Electric cars are all the rage right now, favored by many for their eco-friendly benefits and low running costs. However, they’re not perfect. In fact, some reports suggest that electric vehicles (EVs) have even more problems than traditional gas-powered vehicles. And this can cause headaches for EV owners, or those considering the switch to an electric car.
Fortunately, nearly every problem has a solution. This guide will list some common electric car problems, as well as their potential solutions.
Battery Gets Weaker Over Time
The battery is the beating heart of any electric car. It’s what powers the vehicle and allows it to drive. Unfortunately, even the best batteries wear down over time. And, as EV batteries degrade over time, they aren’t able to hold the same level of charge as before. This can reduce the vehicle’s driving range, meaning that owners have to stop and recharge more often.
Solution: Battery degradation is a natural and inevitable process. However, owners can reduce the rate at which their EV batteries degrade by avoiding charging their cars too long or simply charging up to 80%, rather than 100% every time. It’s also recommended to have the battery serviced and inspected each year.
An interesting fact about electric cars is that they’re usually heavier than similarly-sized gas models. This is because their batteries tend to weigh more than combustion engines. And that extra weight takes a toll on the tires. The treads get worn down faster than they would on traditional cars, and pressure levels also drop more quickly
Solution: A simple fix for this problem is to check the tires often, adjusting pressure levels as needed and checking the treads. Investing in tire rotation service – in which the tires are switched around on the vehicle – can help to even out the wear levels and help the tires last longer. Owners may also like to consider buying and fitting low-rolling resistance tires.
Inconsistent Charging Times
A lot of common electric car problems are connected to the charging process. Owners may find that their cars charge inconsistently, sometimes taking much longer to get back to 100%. Charging times also tend to vary quite a lot from manufacturer to manufacturer and model to model. This can make it hard to plan big journeys and estimate how long it’ll take to get somewhere.
Solution: Many EV manufacturers are already at work on improving charging stations and speeds. However, in the meantime, owners are encouraged to install their own home charging stations to enjoy the most consistent and convenient charging.
Confusing Charging Ports
Another issue you might encounter with electric cars like the Tesla Model S is when you’re trying to charge your car but the plug won’t fit in the port. This is because, at the moment, there are no universally compatible EV charging plugs, which can make things confusing for new owners.
Solution: The EV industry is in talks to possibly bring in universal plugs in the future. Until then, owners need to make sure they know which plug works with their chosen vehicle and check online to find the nearest compatible stations.
Lack of Local Charging Stations
In big cities, finding an EV charging station isn’t too tricky these days. However, beyond big city limits, it can be much harder to find a place to give your car’s battery a boost when it’s running low. This is particularly problematic for those who live in rural regions but still want to enjoy the benefits of an electric car.
Solution: The easiest fix if you’ve not got many charging stations near you is to have one fitted in your own home. That way, you’ve always got a place to charge nearby. In addition, more and more EV stations are being installed all over the country.
Software and Connectivity Bugs
Electric vehicles require up-to-date software to run correctly. The software helps with lots of different features, from GPS navigation to Bluetooth connectivity, in-car entertainment, and more. But, sometimes, random bugs can occur, leading to unexpected issues, like a frozen GPS screen or difficulty connecting your phone to your car’s entertainment system.
Solution: The best way to avoid any bugs is to keep your EV’s software updated. If you see a notification on the infotainment screen to tell you an update is needed, make sure to download and install it at the earliest opportunity. It usually only takes a matter of minutes, though larger updates may take several hours to download.
Frozen Charging Ports
Like any other vehicle, electric cars aren’t immune to the elements. When winter comes along, many owners struggle with frosty and frozen charging ports and port doors. That can make it impossible to charge your car or to close the door until the ice has thawed.
Solution: Some models of EVs come with defrost modes to warm up a frozen port and make any ice melt away in minutes. If your car doesn’t have that feature, or if you’re in a rush, you may be able to pour some warm water over the door and then dab it away with a towel to solve the problem.
Useful Tips to Reduce the Risk of Electric Car Problems
Here are a few bonus tips and tricks to get the best value out of your EV:
- Plan Ahead: Given that EVs have a maximum range, and charging stations aren’t yet as common as gas stations, it’s recommended to plan out long routes. Use GPS apps and maps to find places to charge up and avoid any flat battery issues.
- Time Your Charges: Following on from the previous point, it’s important to think about when you’re going to be using your car and time your charges accordingly. In most cases, the best time to charge is overnight, while you sleep.
- Drive Smartly: Efficient driving can help your battery last long and increase your EV’s expected range. That means maintaining consistent speeds, avoiding sudden stops and harsh braking, and trying to drive as smoothly and steadily as possible.
- Be Efficient with Electric Features: Lots of different features can drain your EV’s battery. That includes the likes of heated seats, air conditioning, and lighting. Remember that excessive use of these features will drain the battery faster, reducing your car’s maximum range.
Solve Electric Car Issues with Ease
Clearly, electric cars still have a way to go when it comes to maximizing efficiency and convenience. There are several problems that owners might encounter, from excessive tire wear to random software bugs. Fortunately, as this guide has shown, every problem has a solution, and EV owners can take various simple steps to get the best out of their vehicles.