FAQs

What is an electric vehicle (EV)?               

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) charge from an electrical grid or in part by a regenerative braking system.  BEVs run only on electricity and contains no internal gas-powered engine.  Most have all electric ranges of 80 - 150 miles, while a few luxury models have ranges up to 400 miles.  When the battery is depleted, it can take from 30 minutes (with fast charging) up to nearly a full day (with Level 1 charging) to recharge the battery. BEVs can plug directly into a standard 110-volt outlet.

               

Are EVs actually affordable?       

Yes. With more than two dozen EVs available under $40,000 (before incentives), there is an EV for every pocketbook. In addition to an affordable sticker price, the operations and maintenance of an EV are a quarter of the cost of owning and operating a traditional gas-powered vehicle. Over the life of ownership, you will save thousands of dollars driving an electric vehicle compared to an equally priced gas-powered vehicle.

               

Will I be able to drive long distances? What type of range do EV’s have?

Yes. The average person drives only 37 miles per day. If that’s you, then there are dozens of cars that will work for your life. If you require more range, there are many vehicles with ranges between 100 and 400 miles per charge.

If you are planning a long road trip, you can use electric charging infrastructure maps at Electrify America, EVGo, and Chargepoint to help map out your charging needs.

               

Do electric vehicles really reduce emissions? How does buying an EV help the environment?       

Vehicle emissions fall into two categories:  operating and energy gathering.  EVs produce zero short term operating emissions which improves the overall air quality.  Energy gathering emissions are the pollution emitted through the fuel gathering process.  However, the fuel gathering process for EVs on average produces fewer emissions when compared to regular gasoline energy gathering processes. This is because the electricity generation cycle usually produces less than the gasoline or diesel cycle.  The electricity generation cycle can be further minimized when using renewable sources of energy to power EV charging, like solar, wind or hydro power.

Total lifetime CO2 emissions over the life of an EV based on standard non-renewable electricity generation is approximately 35-42 metric tons of CO2, and for renewable electricity is approximately 14-21 metric tons which is less than 50-53 metric tons compared to operating and energy gathering process for a gasoline-powered vehicle.

               

Where can I charge an EV?          

Eighty percent of EV owners charge at home, which can be done by simply plugging into a 110-volt wall outlet or by installing a Level 2 home charger. If you’re unable to charge at home, Arizona has 481 stations with 1,417 charging outlets available through seven charging networks.

If you’re new to electric cars, or just want to understand charging better, we recommend using the PlugShare or Chargeway app. The Chargeway app customizes results that fit vehicles’ preferences, so you can find quick, convenient charging anywhere.

               

How long does an EV take to charge?     

 FAQs stats

 

Are EVs slower than gas-powered vehicles? Am I sacrificing performance with an EV?      

No. In typical city driving, EVs are much quicker and more fun to drive than gas-powered vehicles. EVs have maximum torque available even at a complete standstill. That instant throttle, combined with a low center of gravity, make for an exhilarating driving experience.

               

Do EVs have a short lifespan?    

Electric vehicle batteries are estimated to be serviceable for 10 years or longer. All manufacturers offer a lengthy warranty. Most EVs have shown excellent performance due to sophisticated battery management systems and cooling technology.  Newer Evs comes with a battery warranty that spans at least eight years or 100,000 miles.  As with all warranties, the specific details and exclusions vary among automakers.

               

Can a battery from an EV be recycled?   

When your electric vehicle reaches the end of its life, your vehicle dealer can recycle and repurpose the battery for alternate energy storage purposes.

               

Do EVs need regular tune-ups? 

EVs generally need less service than gas-powered engines. A gas engine has more than a thousand moving parts. Your electric motor has just three. With fewer parts, there are fewer things that can go wrong. Typical EV maintenance consists of rotating tires once or twice a year and replacing brake fluid every few years.

               

Can the vehicle be towed?          

Yes and no. Unlike gas-powered vehicles, EV motors are connected to the wheels, so they require additional considerations when towing. Your owner’s manual will provide safe towing methods specific to your vehicle.

               

What happens if my EV runs out of charge?         

Your vehicle will alert you when your charge is starting to get low. It will typically take extra precautions to curtail non-essential vehicle functions to extend your battery range as well. If you do run out of a charge, you will need to have your vehicle towed to your home or a charging station.

               

Can I drive in the rain and/or take the vehicle through a car wash?           

                Yes. EV batteries are completely contained and protected from the elements.

