Top 12 EV Questions
07/10/19 • Tony Haring, EZ-EV Customer Success Analyst
Despite being a viable technology for nearly a decade, people still have a lot of questions about EVs. We had our experts compile this list of the top 12 questions people have about EVs and answered them.
1.) What is an electric vehicle?
An electric vehicle is an automobile that uses electric motors to operate. Electric vehicles come in the form of battery electric vehicles or “BEVs”, which rely solely on battery power, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles or “PHEVs”, which can use battery power and gas power to operate.
2.) What EV's are available and where?
There are 41 electric vehicle models available on the market today and counting! Models available span a broad range of brands including: Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Kia, Jaguar, Nissan, Volvo, and more.
While most electric vehicles are available nationwide, some have limited availability depending on where you live. Always do your research, or sign up here to be connected with an EV advisor before visiting a dealership.
3.) How expensive are EVs compared to gas vehicles?
With models available in every price range, there is an EV for every lifestyle. A common misconception about fully electric and plug-in hybrid EVs is that they come with a hefty price tag. While this may be true for most luxury brands, practical models are much more affordable. Models can be found from as low as $25,350 for a Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid to as high as $62,000 for a Volvo XC90 Plug-in Hybrid.
Interested in further savings? Create an account here and gain access to exclusive discounts on electric vehicles in your region.
As for cost of fuel, the average price for electricity in America is 12 cents per kilowatt hour. This means if you owned a 2019 Nissan Leaf Model S with a 40 kWh battery, it would cost approximately $4.80 for a full charge (EPA rating of 150 miles range) at home.
When using public charging stations, rates will depend on the provider. Chargepoint costs $1.50/hr when using Level 2 (240V) charging and $0.20/minute when using DC fast charging. Read more about DC fast charging here.
4.) Where can I charge an EV?
When it’s time to charge your EV, you have three great options: at home, at work, or on the go.
At home you can plug in your vehicle to a standard 120V wall outlet or choose to upgrade and install a 240V home charger which will result in a quicker charge.
Many work sites have charging stations installed on-site. Inquire with your employer or developer to find out what options are available.
Public charging stations will allow you to charge when you’re on the go. PlugShare has a great application with an interactive map of available public charging stations. It’ll even show you what kind of charger it is so you can create any necessary accounts before you get there.
5.) How do EVs perform on the road?
If you talk to enough friends or family members about electric vehicles, you’ll inevitably hear someone mention that “electric vehicles drive like golf carts.” While older models from years ago may not have driven with a lot of power, many models today accelerate at shocking speeds and often outperform gas powered vehicles of similar sizes.
EVs are able to deliver adrenaline-pumping acceleration, putting their gas counterparts to shame, due to the fact that they run on an electric battery rather than an internal combustion engine (ICE). When you press the pedal in an gas-powered vehicle, the engine converts gasoline into power through a series “explosions” (hence the term internal combustion engine) in order to accelerate. To do this requires a lot of moving parts and some time to set them all in motion. On the other hand, when you press the pedal in an EV, the battery instantly sends stored electric current to the motor(s), delivering what’s referred to as “instant torque.” EV models from the sporty Tesla Model S to the more practical Nissan LEAF are renowned for their instant torque, rivaling some of the best gas-powered performance vehicles on the road.
Check out our recap video from the D.C. Auto Show here to see some of what we’re talking about...
Aside from speed, electric cars are also incredibly quiet because they don’t have an engine and no engine means less maintenance. In fact, an occasional check on the battery and brakes is all your EV needs!
6.) What kind of range do EVs have?
Electric vehicle battery technology is constantly improving, making range anxiety a thing of the past. Nissan’s “Leaf” has a range of 151 miles for base models and 226 miles in the Plus edition. The Tesla Model S has 285 miles of range and 370 miles of range in its long range edition.
Still worried about those occasional long distance trips? Many manufacturers offer free gas powered vehicles rentals throughout the year as part of your EV purchase. Still not enough? Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles can get the job done with extra gas range after the battery is drained.
7.) How do I charge an EV?
Charging an EV is as simple as charging your phone. Your car will have a hatch similar to that of a gas vehicle. Once that is open you simply slide the charger into the outlet until you hear a “click,” and you’re good to go!
Public charging stations will more than often require creating accounts online or on mobile applications. When using the PlugShare app, check to see what company owns the charger and create an account before you plug in.
8.) Does the battery come with a warranty?
When purchased new, all EV’s come with a battery warranty. The most common standard for a battery warranty is 8 years or 100,000 miles, with California offering 10 years or 150,000 miles.
9.) Are there any incentives or rebates available?
There is a federal IRS tax credit available for the purchase of new BEV or PHEV and ranges between $2,500 and $7,500 depending on the size of the battery. After a manufacturer sells 200,000 EVs in the US, the applicable tax credit amount decreases for all models under that manufacturer until the dollars are completely phased out. This phase out is currently underway for Tesla and Chevrolet. To see federal tax credit amounts checkout our showroom page or visit fueleconomy.gov.
Certain states also offer their own rebates in varying amounts. Check out our incentives page to see available incentives in your area. ClipperCreek, an electric vehicle charging station company, also has a comprehensive list of state rebates available here.
10.) Aren’t electric cars ugly?
11.) How does cold weather affect my EV?
Electric vehicles, much like gas vehicles, are affected by severe cold weather. But a common misconception about EVs is that they “freeze” or aren’t drivable in freezing temperatures. Yes, EVs are negatively affected by extreme cold temperatures, but it is equally as manageable, if not more manageable than a gas vehicle in the same conditions. In fact, it is more likely that an EV will start in sub-zero temperatures than a gas vehicle simply due to the fact that starting an EV only needs to wake up a battery, while a gas vehicle needs to wake up its battery as well as its engine.
It is true, however, that EVs experience a decrease in potential range in freezing conditions. In order to keep the battery operating efficiently, some power is needed to keep the battery warm -- power that otherwise would have been used for driving. This may shave 15%-20% off your EVs range, depending on just how cold it is outside. For most trips, this isn't an issue. But if you do happen to take a long-distance trip, you’ll just want to keep a closer eye on your range-gauge.
12.) What is the environmental impact of driving an electric vehicle?
Regardless of whether the electricity you’re using to charge your EV is clean, driving an EV prevents tailpipe CO2 and helps create a cleaner future. Read more about the impact of driving electric in our blog here.
Have a question that wasn’t answered? Email us at email@example.com to be connected with one of our EV experts.