more environmentally friendly than their fuel-burning counterparts.
Still, before you subscribe wholeheartedly to the electric car revolution, you need to consider the potential drawbacks of owning and operating such a vehicle, including what might happen in emergency situations. These vehicles could have inherent dangers, and there are certain situations in which it is advantageous to be in a gas-powered vehicle. Here are a few potential drawbacks you’ll want to consider before entering the electric car market in search of your next vehicle.
Battery Hazards with Electric Car Models
As more and more electric cars hit the roadways over the past decade, you probably saw the headlines warning of hazards related to batteries, such as those that spontaneously caught fire during testing phases. Of more concern to many electric car owners, however, is what can happen to batteries during or following a collision.
The danger lies in rechargeable lithium ion batteries used across the electric car market. Advances in this technology have made it ideal for powering electric vehicles, but because of how lithium ion cells operate, these batteries pose a serious risk should they catch fire. According to a 2013 report by The Fire Protection Research Foundation, “If a cell ignites due to external flame impingement or an internal fault, metal fire suppression techniques are not appropriate for controlling the fire.”
A fire in any vehicle could be harmful, of course, and internal combustion engines are fueled by highly-flammable gasoline. But there is certainly a concern with lithium ion batteries when it comes to collision situations. Since 2013, there have been significant advances in lithium ion technology, but this is still something to consider before purchasing an electric vehicle.
The Danger of Silent Engines
After decades of hearing the rattle and hum of internal combustion engines when starting and driving cars, it’s truly unsettling to get in a vehicle, soundlessly start the engine, and begin rolling. It’s also dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians used to relying on their hearing to know when a car is coming.
It is, of course, up to the driver to safely operate a moving vehicle, but when you drive a virtually silent electric car, you need to be extra diligent if you don’t want to accidentally back out of parking spaces and hit other drivers or pedestrians, or hit someone stepping off a curb and not paying close attention to their surroundings.
As electric cars become more common, hopefully pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers on the road will take greater pains to be aware of their presence, but with so many internal combustion engines still making noise as an early warning of their imminent arrival, it’s incumbent on electric car drivers to take extra precautions.
Getting Stuck in an Electric Car
When a traditional car is running low on fuel, there are countless options to refuel, especially in populated areas. In addition, cars burn very little fuel at idle, meaning that you can reasonably anticipate the distance of travel available to you, even if you get caught in heavy traffic conditions for a while.
It’s a little more complicated with electric car models, which could run out of battery charge just as easily sitting in gridlock as speeding down the highway. What if you get stuck in your car in inclement weather or a remote location? In a traditional car, you can simply keep the engine running to stay warm. With an electric car, you’re going to lose battery life a lot more quickly.
Electric cars are far from perfect, and they’re not ideal in certain emergency situations, but they are improving all the time and they offer an eco-friendly alternative to high-pollution, internal combustion engines. Whether you’re looking to buy, sell, or trade a traditional or electric car, DealerStrip is the perfect platform for connecting with dealers and private parties alike.