With Tesla’s introduction of cutting-edge electric vehicles, other brands are now entering the market and are on a roll to churn out stunning EVs.
With the rise in fuel prices and people becoming more conscious about the climate, this trend is hardly surprising. However, electric vehicles are new and unexplored compared to internal combustion engine vehicles; there are not that many mechanics who know their way around them and you must take them back to the manufacturer for repairs.
Let’s find out what other electric vehicle problems you can expect to face and how to solve them.
Electric vehicles can suffer from some of the same issues as other vehicles including build quality problems such as a bumper gap. But there are other challenges that are unique to electric vehicles.
The most common problem that electric vehicle owners complain about is the time it takes to charge the vehicle. You are likely to spend more time charging your electric car than you would filling your ICE car with fuel.
Luckily, Tesla and other EV manufacturers are introducing new charging stations nationwide, allowing drivers to charge their cars easily.
Moreover, they have upgraded their charging system so your battery can be fully charged in less than an hour. For instance, Tesla boasts of having a high-speed charging station that can deliver up to 200 miles of charge in 15 minutes.
When it comes to fueling an ICE vehicle, the hose is the same for all vehicles. However, with electric cars, there is no universal charger that can be used to charge all vehicles, and this can be frustrating for new owners still unfamiliar with their electric car or electric cars in general.
With electric vehicles, the fastest way to charge them is by directly connecting the charger to the charging port in the car. But charging ports are not the same in all electric vehicles.
Before buying a particular electric vehicle brand, be it Tesla, Mercedes, Volkswagen or Nissan, you need to know about their charging system, such as the type of plug you need and the location of the nearest charging stations.
There are few charging stations across the country compared to the number of cars. This can be frustrating, especially if your car is about to die and you are miles away from home.
EV owners should ensure that their homes are fitted with a charging system. Alternatively, employers should ensure that their car parks are equipped with charging stations so that the vehicles can charge as the owners work.
Electric vehicle manufacturers should also aim to expand the network of charging stations and work on a developing universal charging infrastructure as far as possible.
You may have noticed that Tesla has its own Supercharger and destination charger networks that other vehicle brands can’t use. And the Supercharger network uses a Type 2 plug that’s used for rapid charging. It’s worth noting that each Supercharger has a CCS charger that can potentially be used by other cars, but it can’t because it is incompatible with other car brands – although Tesla is in the process of opening its networks to other EVs.
There are no brand-specific petrol stations, so there should be no brand-specific charging stations (imagine if each car brand has its fuel station).
Similarly, EV manufacturers, Tesla included, should work together to develop charging stations suitable for all car brands.
Slow and fast electric vehicle chargers provide your vehicle with AC current, which is then converted into DC channeled into your car battery. However, different cars are limited to a specific charge rate, with the highest AC rate being 22kW, which only some cars such as Renault ZOE fully utilise.
Other vehicles are limited to a maximum of 7.2kW to 11 kW, so even if the driver picks the 22kW charger, it’s futile as the car will only absorb what it can.
There are three charging levels, and they include:
Level 1 AC trickle charging, using a domestic socket. This can be installed in homes.
Level 2 AC fast charging.
Level 3 DC rapid charging.
Just like ICE vehicles that have petrol or diesel labels on the fuel caps, electric vehicle manufacturers should label their cars with the maximum AC and DC rates next to their charging sockets. This allows drivers to choose the appropriate charger and free up the fast-charging one for people whose EVs need them. It also helps them save money as they won’t waste energy.
Electric vehicles are less likely to catch fire than ICEs, but once they do, their fire is hard to extinguish and may require more water or a special fire extinguisher. The upside is they take longer to catch fire, giving you the time to exit and move a safe distance away.
Tesla is developing new batteries for EVs that use non-flammable electrolytes, eliminating the risk of battery fires.
With the recent increase in fuel prices and people becoming more climate-conscious, the popularity of electric cars will only increase, but prospective EV owners should be aware of the above issues before buying.