Electric Vehicles: All About Their Advantages, Challenges, and Comparisons

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Luxury sports cars and classy vintage hits have been in demand in the UAE for a long time. Amidst such established elite cars, a new favourite has risen in the world of motor vehicles. Electric cars are all the rage right now, and for good reason. Chances are that you must have heard the term ’EVs’ more than the name of your favourite brand in the past few months. Even the UAE Government is now providing various incentives to enhance their popularity, given their several features augmenting user experience regarding driving as well as the environment. 

 

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Given the sky-rocketing popularity of electric vehicles in the UAE and the world, we have taken it upon ourselves to help you explore the top advantages of electric cars. This piece is dedicated to covering every established electric vehicle that is out there in the market, some challenges you may face while owning one, and how they compare with conventional vehicles we are familiar with. 

Let’s get started.

General Advantages of Electric Vehicles 

From economical maintenance to easy repairs and lesser air pollution, electric cars come with several advantages that electric car companies take pride in. Given below are the major ones that everyone should know before they decide on the next one to buy.

No Carbon Emission

In the case of fully electric cars, the carbon emission becomes negligible, which is a major step in eliminating environmental damage. Electric cars and other vehicles are the only ones able to manage such minimal emissions, with carbon emissions existing even in hybrid vehicles if the driver-owners choose to switch fuel types while driving. 

The factor of emission assumes greater importance there, with evaporative emissions also becoming a part of the picture in a hot and humid area like the UAE. While fuels like petrol and diesel significantly evaporate in hot weather, fuel-burning emission is also higher in hot weather. As the UAE is a sub-tropical country, it gets exceptionally hot summers and comparatively warmer winters. Irrespective of the weather, carbon emission is generally more with conventional vehicles there. For this reason, electric cars specially make a massive difference when it comes to carbon emissions in the UAE. 

Lower Maintenance Cost

The number of moving parts responsible for acceleration, brakes, and speed shifts in an electric car is significantly less than in conventional vehicles. As lesser parts are involved in driving the car, lesser parts will be there for you to maintain. This difference makes maintaining an electric vehicle cheaper in long run compared to conventional vehicles. The major expense incurred over time for EV maintenance is battery replacement. Other than that, an owner of a fully electric car will save a fortune on expenses usually incurred by conventional vehicles like oil exchange, exhaust maintenance, and filtration system maintenance with completely electric vehicles. 

Low Running Cost

It has been noted that compared to a conventional car, having its tank full with gas, petrol, or diesel, an electric car with a full charge covers more distance in urban traffic settings. In fact, electric cars also offer better mileage than conventional cars when driven for short distances.  This mileage is enhanced by  the cost of charging your EV, which is approximately only 27 Fils/kW, which is immensely low compared to fuel prices in the UAE. For people taking personal car to work, EVs will provide a massive advantage. 

Safer Setting

A low centre of gravity implies that the weight of the car is evenly distributed throughout the body instead of being concentrated on one side or part. Electric vehicles come with a low centre of gravity that makes them less susceptible to collision damage. The heaviest part of an electric car is its batteries, located at the centre of the car under the floor. The rest of its components are divided evenly in the remaining frame. 

This is different from conventional cars, which have the engine as their heaviest component. As engines are located in the front of conventional cars, the balance is more affected than in electric vehicles. Consequently, the even distribution of component weight makes electric cars safer, especially in the case of collisions as they don’t easily roll over. 

The efficiency of Fuel

The fuel efficiency of a car engine is determined by the percentage of fuel used by it for moving the car itself. It should be noted that not all the fuel you put into your car is utilized for vehicle movement as some of it burns out with friction among moving parts of the car, or as heat energy. The maximum efficiency of conventional car engines in practical situations is around 30%. However, the fuel efficiency of electric vehicles can reach 75% and above. On average, almost every electric car offers fuel efficiency of about 60%, significantly higher than regular cars. 

Fast and Silent

If there is one thing other than their environment-friendliness for which electric vehicles are known, it is their negligible moving sound. It has often been observed that if you drive your electric vehicle at any speed less than 8 km/h, they produce literally no sound at all. However, even at the usual speeds, the sound is way less than the usual cars. Consequently, besides controlling air pollution, electric cars may also be the solution to control noise pollution to a great extent. 

Besides all these benefits, another aspect of electric cars is that besides being incredibly fast, they also support a high initial pickup. As full torque is delivered at all speeds, their pick-up is quite faster than conventional combustion engine cars. 

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Benefits for Electric Vehicles by UAE Government

While electric car companies are working endlessly to increase the popularity of their products, the UAE government has also rolled out some incentives to motivate people towards exploring them. Given below are some special benefits you can only get with electric cars in the UAE.

