Before you buy an electric car, you need to consider problems with electric cars and charging. Electric cars are expensive and you need to protect your investment by knowing these problems in advance.
Knowing these problems, you can prevent them from occurring and be more efficient with your EV use and charging. Ignoring them could lead to troublesome results that would force you to spend more money on your car than you should.
Here are some of the problems with an electric car you might encounter while charging your electric vehicle.
- EVs Are More Vulnerable To Hackers
Although EVs aren’t the only cars that can be hacked, they are more vulnerable to attacks. The problem is that EVs are increasingly hi-tech, which leaves more opportunities for hackers to access them.
The more electric cars are connected to the internet, the easier it is to discover and attack them. It’s not just data-bridge and getting your car stolen that you need to worry about. Your electric vehicle can also also be remotely controlled to cause a lot of damage to property and injure people.
This is not a far-fetched idea. It was shown to be possible by a Chinese company that tested the Tesla Model S in 2016. Well, Tesla has fixed that problem now. But there may be other car brands that are vulnerable to such attacks. The risk of being hacked remains.
Car manufacturers are addressing this problem by creating software that is more secure and resistant to hackers.
Are there many mechanics who fix electric cars in your area? Compared to conventional cars, EVs don’t need much maintenance. But if you get into an accident, you might find it hard to locate a workshop that’s near your area. It may take some time to tow your car.
If you live in a place where the mechanics come right to your doorstep, then that isn’t really a problem. But then there’s the matter of exorbitant fees. EVs require less maintenance because they have fewer moving parts. If a gas-powered car has 2,000, EVs will have about 200.
But fewer mechanical parts don’t mean fewer problems. EVs have complex electrical components like power steering motors and high-voltage relay banks. Not to mention the giant battery pack sitting below your feet.
The battery pack is the most important part of the vehicle, and it’s more expensive than the motor itself. The state of the battery determines everything about your car. If you keep it out when it’s too hot or too cold, you can get it damaged. If you charge it too much, the battery can die.
An EV battery has a temperature range of 59 – 130 degrees Fahrenheit, as opposed to an internal combustion engine which ranges from 30 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. The components of an EV battery are also highly flammable and it can start a fire when not heeded.
Manufacturers are trying to fix these maintenance issues by set-breaking the battery into smaller cells or firewalls to prevent thermal runaways from occurring.
Typically an EV battery should last 10 years. It loses its capacity by about 2.3% every year. So you can still drive the car at the normal range but you’ll have less and less range as years go by. Replacing the battery of an expensive EV like Tesla can be costly, and that doesn’t include the fee for the person replacing the battery for you.
We’re not saying you have to do the maintenance by yourself. But you better have money when your car breaks down.
- Range Anxiety and Battery Charging.
It’s a problem that EVs have from the start and something that manufacturers are trying to solve and gradually improving at the moment. When swapping to an EV, your range is usually cut down by half or even more. And cheaper EVs have a significantly lower range which many drivers will struggle to get used to.
In the past, shockingly bad charging times and ranges have made EVs totally unsuitable for anything other than trips to work and back. To get more range, you would have to upgrade to more expensive models.
Luckily, the Tesla supercharger network has made it possible to charge up to 80% in less than 40 minutes. But other EV companies continue to struggle. The thought of running out of charge made journeying or being stuck somewhere for hours has come to be known as “range anxiety”.
More people are now installing EV chargers in their homes, offices, and malls. But range anxiety is hard to overcome if you’re planning a road trip. But a 45-minute break for coffee and stretching while your EV charges up after a long journey doesn’t sound so bad.
But there is still a problem with public charging in most countries. And the number of chargers is only a small part of the story. In the UK, a lot of the public charging networks in key highway locations are run by Ecotricity’s Electric Highway.
A large percentage of that is either AC, which is equal to Level 2 charging or CHADEMO D/C which is great if you have something like a Nissan Leaf but not so for some other modern EVs. There might be a lot of chargers everywhere but they might not be very good for topping up your car on a long journey.
Charge time and charging stations are two of the biggest challenges electric car companies face right now. Access to high-speed charging is improving. But if you’re hoping to turn all-electric by 2030, there need to be enough charging points to cure range anxiety and charging problems.
- Charging An EV May Not Be Easy As You Think
In theory, charging an EV should be easy – just read the manual and make sure you follow all protocols. Charging an EV should be easier than filling up a gas-fueled car. Just plug in the car, and wait a while. If you have regular access to a station with 240-volt power, it is possible to recharge in just a matter of hours.
But the reality is people don’t have high-voltage power in the garage. Furthermore, charging with a standard 120-volt outlet can take a lot of time. And since buying these 240-volt charge points are expensive, home charging may not be as convenient as you expected.
