The high selling prices of electric cars can be partly offset by the tax advantages granted by the State , for the purchase of electric or hybrid models. This is the case of the ecological bonus and the conversion bonus , currently offered by the Ministry of Ecological Transition, and aid for the acquisition of these clean vehicles available in a certain number of regions.
In use, in addition to the financial gains on maintenance maintenance expenses, the costs of using electric modelsare low for motorists. At home, battery recharges will cost you much less than your usual fill-ups of fuel, if you currently own a petrol or diesel car .
Exit also unnecessary energy expenditure (and emissions): the battery of the electric car is recharged during the deceleration phases, and it is cut automatically during the idling phases. Learn more about the cost of charging an electric car.
What are the constraints specific to electric mobility?
Given their novelty, which tends to drive up manufacturing costs, the electric models currently marketed by manufacturers remain more expensive to purchase than their thermal equivalents. For buyers, the starting price of the vast majority of new city car models is around €30,000, based on the figures communicated in 2021 by the manufacturers on their websites. This is the case for the Renault Zoe 3 , the Nissan Leaf 4 or the Peugeot e-208 5 . It takes at least €45,000 (and often more than €70 or even €100,000) to buy a high-end electric model, for example a Tesla 6 sedan or a Mercedes 7 SUV. When acquiring a new vehicle, you should also know that the discount of an electric model is generally faster than that of a thermal model on the second-hand market..
The environmental impact of batteries
Another disadvantage: the batteries have a limited lifespan. Their energy storage capacities continue to grow. But the level of autonomy is reduced over the years, and the battery must be replaced when its capacity drops below the fateful 70% mark (often after eight or ten years of service). The electric traction batteries of Peugeot’s electric or rechargeable hybrid cars are, for example, guaranteed for 8 years (or 160,000 km), with a minimum capacity of 70% 8 .
In addition, most of them are lithium batteries. However, the extraction of this rare metal, much courted, is done in unecological conditions in Australian, Argentine, Chilean and Bolivian mines. Several disadvantages are due to its exploitation, which generates emissions of fine particles and requires very large quantities of water, in regions that are sometimes subject to severe droughts.
The recycling of used batteries is another issue in the European Union. Recycling channels for lithium-ion batteries are currently being set up. The players in this sector dismantle and recover the ferrous metals from the batteries or they recondition them so that they can be used for stationary energy storage, for example on boats.
It only takes a minute to fill up with petrol or diesel, allowing you to travel several hundred kilometers with a combustion engine car. But you have to wait much longer to achieve comparable autonomy on the electric battery of a Renault Zoe, for example. The charging time will be several tens of minutes, on a fast charging station, and several hours, via a charging station or a reinforced socket at a private individual. It can be a little longer and more complicated to equip yourself with an individual charging station in a condominium. Because if there is a right to take, allowing any owner or tenant to install a charging station at his expense, this installation can only be done after having first informed the owner (for tenants) or the syndic of co-ownership (for owners). The user concerned must also imperatively install an individual meter and pay all the sums related to the energy thus consumed.
The availability of terminals in the public space
Although it is developing at high speed, the charging infrastructure network remains insufficient in relation to demand, with around 71,000 terminals distributed throughout the national territory (including some accelerated terminals and very fast superchargers), according to a census carried out at the end of September 2022 by the Avere association (National Association for the Development of Electric Mobility) 9. This is an inconvenience for motorists. If necessary, you have to look for and find a charging station nearby, via a dedicated application such as Chargemap or Nextcharge, and hope that it has a compatible terminal available at the moment T. In the case long journeys, it is best to plan one or two charging stages before departure on the chosen route, at places equipped with charging stations, compatible with the socket of your vehicle and with your means of payment.
Long associated with inter-city travel, electric cars now cover very long distances without any problems. Many manufacturers offer models with a range (on a single charge) of over 300 km or even 600 km. But interested motorists still fear being limited in their movements , for lack of being able to easily and quickly recharge their batteries when they wish. To guard against possible dry breakdowns, eco-driving is recommended : it reduces energy consumption, CO 2 emissions and the risk of accidents.
Balance sheet? Beyond their environmental benefits, electric cars now offer several advantages in use for motorists. The cost of recharging is much lower than the cost of fuel; the maintenance costs of an electric vehicle are significantly lower than those of a petrol or diesel vehicle; and the vehicles are quiet and fun to drive.