               

Do I need any special training to drive an electric vehicle?            

                No. But here is some basic information for new EV drivers.

               

Will my electric car be able to cover my commute?         

A lot of potential electric vehicle drivers suffer from so-called "range anxiety", which is the fear of their car's battery dying mi-trip.  They hear that an EV can only go 100 mils on a single charge and think, "but what if I have to drive 101 miles?" And that's a valid concern.  Yet in reality, the average person drives 37 miles a day.  This is well within the range of even the smallest electric car battery, even if it’s only half charged.  Check out the range per electric car model here.

               

What will affect my electric car's range?

How far your electric car can drive on a single charge depends on the weather conditions, the weight your car is carrying (luggage/people), car amenities like heating and A/C, and of course, the car's battery capacity.

               

I live in the Phoenix area and it gets hot here, will the extreme heat effect my cars electric battery?          

Many factors can reduce the overall range of an EV when summer brings the extreme heat.  Between journeys, there are several ways to get your battery into the best possible condition to increase your range and manage your battery life.

1. Leave your car plugged in:  Keep your vehicle plugged in between journeys.  The vehicle won't overcharge beyond the limit you set for it, but it will use electricity to power the cooling system should this be required.  If the battery gets too hot, a mechanical cooling system will kick in to keep the battery in its safe operating limits.

2. Limit your overnight charge:  If you chaerge your battery too fast or too high a capacity, it will get too hot, and the battery management system will drain it again.  The optimum charge for an electric vehicle car battery sits at around 80%, at 100% it can get too hot.  The best practice is to only charge to 100% if you have a long drive ahead.

3. Preconditioning:  Most new Evs have a "preconditioning" setting.  The vehicle will ready itself for you and optimize battery temperature for a set time of departure.  Preconditioning systems typically pulls power directly from the outlet by default, so your car will be in peak driving condition before you go, all without draining your battery.

4. Where possible, leave the vehicle in the shade:  If you can leave the vehicle in a shady place or in the garage while plugged in, it will reduce the need for the battery management system to kick in, while also reducing the need to use air conditioning and other active cooling systems while driving.

5. Recharging:  When driving your electric vehicle in hot weather, consider your charging needs carefully.  On longer trips, it can pay to do smaller, more frequent fast charges, because fast charging heats the battery and the battery management system must work harder to keep it at optimum efficiency.  If you regularly charge the battery to 100% and then drain it almost to empty, you will shorten the overall life of the EV battery.  Research has shown you get an increased lifespan from an EV battery when it is neither discharged too much nor excessively charged to full capacity.

6. Limit cooling in the cabin:  Heating and cooling the cabin steals energy that could otherwise be used for propulsion. All of which means less driving range in hot weather.  While every EV will experience a significantly shorter driving range in hotter conditions, the results vary widely depending on the temperature and your drive cycle and climate control settings.  But a good estimate is that range will be reduced by roughly 20 to 30 percent.

               

Does an EV battery lose its state of charge while the vehicle is turned off?            

Yes.  Every battery ever made self-discharges.  Newer lithium-ion batteries used in EVs are better at maintaining their state of charge than certain other types of batteries, but there is still some level of self-discharge.  In addition, when an EV is parked in extreme ambient conditions it uses energy to either heat or cool the battery pack to keep it at a safe temperature.

               

Is it safe to drive an EV in a flooded area?             

Regardless of whether it's an EV or one with an internal combustion engine, it is never safe to drive in flooded conditions.  Evs have significant protections built in to reduce the chances of electrocution, and there are measures to make sure components do not become contaminated by moisture, but full submersion is a different story.  Even if you drive into a flooded condition by accident you likely won't die from electrocution in an EV.  But just be smart and don't drive into any sort of deep water in any vehicle.

               
When are EVs going to be affordable?   

That depends on your definition of affordable.  Although many Evs still have higher starting prices than their gasoline counterparts, that price difference is predicated to narrow as fuel-economy standards rise and the cost of batteries goes down.  Consider the money today's EVs can save you in fuel and maintenance costs during the course of ownership, as well as the many thousands in available federal tax credits, and EVs might already be more affordable than you think.  In fact, figuring in the tax credit, several EVs already cost considerably less than the average transaction price of a new vehicle in the US, which stood at $35,538 in February 2020 according to industry analytics firm ALG.  A considerable number of used EVs are currently in the marketplace with remaining battery capacity that have a lower starting price.