Electric Vehicle’s Frequently Asked Questions Answered

Electric Vehicles (EV) are the future. We only have 50 year’s worth of oil left. It does not matter what our beliefs are; one thing is certain; we will see the oil crisis in our lifetime. 

This article is about answering all the frequently asked questions on the internet concerning electric cars. The questions and answers are not organized in any particular order.

How much does it cost to charge an electric vehicle at a charging station?

It depends on the charging stations and their policy. There are 2 ways charging stations can bill you. One, Charge rate by minute and Two, Charge rate by kWh. For example, if a network charges you $0.35/minute — which is unfair — then recharging for 25 minutes would cost you $8.75 regardless of how many recharge miles it added to your car. However, if a network charges you by kWh, such as $0.40/kWh, then charging for a 75 kWh electric vehicle would cost you $30. However, how many miles you could go with this charge depends on your vehicle efficiency. For example, 75 kWh Long Range Tesla Model 3 goes more than 315 miles, whereas 94 kWh Porsche Taycan Turbo goes 201 miles on a single charge.

Where can you charge an electric car?

Charging an electric car is not that problematic, but finding a fast charger is. However, you can recharge your electric vehicle at these locations-
1. Supercharger: Tesla owners can use Superchargers to recharge their car. These are strategically placed throughout the country and can fully charge your vehicle within 45 to 60 minutes.
2. Tesla Destination Chargers: These are strategically placed in hotels, shopping mall, parking garage almost everywhere.
3. Electrify America: If you don’t own a Tesla, You can use Electrify America fast-charging network. This is similar to the Tesla Supercharger Network.
4. At ChargePoint locations.
5. In Europe, you can also charge at Ionity charging stations.
6. At RV parks, and electric campground.
7. At EVgo Locations.

What happens if your electric car runs out of battery charge?

First of all, don’t ever allow this to happen. If you allow this to occur multiple times, it may damage your battery. But for any reason, if your electric car runs out of battery on the road, pull over to the side of the road, then call a tow company to tow your car to the nearest electric charging stations.

On a regular gas car, a roadside assistance service can deliver gas to your vehicle. However, It’s impossible to recharge an electric vehicle by a regular generator. Neither is there any roadside EV service that carries a huge battery to recharge an electric car on the road.

Is charging an electric car cheaper than gas?

Yes. Charging an electric car is almost always cheaper than a gas vehicle. For example, a Toyota Camry achieves 22 miles/gallon efficiency on the real-world test (from my own experience). Though the price of gas greatly varies depending on states, and gas company —in our area— gas costs around $3/gallon. So, To drive 10,000 it would cost me (10,000 / 22) x $3 = $1364. 

Whereas a Long Range Tesla Model 3 goes 320 miles on a single charge. It has a 75 kWh battery. So, efficiency is 320 miles / 75 kWh = 4.26 miles / kWh. In order to drive 10,000 miles, we would need 10,000 / 4.26 = 2347.42 kWh electricity. At a supercharger, electricity costs $0.28/kWh. So, the total cost to drive 10,000 miles for Model 3 would be 2347.42 x $0.28 = $657. This is almost 50% cheaper than the Toyota Camry.

How much does your electric bill go up with an electric car?

It depends on your electric vehicle battery capacity, your local electric company’s bill rate, and how frequently you recharge at home. For example, A Long Range Tesla Model 3 has a 75 kWh battery and goes 320 miles on a single charge. If your electric company charges you $0.26/kWh — including delivery fee — then to completely recharge your electric car once at home would cost you 75 x $0.26 = $19.5

What are the disadvantages of an electric car?

Range: Except Tesla, most electric cars have a range lower than 300 miles. This makes it unsuitable for long road trips.
Initial Purchasing Cost: Electric cars cost more than a gasoline vehicle.
Insurance: Due to the high initial purchasing cost, the insurance premiums also higher for an electric car.
Charging Infrastructure: Though the electric charging network is growing daily, still it is not enough. 

Does mileage matter on an electric car?

Yes, mileage does matter for an electric car. The mileage on an electric car directly correlates to the charge cycles of the vehicle’s battery. Similar to a smartphone, electric cars currently powered by lithium-ion batteries. Though electric vehicle comes with a superior battery management system, still the battery loses its capacity over time due to this charge-discharge cycle. 

For example, your new smartphone can charge quickly and hold this charge for a long time. But after a few years, not only your smartphone would take longer to recharge, but also it will discharge quickly. 

The same thing is true for an electric car. For example, if your car can go 300 miles (482 km) on a single charge, then you need to recharge it every 300 miles. To go 15,000 miles, you need 50 recharge. For 60,000 miles, you need more than 200 recharge. However, after this many cycles, your battery would lose more than 20% of its capacity (specifically true for Tesla’s). So, your 300 miles EV becomes 240 miles EV.

