Problems With Electric Smart Cars: 8 Known Issues (Explained)

Despite the buzz around electric smart cars and the hope that they will replace gasoline and diesel cars in the nearest future, owners of smart electric vehicles are facing more problems. 

The fight against climate change is the reason for the increased sales of electric vehicles. Carbon gas emissions contribute around 29 percent of the entire United States’ greenhouse emissions. 

However, the demand for electric cars keeps growing each month, but we cannot underestimate the problems associated with these vehicles. 

If you’re interested in getting a smart EV, you might want to know about the potential issues that can arise with these vehicles. We answer these questions in this article.

Risk of Fire

It is important to note that the battery temperature operation range of an internal-combustion engine vehicle (-30℃ to 50℃) is higher than the electric vehicle battery operation range (15℃ to 45℃).

However, the electric vehicle’s battery components are explosive, which could spark fire anytime. 

EV manufacturers have tried to solve this by separating the battery into smaller cells with firewalls to prevent thermal runaway. 

On the other hand, some electric car manufacturers use less volatile components to produce batteries.

There have been several reports of electric car batteries catching on fire, and it is even evident in vehicles that use lithium-ion batteries. Due to the combustive nature of the lithium-ion batteries in electric cars, they are susceptible to fire. 

These batteries have power cells that can short-circuit when damaged, which is why they are often encircled with a cooling shroud filled with coolant liquid to prevent external damage. 

Most ICE vehicles are safer than electric cars, and in the case of a fire outbreak, EVs are more dangerous.

It is more difficult to put out a fire on electric vehicles when they combust. 

However, Teslas rarely catch fire.

Water suppresses the impact of fire, but it may not work in putting out the fire from an electric vehicle because of so many reasons.

One, the battery packs of these vehicles are usually difficult to access because they are sealed and placed at the base of the car. Two, when on fire, lithium and other battery components are highly combustible.

We have more about problems with electric cars in this article.

Prone to Hackers

One of the issues electric car owners face is that they are susceptible to attacks from hackers.

Hackers are also leveraging the mobile FOB used by most ICE vehicles, but the cases of hacking electric cars are common because of their connectivity to the internet. 

A significant amount of components in electric vehicles can be remotely controlled, and it could lead to theft and accidents. For instance, a Chinese firm hacked the Tesla Model S in 2016, which compelled Tesla to improve its software updates. 

Read all about Teslas and Internet features here.

Charger Compatibility Issues

Electric vehicles also have compatibility issues regarding charging connectors. 

There are three varieties of DC fast charges:

  1. CHAdeMO,
  2. Tesla Super Charger,
  3. and SAE Combined Charging System.

This dependency also means we see mostly smart cars in cities (Here’s an overview of Smart car buyer demographics)

Depending on the brand of EV you use, it might be difficult to find a DC charging point that’s compatible with connector. When you’re out of town, this can be a serious issue that can trigger range anxiety.

While Nissan and Mitsubishi use the CHAdeMO, Tesla uses Tesla SuperCharger, and other electric car manufacturers utilize the SAE Combined Charging System.

Tesla’s SuperCharger network is the most ubiquitous, which puts other EV owners at a slight disadvantage.

Check also common problems with the Tesla Model 3.

Range Issues

Though it used to be an issue in the last few years, there has been an improvement, and the problem with the electric car range is a crucial factor to consider. 

Individuals who drive long distances will not like electric cars as the vehicle range drops by a massive 41% whenever the heater is used and there is a reduction in the temperature to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

I have mostly driven the Reneault Zoe which also have an unimpressive range of only 105 miles (!) and it takes around 4 hours to charge it!

Because of range anxiety, users of EV have to plan their itineraries so that there are charging points along their route. Sometimes, this may not be practical. 

Related: Do Gas-Driven or Electric Cars Have Longer Range? (Checked)

Charging Time

When you use a vehicle powered by diesel or gasoline, you can fill your tank within 5-10 minutes; the same cannot be said about electric cars. It takes considerable time to charge your electric car battery, which is determined by the speed of the charger and battery capacity. 

Tesla Model S users who use a conventional wall charger will wait for at least 8 hours.

However, the Tesla supercharger can charge the battery within an hour. 

When you compare the time for fueling an ICE car to that required to recharge an electric vehicle, you will discover that it takes longer to charge your car than refueling a fossil-fueled vehicle. 

Related: Why Do Charging Electric Cars Take So Long? (Explained)


When you compare the expenses associated with purchasing electric and fossil-fueled vehicles, you will discover that these electric smart cars cost more. 

The reason is that the components used in producing batteries are more expensive. However, there has been a reduction in the last few years, but the average price of a new electric smart car is around $30,000-$40,000.

It is more expensive to buy electric smart cars, but most consumers look at the long-term effects of not buying fuel. 

Cost Of Charging Stations

Charging stations for electric vehicles require funding for installation. However, the component expenses for the public charging station vary.

A level two charger costs around $2,500, while a DC fast charger can cost around $35,800. 

Other expenses include an interconnection with utilities, regulations, and control for the permitting procedures.

However, the main issue is determining who will be responsible for constructing these charging stations.  

Recently, most energy companies and business owners who manage shopping centers, garages, and parking stations are enticing electric smart car owners to pay for the construction of these charging stations. 

Related: How Fast Are Electric Car Batteries Improving? (Explained)

Failure of In-Car Electronics

Many electric car owners complain of issues with their car’s climate control systems, power equipment, body hardware, drive system, as well as noises and leaks. For instance, there is a general complaint about the “in-car electronics” from the 2019 Audi E-Tron model users. 

The Audi model also has exterior door light issues, and Tesla vehicles have failing temperature sensor issues in the 2020 Model S. 

The Tesla 2020 Model X users also complained about issues with seals and weather-stripping, which are responsible for water leaks and wind noise.

Many of these issues also occur in gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles. But one would expect that EV makers would have higher quality control standards considering the eye-watering price tags of their products. 

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