How do you keep your car charged? Well, in recent years, charging stations seem to be appearing out of nowhere. So with the swipe of a credit card and a standardized plug, charging should come very easy, right? Well, not quite.
- EVs Are Expensive
It’s no secret that EVs can be quite costly. There aren’t too many EVs that you can get at a cheap price and those will not give you the range you need. Prices could fall in the future with manufacturers finding a better way to refine their manufacturing process in its standard giga-factories worldwide. But petrol and diesel cars would still come cheaper than EVs.
Driving an EV is also a lifestyle shift. Your travelling and fueling time will change along with your driving habits and using the vehicle itself can be quite different to what you’re used to. It may take some time for users to adapt to such a lifestyle.
- Companies Use Their Own Apps
For many changing station brands, there will be an app on your phone that you can open up and show you the different charge points available in your area. You can open Google Maps with it, click on the station itself, and see if it’s available.
You will also see how much charge you can get. So once you’ve located a charging station, it should be easy to charge your EV right?
Well, there are dozens of companies that have installed charging stations throughout the United Kingdom and those that have an online account have their own app and payment method. So you need to sign up for their station before you can charge.
So this is how things actually work you can connect your credit card to your phone in order to pay for charging. You will also need the company’s swipe card to connect. The charge point will authorize your card which is stored in the app so you can start charging.
- EV Companies May Have Their Own Proprietary Plug
Do all electric cars use the same charger? Well, most of them do but they use different charger plugs.
Almost charging station manufacturers use the standard Type 2 plug or JC1772 plug which means you would likely encounter a Type 2 plug at tethered public charge points. Type 2 plugs have seven pins which is a standard for their EV models.
If you have a Tesla car, though, you must know that the company has their own proprietary plug so you can’t connect the standard plug directly. Fortunately, Tesla has come up with a solution to this issue because included in the Model X is an adaptor that allows you to plug the standard Type 2 plug into your Tesla vehicle.
- Finding And Using The Chargepoints Is Not Easy
If you’re going to buy an EV, you need to have a clear idea of where your main charging station would be. The best solution here is to get a home charger. So 99% of your journeys would be on home power. But that’s obviously not possible for everyone.
Where are you going to find these charge points if you can’t have one at home?
Well, charge points are all over the UK. Cities, governments, and parks may have them installed on popular sites. You can find them in residential areas, apartment complexes, malls, city centres, and industrial areas.
As you find their apps online, you will discover that the charging cost depends greatly because the apartment complex, mall, or whoever had the charger installed, will typically set the rate. The interesting thing is that these charge points cost different amounts.
Sometimes the amount charged is by power, and sometimes, per hour. You will usually find these prices on the apps themselves.
Do All Electric Cars Use The Same Charger
No, not all electric cars use the same charger. There are different types of chargers and charging standards used by various electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers.
The most common types of charging connectors include:
- Type 1 (SAE J1772): This connector is mainly used in North America and Japan for AC charging. It has a five-pin design.
- Type 2 (IEC 62196 or Mennekes): This connector is widely used in Europe for both AC and DC charging. It has a seven-pin design.
- CHAdeMO: This connector is primarily used by Japanese automakers for DC fast charging. It has a unique design with a large, round plug.
- Combined Charging System (CCS): This connector combines the Type 2 connector for AC charging and an additional two pins for DC fast charging. It is used by many automakers globally, including European and American manufacturers.
Tesla vehicles have their own proprietary connector, known as the Tesla connector or Tesla Supercharger. However, many newer Tesla models also come with an adapter that allows them to use the Type 2 or CCS connectors for public charging.
It’s worth noting that while there are different connector types, most electric cars can be charged using standard Level 1 (120V) or Level 2 (240V) chargers. However, for DC fast charging, which provides rapid charging capabilities, compatibility with different charging standards becomes more important.
To ensure compatibility, public charging stations often provide multiple connectors and standards to accommodate different electric vehicles.
If you have the money to go electric, choose an EV with enough range for your everyday needs and create a charging routine. You need to have a much clearer idea of where to recharge and how fast those recharging spots are. You can even find apps that will locate the closest station to you and give you that information.
The main thing to understand is, that it’s not about whether EVs are good or bad overall, but about how a buyer should do their research first and be ready for the lifestyle change that ensues. And most importantly, learn the best way to maintain your EV so it doesn’t run into problems in terms of service costs.
Prepare yourself to charge mostly at home, or have routine places to go not just to shop around or eat, but also to charge. Find an EV charger that’s affordable but reliable so you can have peace of mind while charging your electric vehicle.
At Pumpt, we have just the right home EV chargers. Check out our EV chargers to see how they can benefit you.