However, other than the car battery, almost every other component on the EV does not depend on the mileage. Such as the motor, which rarely fails on an electric car’s lifetime. Even an ICE vehicle comes with a starter motor that never fails.

Can electric cars electrocute you?

No, electric cars would never electrocute you, even in an accident or even if you submerge it in water.

Are electric cars good for long trips?

Unfortunately, except a Tesla, electric cars are not suitable for long trips. 
First, Most electric cars (except Tesla) have a low range. 
Second, EV takes a long time to recharge. Except for supercharger, fast-charging stations are not that widespread. Your long trips would become longer because of this recharge time.
Third, You can’t go to remote locations, for example, Death Valley National Park and stay for a few days without range anxiety.
Fourth, You need an extensive plan where to recharge otherwise, long trips would become a nightmare.

Can I plug my electric car into a regular outlet?

Yes. You can plug your electric car into a regular outlet to recharge it. However, it would take a long time to recharge your car. For example, a typical 110V regular outlet with 15 amp breaker would provide you a recharge rate of 2-3miles/hour. However, a 220V with a 50amp breaker can achieve a charge rate of 20-30 miles/hour. So, if you have a 300 miles electric vehicle, it would take more than 10 hours to recharge on a 220V outlet.

Do electric cars need oil?

An electric car runs on electricity. To operate it we don’t need oil but electricity. However, Electric motors and gearbox needs lubricating oil similar to engine oil or transmission oil. EV’s also needs battery coolant. Without a battery cooling system, EV battery will not last very long. Though not frequent as regular engine oil change, but electric cars do need battery coolant and motor oil change.

Are electric cars cheaper to maintain?

Yes. Electric cars are cheaper to maintain. It does not have an engine. So, no more engine oil change. Electric cars have regenerative braking technology. So the brake pad and rotor last a very long time. No need to worry about transmission failure, spark plug change, or serpentine belt breakage.

Are Tesla Superchargers free?

It depends on your Tesla model. A new Model S and Model X buyer will get unlimited free supercharging credit from Tesla. However, you have to pay for charging at a supercharger for Model 3, Model Y, and Tesla CyberTruck.

Can you charge an electric car in the rain?

Yes, it is entirely safe to charge your electric vehicle in the rain. 

Is electric car charging free?

Mostly No. Only Tesla Model S and Model X comes with unlimited free supercharging credit. Other than these, you have to pay to recharge an electric vehicle. However, charging an electric car costs way less than conventional gasoline vehicles.

Do electric cars depreciate faster?

It depends on the electric car brand and model. Where a Tesla holds most of its value over time and has high resale price, a Nissan Leaf loses most of its value within 3-4 years.

How often do electric car batteries need to be replaced?

It depends on the situation. Electric cars don’t use lead-acid batteries. In an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicle, the battery may need to be replaced every three years or so. But the electric vehicle uses a lithium-ion battery, and a brilliant battery and thermal management system. As a result, you don’t need to replace the battery for the lifetime of your electric vehicle. On top of this, every EV on the market comes with a battery warranty which is more than enough for an EV’s entire life.

Do electric cars need servicing?

Yes, electric cars do need servicing. For example, it needs battery coolant and motor oil replacement on a regular basis. However, an electric car has regenerative braking, so the brake rotor and brake pad last longer than a regular gasoline vehicle. You also need general car maintenance such as tire pressure adjustment, tire rotation, washer fluid level check, etc.

How do you calculate EV charging?

There are 2 ways charging stations can bill you. One, Charge rate by minute and Two, Charge rate by kWh. For example, if a network charges you $0.35/minute — which is unfair — then recharging for 25 minutes would cost you $8.75 regardless of how many recharge miles it added to your car. However, if a network charges you by kWh, such as $0.40/kWh, then charging for a75 kWh electric vehicle would cost you $30. However, how many miles you could go with this charge depends on your vehicle efficiency. For example, 75 kWh Long Range Tesla Model 3 goes more than 315 miles, whereas 94 kWh Porsche Taycan Turbo goes 201 miles on a single charge.

Can electric cars climb hills?

Yes. Electric cars can climb hills very easily. Electric car’s motors have instantaneous and constant torque. Almost all EV also comes with automatic electronic torque control. All these features help an electric vehicle to perform better on uphill than a gasoline vehicle.

The exciting thing is on the downhill; an electric car can use regenerative braking to slow it down. This has 2 benefits. Firstly, It recharges the battery, and Secondly, It helps the brake pad and rotor to last longer. For an ICE vehicle, it’s impossible.

