Electric vehicles continue to grow in popularity. In fact, EV sales in Canada increased by 125% in 2018. However, even though there are more EVs on the road than ever, they still remain a mystery to many people. To shed some light on driving electric, here are 8 electric vehicle FAQs.
1 – How far can electric cars go on one charge?
Currently, the average range is 140 to 450 km (87 to 280 mi) on a single charge. This varies between the make and model of the vehicle.
Some people are surprised to learn that range is also affected by your driving habits and the road condition. By adopting a few small habits, you can actually extend your range by a significant amount.
Coasting to a stop, using your heating and air conditioning only as needed and driving at a steady pace are among the techniques you can use to increase the battery life.
Click here to learn more ways to extend the range.
2 – Can I take an EV through a car wash?
Since EVs run on electricity, you might think that they don’t do well in water. Actually, electric cars are completely safe to go through car washes, puddles, in the rain, and so on.
Manufacturers put electric vehicles through extensive safety testing before they even hit the market. This includes driving them through flood levels of water to ensure the engine and battery don’t leak nor take in water.
Elon Musk said that the “Model S floats well enough to turn into a boat for short periods,” although he obviously doesn’t recommend doing that.
So, yes. Electric vehicles are entirely safe in a car wash.
3 – What’s the lifespan of a battery?
Just like the engine in a gas vehicle, electric vehicle batteries are built to last for many years. They are typically covered by an 8-year manufacturer warranty. However, batteries usually last much longer than that.
Once it’s time to replace the battery, it costs about 1/3 of the original price of the vehicle.
4 – Where do you charge an EV?
You can charge an EV pretty much anywhere you go. In fact, you may have noticed EV charging stations in a myriad of public locations, like at shopping malls, on city streets or in parking garages.
FLO is Canada’s largest network of EV charging stations. Click here to find a charging station near you.
And another place where you can charge an electric vehicle? Right in your driveway. That’s right, you don’t even have to leave home to fuel up your vehicle.
Want to learn more about charging five times faster at home with FLO? Click here to learn about FLO Home, the Level 2 charging station for electric vehicles.
5 – How long do they take to charge?
The time it takes to charge an EV depends on the charging station you use, as well as the particular vehicle. There are three different charging levels – 1, 2 and 3.
The basic charging, Level 1, can take anywhere from nine to twenty hours to give a full battery.
Next, Level 2 charging stations take four to five hours to fully charge a battery.
Finally, Level 3, or fast charging stations, can deliver a full battery in around 30 minutes.
Click here to learn EV charging basics.
6 – What’s the difference between electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrids?
You may have heard of the different types of environmentally friendly vehicles – EVs, PHEVs and hybrids. So, what’s the difference between them?
Electric vehicles (EVs), or battery electric vehicles as you may have heard them called, run purely on electricity. This means you have to plug them into a charging station to refill the battery.
Plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) are a little more complicated. They have an electric engine that runs on electricity. This means you can plug it to charge, just like an electric vehicle. However, they also have a gas engine. So, when the electric portion of the vehicle runs out of power, the gas engine kicks in to fuel it.
Then there are hybrid vehicles. Hybrids are similar to a regular gas vehicle and are not electric. The main difference is that they reduce fuel consumption from the energy that is generated at lower speeds and while braking.
To read a more detailed explanation of the differences between EVs, PHEVs and Hybrids, click here.
7 – What kind of maintenance do they need?
Electric vehicles require a lot less maintenance than gas cars. Indeed, no gas engine means no oil, transmission and brake fluid changes, spark plugs, wires, timing belts, air filter, etc.
Some of the maintenance you can expect include tire rotations, brake, coolant and windshield washer fluids, wiper blades and battery replacement. This also means less cost and more peace of mind!
Please see your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specific details on maintenance.
8 – How much does it cost to charge one?
Just like public parking, there are no set prices for using a public charging station, and many are actually free of charge. Paid charging costs on average$1/hour for a Level 2 and $15/hour for a fast charging station.
The rate of charging at home depends on local electricity. For example, if you drive 40 km a day and live in BC, it would cost $29 a month.
You can even get an estimate based on your location and vehicle by using CAA’s Electric Vehicle Cost Calculator here. Please check with your utility for official charging rates.