Owning an electric vehicle (EV) comes with its own set of challenges and worries. Most of the time, EV owners will be worried about the EV battery’s health, face charging issues or even suffer from range anxiety — the fear that your vehicle has insufficient range to reach your destination.
But it’s not all just about your battery and its range…
Did you know that your EV could be hacked and might even burst into flames?
Yea, we’re not kidding.
These are actually some of the more common issues EV owners have faced over the years. So, if you’re planning to make a switch to an EV, here’s a list of some common problems you should know.
It’s all about the range
We’ve mentioned this numerous times but we still can’t stress this enough! When swapping to an EV, your range is usually cut down by half, or even more. And it doesn’t help that cheaper EVs have a significantly lower range which most ICE car drivers would struggle to get used to.
Additionally, getting a more manageable range of say 647km would mean upgrading to the Tesla Model S long-range or settling for Tesla’s Model 3 performance range of 567km, which also means forking out more money.
With limitations to the range an EV has, these cars are definitely better equipped for city driving. So, it might not be that big of an issue in Singapore’s context as the country is small.
But this also means that you’ll probably need to recharge more often than you would do with an ICE car. This can be really troublesome, especially if you don’t have easy access to an EV charger.
Also, if you enjoy taking road trips up North, then you might have a problem. You’ll need more controlled driving habits and your road trips should be properly planned to ensure that your battery doesn’t die midway through your trip.
What About the Battery?
Besides the range issues with electric cars, EV batteries come with a whole host of issues too.
One of the biggest issues with electronics is the battery lifespan.
Just like how your phone’s battery will start to deteriorate, so will your EV’s! Although the deterioration process is significantly longer for EVs, this is still likely to happen. And when it does, you should hope that your battery warranty is still valid!
Otherwise, you’ll have to fork out a few thousand dollars to have it replaced and fixed.
Risk of Fire
An EV battery has a lower temperature operation range of 15℃ to 45℃ compared to an ICE vehicle of -30℃ to 50℃.
The components of an EV battery are also highly flammable and it can start a fire almost anytime!
Manufacturers have attempted to circumvent the issue by separating the battery into smaller cells with firewalls to prevent thermal runaway from occurring. Other manufacturers are also building batteries with less flammable components which produce fewer harmful chemicals.
Another problem with EVs is the risk of thermal runaway. This refers to the rapid and extreme rise in temperature which spreads to other battery cells. As EVs have bigger batteries or more battery cells, it is especially dangerous.
If left unchecked, it could possibly lead to smoke, fire, and even explosions! And all it needs is a single battery cell to short circuit and combust to start the chain reaction.
Is It Really as Safe as You Think?
Unlike popular belief, EVs may not be safer than ICE vehicles! In fact, if it catches fire, it’s actually even more dangerous and hazardous compared to ICE vehicles.
Well, it’s actually a lot more difficult to put out EV fires. When the battery pack catches on fire, it’s largely inaccessible to fire suppressants such as water. It’s also likely to reignite without sufficient cooling, resulting in a long-lasting fire.
Thus, the need for a large number of fire suppressants and effort to extinguish the fire makes this a risky ride!
Too High Tech?
Although EVs are not the only cars that can be hacked, they are more susceptible to such attacks. ICE cars have also gotten increasingly high tech with mobile FOB and hackers have also exploited these vulnerabilities.
The problem is EVs are increasingly high tech, which leaves more opportunities for hackers. As more electric cars are connected to the internet, this means that they’re easier to hack! And it’s not just a data breach or having your car stolen. We’re talking about tons of metal that can be controlled remotely, causing massive destruction and killing people.
And it’s shown to be completely possible with a Chinese company hacking a Tesla Model S in 2016. It’s one of Tesla’s many electric car problems and software updates have patched it up. But the continuous clash between the hackers and manufacturers means the risk of being hacked will always be there.
Waiting for Regulations
With many car companies rushing to fill the EV demand and cash in on the latest gold mine as quickly as possible, they may compromise on quality. Many EVs are catching on fire and being recalled multiple times such as the Hyundai Kona Electric, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Polestar and Volvo, Chevrolet Bolt EV, WM Motor and even Tesla.
As EVs are pushed to be the next mainstream car, there aren’t enough regulations to support the shift. There’s also a lack of data and testing compared to 100 years of data we have on ICE cars. So maybe it’s best to wait it out and let rules and regulations be settled before jumping in.
Finding a Trained Mechanic
Although EVs require less maintenance, if your EV has been caught in an accident, you’ll probably need to visit a workshop. And it’s likely that you won’t be able to tow your car to just any workshop. As EVs are relatively new to Singapore’s roads you’ll need to mark some spots on your map in case of an emergency.
Luckily, more car mechanics in Singapore are being trained to repair EVs so it’s best to be patient and enjoy the convenience in the future!
If you’ve set your heart on getting an EV despite these issues, check out our pick of the best EVs you can get your hands on right now! Otherwise, a second-hand ICE car might be a better option!
Want to make the switch to an EV? Sell your car for the highest price at CARRO today!