Buying an electric car: The pros and cons

Buying an electric vehicle is a fantastic way to help the environment and no longer have to worry about those rising fuel prices. So if it’s the best car to buy, why isn’t everyone doing it?

There are a few cons to purchasing an electric vehicle, so we’ve laid them out for you with the major pros so you can make the best decision for your next vehicle purchase.


You are making a serious improvement to Australia’s emissions.

According to research from Australian organisation ClimateWorks, our transport is currently responsible for 17 per cent of the country’s carbon emissions. However, a switch to electric vehicles would drop the emissions rate from cars by as much as 47 per cent.


Electric cars cost more to purchase than a petrol or diesel car of a comparable size.

To purchase new, you’re looking at $40,000 or more, says Australian consumer advocacy group Choice. A personal car loan can certainly help you cover those initial costs, but this higher-than-average price may put some people off.


Electric vehicles are more accessible in Australia every day.

For example, Western Australia launched the country’s first ‘electric highway’ back in 2015, which offered 12 fast chargers along its length to offer electric car drivers regular places to stop for a recharge on long road trips. MyElectricCar also offered a map of charging stations around Australia.

ClimateWorks has also made a submission to the government for Fringe Benefit Tax exemptions for electric vehicle owners. Such a scheme could drop the price of such cars by up to $8,000.


There isn’t much choice for models right now.

It started with the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-Miev, and now a handful of new models are on the market in Australia such as the Tesla model S. While we’re definitely getting there with options, there certainly is nowhere near as many choices for electric buyers as there are for regular vehicles.


You can almost pay for running costs with spare change.

Average ‘fuel’ costs for electric vehicles roughly $4.50 for every 100km travelled, says Australian site My Electric Car. Considering the skyrocketing prices of petrol (closer to $16 for every 100km), those are some serious savings over the long term.


Electric cars need to ‘refuel’ more often than regular cars.

On the shorter end of the scale, electric cars will travel roughly 130 kilometres before they need to recharge, while higher-end models can reach up to 500 kilometres, according to estimate from the Australian Electric Vehicle Association. This should only really be an issue for long road trips, however, as simple trips to and from work don’t usually take that long!


  1. Andrew

    No cars are truly “green”. The embodied energy and cost per kilometer is still immense compared to a bicycle or walking. An electric car might satisfy your guilt, but it isn’t environmentally friendly.

    The most efficient vehicle in terms of carbon emissions/cost is the electric bicycle.

    Of course Australian cities are almost entirely built around the cars, with bicycles considered to be a form of recreation, not transport. (Yes you can carry shopping and tools by bicycle -they do so in Europe) So nothing much is going to change in the near future.

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