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:
Question #1. How Do Electric Cars Work?
- Induction Motors
- Thermal Cooling System
- Single-Speed Transmission
- Regenerative Breaking System
- 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?
Question #5. How Much Do Electric Cars Cost?
Question #6. How Long Do Electric Cars Take To Charge?
Question #7. Why Are Electric Cars 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 EV Tax Credits Work for EV's and PHEV's in the US?
Question #11. Why Don't Electric Cars Have Solar Panels?
Answer. The simple answer to that is it would take FAR TOO LONG to fully charge to 100%. 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.
Question #12. What Is The Worlds Most Popular Electric Car?
Answer. Nissan Leaf or the Tesla Model S depending on the market. In areas such as Europe, you got the Renault Zoe, Volkswagen eGolf and Nissan Leaf being the most popular electric cars due to their affordable prices.
In places like the United States, Tesla is the most popular electric car brand.
Question #13. How Much Electricity Does An Electric Car Use?
Question #14. How Far Can An Electric Car Go?
Question #15. Can You Travel Cross Country In An Electric Car?
Answer. Yes, depending on which country that is of course. 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. Cars like the 1st generation Nissan Leaf on the other hand, might prove to be troublesome in with their limited range.
In the United States, Tesla has the only network that extends through most states. With the exception of states like Hawaii, Alaska and North Dakota, there’s supercharger on almost all major routes.
When using apps like PlugShare, you can plan your route using fast charging stations with brands like Blink, Electrify America, Greenlots, EvGo, and many more. The issue with those (for now) is that they aren’t reliable. It’s not too uncommon to get to a station and it’s not working.
Question #16. How Much Does It Cost To Charge Electric Car at Charging Station?
Answer: While there’s still many that won’t charge you a dime, there’s just as many others that do. 90% or more of level 2 chargers are absolutely free. Level 3 chargers can sometimes be free, but often cost at least a few dollars (6$-10$ on average).
When it comes to using level 3 charging, the bigger your battery pack, the more you pay.
Question #17. What Does PHEV Mean and Stand For?
Answer: It stands for PLUG-IN HYBRID ELECTRIC VEHICLE.
Question #18. What About Overall Emissions, Including The Car and The Power Plant?
Question #19. How Often Do You Have To Replace The Battery?
Question #20. Where Do Batteries End Up?
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 Electromagnetic Radiation?
Answer: While most car batteries are a form of DC power and do not typically emit EMF radiation, a strong temporary field of DC voltage that is being emitted when charging.
Question #22. Is My Electric/Hybrid Car Dangerous To Pedestrians?
Answer: Yes, but to an 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.
Question #23. What About Hydrogen Cars?
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 Charge?
Answer: No they cannot. But to an extent, EV’s and PHEV’s can use regenerative breaking to get back a fraction of their battery juice. In 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.
Question #25. Electric Cars Are Too Expensive, Right?
Answer: Do 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 are $12K-$15K USD and going down in price year after year.
Over 50% depreciation in just 3-4 years… THAT is the benefit of mass produced EV’s.
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.