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The pros and cons of buying a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) are the ultimate options when it comes to the electric driving experience, though like with hybrids, one needs to keep a few things in mind before diving in.

There are three main types of electric vehicles (EVs) available on the market. These include Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs), Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV), and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) While hybrids offer a "best-of-both-worlds" kind of solution, BEVs offer us a glimpse of the future of mobility, one where one day everyone will be driving an e-car BEVs are fully electric, meaning they are solely powered by their electric motor

We recently discussed the three main types of electric vehicles (EVs) available on the market. These include Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs), Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV), and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs). You can find the full breakdown here

Today, we will be exploring the pros and cons you’ll need to consider before buying a Battery Electric Vehicle, or BEV.

So, what is a battery electric vehicle? 

A battery electric vehicles is the official term for fully electric vehicles, i.e. vehicles that run solely on electric energy with no other means for propulsion.

Unlike in a gasoline-powered car, the battery in a BEV powers every aspect of the vehicle, from the engine, to the dashboard and headlights, and everything in between.  A lack of an internal combustion engine also means that a BEV has a lot less moving parts and components. For example, you might be caught off guard spotting a BEV coasting down the street with no exhaust pipe – it can certainly be tough to wrap one’s head around at first. 

Hybrids are certainly a step forward in the right direction, but BEVs are truly the future of the automotive industry, with Deloitte predicting this year that “by 2030, BEVs will likely account for 81 per cent (25.3 million) of all new EVs sold.”

Prominent examples of BEVs include Tesla’s entire product line, the Nissan Leaf, and the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

We’ve recently also listed the pros and cons of buying a Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) and a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV).

Pros: 

  • This is it. This is the real deal. While we’ve looked at hybrids in previous entries of this article series as solid entry points for those not fully willing to commit to a fully-electric experience due to personal preferences or external limitations like a lack of infrastructure, BEVs present us with the future of mobility. BEVs are perfect for those that want the full electric experience, and all it entails.
  • Driving a BEV means you can travel guilt-free, as they produce zero CO2 emissions, which is often their top selling point.
  • While they cost more than their gasoline-powered counterparts, BEVs offer the best value for money among all other EV options, relying solely on electric power to run. After all, hybrids still rely on petrol for parts of their journeys, which is much more expensive than topping up a battery. Additionally, BEVs prove the better long-term investment if you consider the savings you’d make over the years.
  • Electric engines are markedly much quieter than internal combustion engines (ICE), so much so that some governments had to mandate that BEVs emit an artificial engine sound at low speeds to alert pedestrians. This is because there have been accidents where unassuming passersby were hit by BEVs due to them producing virtually no discernible sound.
  • Because BEV engines have a lot less moving parts in comparison with ICEs, they are cheaper to maintain and break down less often.
  • Across the world, and even in the Middle East, some governments are offering incentives to encourage people to buy BEVs, such as tax and fee exemptions. We’ve seen this in Dubai, for example.

Cons: 

  • Like we’ve discussed with hybrids, it’s tough to disregard the high initial price that comes with purchasing a novel technology like an electric vehicle. BEVs are even more expensive than hybrids, and as such can be very off-putting for some customers.
  • Because they rely solely on a electric energy to run, BEVs need a larger battery unit to help it operate efficiently and for a long period of time. However, EV batteries are expensive as is (upwards of $10,000), and installing a larger unit simply means you’ll have to pay a significantly higher sum should it need repairs or a replacement. 
  • Opting for insurance could put you at ease if anything were to happen to the battery, but given the novelty of the tech, insurance can be expensive for many of the BEVs on the market, sometimes 45% more than their gasoline counterparts, though is certainly not always the case.
  • Other than the expensive repairs, you’ll also need to consider that in some regions, like in the Middle East, there can be a serious shortage of third-party garages that know how to operate on and repair a fully-electric vehicle. This means you’ll have to opt for repairs at your manufacturer, which is often much more expensive. 
  • For long trips and commutes, the range of a BEV can be considered short. The average range of a fully-electric vehicle is 181 miles (292 km), according to smart charging solutions firm New Motion, though this is highly up for debate and vary from study to study. The good news is that the range of a BEV battery is increasing 17% on average yearly, according to data by EVAdoption.com.
  • As always, a lack of proper infrastructure such as charging stations can be a hindrance to EV adoption in any country, and while the Middle East has had some activity in this regard, such as in the UAE, overall efforts are still minimal. EV owners can opt to buy home chargers, since most charging happens overnight at home anyway, though these can be pricey and would require a dedicated space for the vehicle, like a personal garage.