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      What are the Biggest Problems with Electric Cars?

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      What is an Electric Vehicle?

      According to the United States Department of Energy, an electric vehicle is defined as any vehicle that is or can be powered by an electric motor drawing electricity from a battery and can be charged from an external source. This includes all-electric vehicles, fuel-cell electric vehicles, and hybrid vehicles. Electric vehicles tout many claims of superiority over gas vehicles, such as being environmentally friendly, lower maintenance, better performance, and lower overall costs. With so many positive characteristics, what could go wrong with owning an electric vehicle?

      What are Known Issues with Electric Vehicle Ownership?

      Considering the booming and recent popularity of electric vehicles, particularly in regard to environmental cleanliness, issues with performance, ownership, longevity, and practicality are bound to arise. Below, we will discuss these issues in further detail.


      If quickly maxing out your speedometer in your new car is a priority, electric vehicle ownership may not be for you. On average, electric vehicles have a lower top speed than gas vehicles. This is because car manufacturers favor the durability and efficiency of the vehicle’s battery, affecting achievable speeds for your car. Highways speeds are easily attained and subject the battery to expected wear and tear. For electric sports cars, however, average top speeds tend to be from 150-200 mph.


      When buying an electric vehicle, you may be in for a bit of sticker shock. The purchase price of electric vehicle ownership tends to cost at least $10,000 more than its gas-powered equivalent. To offset this cost, many states, including California, offer rebates and incentive programs. Another factor to consider when deciding on a gas versus electric vehicle is the price of both gas and electricity in your state. For example, Washington boasts savings of as much as $14,480 over the life of an electric vehicle, while owning an electric vehicle in Hawaii could cost $2,494 more than a gas vehicle over 15 years.


      The power source in most electric vehicles is a lithium-ion battery pack. These battery packs are very expensive to produce, and mining the elements needed for the battery has environmental and humanitarian impacts. Many variables affect the lifespan of these costly batteries, including extreme temperatures and fully charging and discharging the batteries. A dead lithium-ion battery in your electric vehicle could have you shelling out more money to keep your vehicle running. In addition to the varying lifespan of the battery, these batteries have a low but increased chance of overheating and catching fire compared to the batteries found in gas vehicles. Many manufacturers offer warranties covering excessive degradation for eight years or 100,000+ miles.


      While filling up your vehicle in your garage might seem like a dream come true, this, too, comes with drawbacks. Charging your electric vehicle can vary from twenty minutes to upwards of six hours, while the average drive time for a full charge is below 300 miles. This makes long trips impractical. There are currently 138,100 charging stations in the United States; 41,384 of these stations can be found in California. Many more are expected in the near future. While this seems like a high number, it has already become evident there are not enough to cater to the current electric vehicle boom. In addition to sparse locations, these public charging stations cost more to use than home charging stations.

      Can My Electric Vehicle Be a Lemon?

      While the consumer safety report says electric vehicles are safer than gas, like any manufactured product, electric vehicles can still be deemed defective. The most common manufacturing issues accompanying electric vehicles include temperamental batteries, batteries that catch fire, and navigation and electrical systems failure. Due to the recent rise in popularity surrounding electric vehicles, case law is currently being implemented to serve this market. It is important to have a trusted and experienced lawyer on your side if your electric vehicle is having any type of electrical or mechanical issues.

      What do I Need to Prove My Electric Vehicle is a Lemon?

      California lemon law says that to be considered a lemon, an electric vehicle must have nonconformities. Noncomformitites are any defect or malfunction covered by the original warranty from the manufacturer. To prove this, you must be able to show that the defect has compromised the use, value, or safety of your vehicle and that you have made reasonable attempts to have your vehicle repaired at the dealership. This is why it is important to save receipts and parts used to service your vehicle. In the State of California, the current statute of limitation for filing an EV lemon law claim is four years from the date a consumer knew or should have known that the vehicle was defective. This does not mean you only have four years from the time the vehicle was bought, but rather that you have four years from the time issues arose.

      Do I Need an Attorney to Help My Case?

      Laws are complicated. Laws regarding developing and emerging technologies, such as electric vehicles, are even more complicated and in a constant state of change. Don’t take this headache on alone. Ibrahim Law Firm, APC, stands with you to make sure you and your family are in the safe and lasting vehicle you deserve. Call today at 626-600-0890 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation.

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