Sometimes, there’s some questions you can’t quite get an answer to. When it comes to electric cars, I came up on 25 of the most frequently asked questions. Below, I broke down each one with a detailed answer:
Top 25 List
Table of Contents
Question #1. How Do Electric Cars Work?
- Induction Motors
- Thermal Cooling System
- Single-Speed Transmission
- 12v Battery
- Regenerative Breaking System
- Onboard Charger
- Power Electronics Controller
- Onboard Main Computer
Question #2. How long do electric cars last?
Question #3. Where can you charge an electric car?
Question #4. Who makes electric cars today?
Question #5. How much do electric cars cost?
These things depreciate just like gas powered cars. The more there are on the road, the more likely you’ll find them heavily discounted.
Question #6. How long does it take for electric cars to charge?
Question #7. Why are electric cars so ugly?
Question #8. How fast can electric cars go?
Question #9. How Much Is A Charging Station for Electric Cars?
Question #10. How do government incentives work for EV's?
Question #11. Why don't electric cars have solar panels on their roof?
Answer. That’s no enough space to make worthwhile power. We are talking about days if not weeks to get a full charge.
The area required for even just 0.5kW of power is far larger than any electric cars roof. At the end of the day, it doesn’t make sense, unless far more effective solar tech is invented.
Question #12. Which electric cars are most popular around the world?
Answer. The most popular cars in the world are probably Teslas. Now, that does not mean they are the most driven cars in any given country. In the USA, Teslas is very popular because they are fairly affordable and are made domestically.
On the other hand, in countries like France and many other parts of Europe, the Renualt Zoe is the most popular economical EV on the market.
Question #13. How much electricity do electric cars use?
Question #14. How far can an electric car go?
Question #15. Can you drive long distances in an electric car?
Answer. Yes, but it depends on where you live. In countries like Norway, you can go anywhere with almost any electric car due to their extensive network of chargers. Tesla would have no problem due to their HUGE battery packs.
In the United States, after Tesla became popular (for good reason) for their charging network, Electrify America made their network almost just as good. With the exception of states like Hawaii, Alaska and North Dakota, Tesla Supercharger stations can be found, in addition to Electrify America stations.
Question #16. What are the fees to charge at level 3 charging stations?
Answer: In the beginning, charging stations charged very little or nothing at all. Today, charging stations tend to charge either per kWh delivered or per minute of charging.
EVgo tends to be $0.15-$0.30/minute of charging (no matter what speed you are charging at). ChargePoint has $0.15-$0.30/minute (sometimes more). Also the biggest network in the USA (for now) is Electrify America, they charge both per minute and per kWh delivered. The fee type depends on which state you live in. In Virginia for example, they charge $0.31/kWh delivered while in Tennessee they charge $0.15/minute charged.
Question #17. What do BEV, PHEV and HEV stand for?
Answer: The following terms are broken down:
- Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
- Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
- Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)
Question #18. What about "your just moving the tailpipe from the charger, to the local power station" argument. Is it any true?
Question #19. How often do you need to replace an EV's battery?
Question #20. What happens to batteries after they die?
Answer: Batteries are usually recycled into other metal products such as rebar or angle iron. In almost all cases, batteries are shredded and sent to steel mills.
Question #21. Do electric cars emit EMF's?
Answer: This is a great question. Certain EMF’s are known to cause harm in the long term for any living organisms. Low levels of radiation won’t pose a high risk. Electric cars when in use, don’t emit anything of significance. On the flip side, vehicles equipped with 4G or even 5G connections DO emit radiation, just like your cell phone.
Question #22. Since EV's are silent, aren't they more dangerous to pedestrians?
Answer: They can, but to a limited extent. Electric cars produce far less noise, resulting in a lesser sense of awareness for pedestrians. Most modern electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles create an artificial noise at very low speeds to warn pedestrians of a vehicle approaching them. This noise sounds identical to a subtle engine hum at low speeds.
Question #23. Are hydrogen-electric cars viable?
Answer: Hydrogen cars have a long way to go in terms of practicality and usefulness. In select areas (mostly in California), there are hydrogen fuel stations which allow you to get a full tank in as little as 5-10 minutes.
Question #24. Can electric cars self-recharge?
Answer: No they cannot. But to an extent, EV’s and PHEV’s can use regenerative breaking to regenerate a fraction of their battery juice. With some PHEV’s like the Chevrolet Volt and Hyundai Sonata, there’s a mode where you can recharge 50-80% of a battery while driving using the gasoline engine. While mode gives you electric range, you will reduce fuel efficiency during the recharge period.
Question #25. Electric cars are too expensive, right?
Answer: Don’t be mislead, electric cars are not expensive if you shop properly. Anything brand new costs the full price, obviously. Mass produced EV’s always drop in value in just a few years due to their high production volume and availability.
A new Kia Soul EV from 2015 cost just over $30K USD. In the used market, they can be had for $8,000-$11,000 USD in 2021.
Over 50% depreciation in just 3-4 years… THAT is the benefit of mass produced EV’s. Better yet, if you want to save money on a NEW electric or plug-in hybrid, consider looking at federal tax incentives found here.
BONUS Question. What are the most common terms used with electric cars?
Answer: Here’s are the most commonly used terms with electric vehicles:
- Kilowatt Hours (kWh): a measure of electrical energy equivalent to a power consumption of 1,000 watts for 1 hour.
- Battery Degradation: a term used to identify loss of battery storage.
- Driving Range: how far an electric vehicle can travel at its current state of charge.
- Brake Regeneration: is a term used when your vehicle puts electricity back into the battery by methods such as brakes.
- GOM (guess-o-meter): refers to the driving range in an electric vehicle.