Is an electric car worth it?

Yes, it is completely worth it, and it is the future. An electric vehicle does not need a regular engine oil change, spark plug change, does not have any serpentine belt, its brake pad and rotor last longer than traditional vehicle due to regenerative braking, and it cost less to operate an EV than gasoline vehicle because electricity cost less than gas.

What is the best electric car for the money?

Tesla Model 3 is the best electric car for the money.

Do you really save money with an electric car?

Yes, on long term ownership, you save money with an electric car. It requires very few maintenances than a regular gas car, and it also costs less to travel the same distance than a gas car — because electricity costs less than gas.

Do electric cars emit CO2?

Electric cars do not emit any CO2. However, if the electricity is produced from a coal or natural gas plant other than solar or wind energy firm, then this is not clean electricity. So, though the electric vehicle does not emit any CO2 directly, it may be responsible for indirect CO2 emissions.

Does electric car have gears?

Except for a few electric cars, most of them do not have gears. For example, Porsche Taycan comes with 2 automatic gear systems for efficiency at high speed. However, Tesla vehicles do not have any traditional gears.

Can an electric car explode?

No, not really. Though an electric car uses a lithium-ion battery, it also comes with a battery management system. If in any case, it detects any battery overheat malfunction, it will reduce power or shutdown. A lithium-ion battery also does not catch fire instantly; instead, it emits smoke first, then it catches fire, giving enough time to passengers to take safety measures. Even if EV does catch fire, it will never explode.

So far, Electric vehicle’s fire incident number is very few compared to gasoline vehicles. Though there are a few electric vehicle fire reports throughout the world, there have been no reports of an electric car exploding.

Are electric cars safe in accidents?

Yes, electric cars are safer than a gasoline vehicle for the following reasons- Firstly, It does not have an engine on the front of the vehicle, so on front collision, your EV has more crumple zone. Secondly, the EV battery is placed on the floor of the vehicle, so it has a lower center of gravity. This makes an electric car impossible to roll over in an accident. Thirdly, every electric vehicle comes with advanced safety electronics. In an accident, the vehicle cuts all the battery power to prevent any battery fire. Fourthly, an EV does not catch on fire instantly, but rather it releases smoke first, and then it catches fire.

Do electric cars charge while driving?

If you are coming down a hill, then an electric car can use its regenerative braking to slow down itself and produce electricity in the process. This electricity then recharges the battery.

Can you take a Tesla on a road trip?

Yes. Tesla is the best electric vehicle for a road trip. Tesla has built a vast charging network called supercharger, which is strategically placed throughout the country besides major highways. Tesla also has a built-in route planner. If you use this route planner, it will reroute you through every supercharger necessary to reach your destination without depletion of your battery.

Are electric cars cheaper to insure?

It all depends on your location, your driving records, price of your electric vehicle, your age, whether you financed or leased your car, vehicle models, etc. However, we have seen that sometimes electric car insurance premiums are higher than a gasoline vehicle. For example, Tesla vehicles are very expensive to repair. A simple scratch could cost you thousands of dollars. That’s why some insurance companies charge more to insure Tesla. The best thing is to call your local insurance company for a quote.

Can you overcharge an EV?

No. Every EV comes with an advanced charge control system. It has many types of protection systems in place. For example, when your vehicle gets fully charged, it will not charge the battery anymore, even if it is plugged.

How long does Tesla battery last?

Tesla currently working for a battery that lasts for a million miles. However, a study has shown that a Tesla battery can easily last more than 400,000 miles without significant battery degradation.

Do electric cars lose value?

Yes, but it all depends on the brand of your vehicle. Tesla practically does not depreciate, but a Nissan Leaf loses virtually all of its value within 3-4 years.

Does the government subsidize electric cars?

No, The government does not subsidize electric cars directly (Gas and Oil industry do enjoy direct government subsidy). However, to lower the up-front costs of an electric vehicle purchase, the federal government and some local states do have some financial incentives, such as federal tax credits or EV rebates. For example, for new EV purchases, IRS gives up to $7,500 tax credit, New York state has a $2,000 EV rebate program, etc.

Can I install my own EV charging point?

Yes, you can. Moreover, You can charge an electric car through a regular 110V or 220V outlet. For example, On a NEMA 5-15, which is a standard household outlet — 110V / 15 amp breaker — you can recharge your electric vehicle at a charging speed of around 3 miles/hour. However, On a NEMA 6-50 outlet — 240V/50 amp breaker — you can get a charging rate of about 20-30miles/hour depending on vehicle models and manufacture.

Can electric cars go fast?

Yes, it can go very fast. Actually, electric cars are faster than a gasoline vehicle.