5 Important EV Topics


Many automobile drivers know little about EVs or have misinformation.  This list will help people considering purchasing an EV or wanting to learn more about this dynamic technology.

1. Range

Electric vehicle ranges have increased dramatically over the last 8 years.  In 2011, Nissan began producing the Leaf. With a range of 84 miles, the leaf offered urban drivers a quality EV for city driving.  However, even the most enthusiastic EV drivers would find a 300 mile trip challenging. Gas vehicle drivers like to have at least 300 miles of range.  2019 brings us closer to this magical range number. The Tesla Model 3 provides 240 miles (standard) to 310 miles (long) of range.  The 2019 Nissan Leaf almost doubles the 2011 with 150 miles of range and the Nissan Leaf Plus allows 226 miles.  Other models like the Chevy Bolt and the Hyundai Kona Electric also have ample range.  As battery prices continue to fall, miles will continue to increase.  In addition, to increased range, charging networks have expanded.

2.   Charging

Significant charging networks have developed across the United States.  Tesla installed 1441 charging stations with over 12,000 chargers. Other EVs depend on 3rd party charging providers like Blink, Charge Point, and Electrify America (from VW settlement).  Chargers are either Level 2 or DC Quick Charge.  When EV drivers need a charge while traveling, they are looking for a Quick Charge which can recharge vehicle batteries to roughly 80% in 20-30 minutes.  Level 2 chargers are more prolific, cost less, and are likely to be used while working, shopping, and spending time in a particular location. Level 2 chargers typically provide 25 miles of range per hour of charging.  Although, they can provide up to 70 miles of range per hour but these chargers are more expensive. Many EV owners have a level 2 charger at home and charge overnight (which helps the grid as demand is lower). Level 2 chargers use 240V, like an electric clothes dryer, and cost from $500-$1000 (installed).  More workplaces and other institutions like libraries and hotels are installing EV chargers to help attract employees and patrons.

3.   Maintenance

EVs have very little maintenance compared with gasoline cars.  One major reason for this is that there are very few moving parts in an electric vehicle.  Internal combustion engine cars may have thousands of parts while an EV may only have a couple of hundred.  A Canadian study found savings for EVs on maintenance and fuel of $27,000 over 10 years.  This savings would likely be enough to purchase another EV. Additionally, EV drivers do not need to get oil changes or go to gas stations.  Brakes also last much longer on EVs as they use the motors and regenerative braking to stop. The primary maintenance on an EV are tires and battery coolant (if the EV has battery coolant, it needs to be changed roughly every 3-4 years--check with manufacturer).

4.   Performance

The Tesla Model 3 Performance model goes 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds.  That is fast. If you are unsure about EV performance, test drive any of them.  The acceleration provides sports car performance, because EVs have instant torque.  This means when you hit the accelerator, no gears are shifted to get you up to speed.  A common misconception about electric cars is that they are unresponsive and slow. Explode this myth for yourself by taking a test drive.  EVs provide an incredible and fun driving experience.

5.   Batteries

A last and short word about batteries.  They are lithium-ion (require no water) and maintain their charging ability across years.  So much so that most EVs have 8 to 10 year warranties on their batteries.