What are the common problems with electric cars?

Some common problems with electric cars include the risk of fire, potentially unsafe technology, charger incompatibility, lack of long distances, long charging times, and the cost of the vehicle and charging station. The right auto insurance can protect you financially if you have any problems with electric cars that need repairs.

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and Cinncinati.com. ...

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent Rachael Brennan

UPDATED: Jan 24, 2022

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Can't-Miss Facts

  • Some of the common problems with electric cars include risk of fire, potentially unsafe technology, charger incompatibility, lack of long distances, long charging times, and the cost of the vehicle and charging station.
  • Even with these potential problems, EVs are still being pushed as a solution to climate change and may help consumers save money on gas in the long run.
  • The best way to make sure you’re protected financially with an electric car is to have the right auto insurance.

Electric cars are becoming more popular as the technology becomes more refined and people become more aware of how fuel-powered vehicles affect the environment. First, however, manufacturers should address some common problems with electric cars to make them a more accessible option.

Some of the common problems listed below may be worrisome to consumers, but manufacturers are making electric cars more precise. If you have an electric vehicle, make sure that you have auto insurance coverage that can help cover you in an accident or malfunction.

Enter your ZIP code into our free quote comparison tool above to find affordable auto insurance for electric cars.

What are the common problems with electric cars?

Because of greenhouse gas emissions, there has been an increase in sales of electric cars to help fight against climate change. But, unfortunately, electric cars are new technology, are frequently misunderstood, and may need some tweaking to make them more feasible for the average American driver.

Let’s take a look at some of the problems with electric cars.

1. There is a risk of fire.

An electric vehicle (EV) battery operates in temperatures ranging from 15°C to 45°C. In contrast, the batteries in an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle operate in temperatures ranging from -30°C to 50°C. The lower range in temperatures in an EV makes it more likely that the flammable components will catch fire.

Some manufacturers tried breaking the battery into smaller cells with firewalls, while others tried making batteries with less flammable components. However, no solutions have been entirely risk-free.

In addition to the higher risk of fire, it is also harder to put electric car fires out than in an ICE vehicle since EV batteries are inaccessible to use fire suppressants.

2. The technology may not be completely safe.

EVs may be more vulnerable to cyberattacks. While some ICE vehicles also have the technology that makes hacking possible, more EVs are equipped with high-tech key fobs, internet access, and more. Therefore, it’s more likely that a hacked vehicle will be an EV than an ICE vehicle.

Some cars risk data leaks, theft and vandalism, and may even be controlled remotely. As a result, manufacturers have been trying to keep up with software updates to prevent hackers.

3. Not every electric car is compatible with the same charger.

While fuel-powered vehicles have universal access at gas stations, EVs do not all use the same types of chargers. For example, while most EVs use the SAE Combined Charging System, Nissan and Mitsubishi use CHAdeMO, and Tesla uses the Tesla Supercharger.

Therefore, when you come across a charging station, you would have to make sure that they have chargers compatible with your vehicle, which creates barriers to access.

4. Electric cars may not be the best for long distances.

While the range for EVs has improved since manufacturers introduced the first models, one of the problems with electric cars remains the issue of how far they can travel on a charge. Unfortunately, EVs are not known for going as far as ICE vehicles. In addition, AAA found that an EV’s range could drop by 41% when temperatures go below 20°F or when you use the heater.

On average, an EV can travel approximately 80-120 miles before recharging. In comparison, an ICE vehicle can travel about 300 miles per tank.

5. It can take a while to charge an electric car.

Depending on your EV’s battery capacity and charger speed, charging your electric car can take much longer than the five minutes it takes to fill the gas tank on an ICE vehicle. For example, using a Tesla Supercharger to charge a Tesla Model S could take about an hour, but it could take up to eight hours to charge a Tesla Model S using a standard wall charger.

Many chargers take at least two hours to charge your vehicle. With that being said, there are some instances in which you could charge your car while doing other tasks. For example, you could charge it overnight at home, or you could use chargers that are available at shopping centers while you’re running errands.

6. Electric cars and charging stations are expensive.

While the cost of an electric car has decreased over the last few years, the average price for an EV is still around $30,000-$40,000. In addition, the materials and processes used to build an EV make them more expensive than other vehicles.

In addition, it can be costly to install electric car chargers. For example, a level two charger can start at $2,500, while a DC fast charger could cost $35,800.

On the other hand, experts suggest that electric car drivers could save between $4,500 and $12,000 in the long run as these drivers won’t have to pay for gas.

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How can I stay protected with an electric car?

One of the best ways to ensure that you’re protected financially with your electric car is to have adequate auto insurance. With new technology, you risk paying for repairs on car parts that manufacturers may not have perfected. Therefore, auto insurance can help cover repair costs.

However, auto insurance rates for electric cars are typically higher than auto insurance for ICE vehicles. Let’s look at the average annual premiums for auto insurance for electric vehicles:

Auto Insurance Rates for Electric Cars
Vehicle TypeAverage Annual Auto Insurance Premium
Audi e-tron$2,520
Hyundai Ioniq$1,782
Fiat 500c$1,463
Ford Fusion$1,674
Ford Focus$1,633
Jaguar I-PACE$1,841
smart EQ fortwo prime$1,557
smart EQ fortwo pure$1,494
Tesla Model 3$2,283
Tesla Model S$3,802
Tesla Model X$3,324
Toyota Prius$1,740
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Finding an auto insurance company for electric cars is easy since most major auto insurance companies cover EVs, including Allstate, Nationwide, Farmers, USAA, Progressive, and more. Tesla also began offering its own insurance in California and Texas but plans to expand this service to the whole United States.

If you want to buy auto insurance for electric cars, enter your ZIP code into our free quote comparison tool below to compare auto insurance quotes for electric cars now.

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