Parking Advantages

One of the best advantages of owning an electric car in the UAE is that you get to park for free at over 14 major locations across the UAE. While the free parking service was initially available till 2021, it has been increased until July 2022. The process is now as simple as electric vehicle owners approaching the designated free parking areas and parking their cars without a fee. As electric cars are identifiable from their license plate, no special parking sticker is required with them in such cases. 

Free Salik Tags

Salik refers to the road toll system in the UAE without any barriers. Another incentive that electric car owners get in the UAE is free Salik tags, different from the general charges applicable for getting a Salik tag in the UAE that cost AED 100. Getting a free Salik tag for your electric vehicle means that this 100 Dirham fee will be eliminated for you. You can obtain your free Salik Tag at the time of vehicle registration from any of the 13 Salik offices located across the UAE. 

Please note that the free Salik Tag offer only includes the fee to get a Salik Tag. You will still have to pay Salik every time your cross toll gates just like all the other vehicles in the UAE. 

UAE Government also used to offer free charging for electric cars. Though this service has been halted as of now, the other ones are still in effect. Salik Tag, for instance, can still be taken when you register your car while the free parking can also be availed without performing any special steps. 

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General Challenges of Electric Vehicles

Now that we have covered almost every advantage that electric vehicles bring to the table, it’s time to cover a few challenges you may face. Yet, most of the listed challenges are given with respect to gasoline cars, just like the aforementioned advantages. 

Recharge or Fueling Time

Unlike conventional cars, electric vehicles take a substantial amount of time to refuel or recharge. Even with a fast-charging station, you may need to spare at least one hour to completely charge your electric car. On the other hand, it takes just a few minutes to refuel your electric vehicle, at max. This makes it easier for conventional vehicle owners to continue a long journey without taking long breaks.

Battery Life

As per recent speculations, the batteries of an electric vehicle can last anywhere between 10-20 years depending on the use and charging style. Most manufacturers offer a 5-year warranty on electric vehicle batteries that may go up to 8 years occasionally. The challenge here is that even if you run a conventional car to its final years of use, you will mostly be able to drive without having to change the engine, which is the main moving part of these vehicles. However, electric vehicle batteries need to be replaced if they happen to get worn out during the life of the car. A big challenge, then, comes in the form of the potential cost of replacing car batteries for EV owners.

Range

Both mileage and range essentially hold the same concept. The only difference is where each of these terms is used. Mileage is used when conventional engines are concerned, whereas, the range is used when electric engines are concerned. Building on the same, the range offered by electric vehicles is generally lesser than that of conventional cars on highways and longer drives. So if you plan to travel long distances, an electric car may not prove as efficient and easy as a conventional car. 

Charging Stations

Since electric vehicles are still new to the world, the availability of charging stations is less than that of gas stations. While you may be able to find several charging stations in the main city easily, finding them somewhere off-road could be troublesome. 

Cost of Electric Vehicles

It is no secret that electric cars cost a lot more than their conventional counterparts. While maintenance, repairs, and fuel efficiency may be something off the charts for electric vehicles, buying them in the first place could be a substantial financial challenge. 

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Electric Vehicles VS Gasoline Vehicles – An Overview

Given below is a table explaining the advantage of electric cars over gasoline cars and vice versa for a better understanding of the real picture.

Parameters 

Electric Cars

Gasoline Cars

Cost of the Car

High costing variants as of now compared to conventional cars

Cost lower than electric vehicles 

Maintenance

Low maintenance due to fewer car parts involved in car movement

High maintenance and regular repair expenses 

Fuel Efficiency 

Up to 75% in best-case scenarios. Average is 60%.

Up to 35-37% in best-case scenarios. Average is 20%.

Insurance Premium

Higher 

Lower than electric vehicles 

Life

8-10 years on an average

15 years

Carbon Emission 

Nil in case of fully electric cars and equivalent to diesel/gasoline engine in case of hybrid cars

2.3 kg per litre (approx.) 

Range 

Low when driven on highways 

High when driven in urban areas

Low in urban areas 

High when driven on highways

Running Cost

Significantly low over the short and long run

Substantially high 

Fuel Cost

27 Fils/kw

AED 3.05 to AED3.23/ liter

Government Incentives

Free parking at 14 selected spots 

Free Salik Tags

NA

Safety 

Lower centre of gravity, hence highly secure 

High centre of gravity due to the engine being located at the front, hence relatively lower security 

Conclusion

Just like anything else in the world, electric vehicles come with their list of advantages and challenges, While it is clear that the number of advantages of electric cars over gasoline cars is considerable, the differentiating factors ultimately boil down to individual requirements. If you are looking for a car that costs less in the beginning conventional gasoline vehicles may be the ideal choice for you. However, if you think you can bear the initial cost of buying an electric vehicle, owning one will certainly prove fruitful. Whatever the case be, finalise your choice depending on personal factors instead of simply focusing on the challenges and advantages. Make an informed decision by keeping your everyday usage in mind.