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EV Myths Busted

Do I Lose Performance and Power by Choosing an EV?

All things considered Electric Vehicles are generally faster than their gas powered cousins because their electric motor can generate 100% of its torque instantly. Electric motors are crazy fast -The performance version of Ford's new Mustang Mach-E reaches 60 mph in 3.7 seconds.

Are Electric Vehicles Actually Green?

From efficiency standpoint its tough to get better than an electric motor. Electric motors convert about 75% of their energy into power (instead of waste like heat). We've all seen how hot an internal combustion engine gets, which makes sense because they are only 20% efficient - 80% of the energy in a gallon of gas never makes it to the wheels and instead is lost to things like heat.

Not everyone has access to completely green sources of power like solar or wind. But the energy we get from our local power company has way less impact on the environment than an equivalent gallon of gas. Estimates show that EV's, regardless of your state, produce less pollution.

Will an EV Save Me Money?

Given today's utility rates, and the fluctuation of gas prices, this is absolutely a yes. DTE's per KWh charge can be as low as about 7.5 cents including all distribution charges. More reasonably its probably closer to 11 cents. At 11 cents per KWh 15000 miles will cost you about $550 dollars. At say 20 MPG that equivalent gas cost would be $2250 if gas is $3/gallon. That up to $1700 a year in savings! Way more if gas prices rise.

Are Electric Vehicles Expensive to Maintain?

EV's are actually way cheaper than a comparable internal combustion engine as it doesn't have as many parts, and the parts it does have are simpler to repair and manage. There's no spark plugs, valves, fuel tanks, mufflers, starters, belts, hoses, or catalytic converter (among other items) that need maintenance or replacing. It is true that the battery pack of your car likely costs more than $10k but its built to be modular so you can just fix one cell at a time, and with its comprehensive warranty you'll never have an issue you'll have to deal with out of pocket.

Can Our Electric Grid Handle All These EVs?

A resounding yes! Our current power system can handle millions of EVs. This is doubly true because most charging happens at night when the demand on our electric system is quite low. This is why if you have Time of Use pricing on your meter the rate is much lower after 11pm.

If anything electric vehicles will eventually provide more stability to our grid if they can connect wherever they park. This is because their batteries can act as buffers during times of peak demand (think brownouts in California). This is not true in many markets today, but in the grid of the future its likely you could be paid a little bit when your car helps your utility out during moments of peak demand.

Don't EVs Cost More?

The short answer is "it depends". It's pretty common to estimate that an Electric vehicle can save you a bout $1000/year compared to paying for gas. Plus EVs don't require a lot of maintenance - among other maintenance advantages an EV doesn't have oil to change. Considering a tax credit of $7500 that's available the payback of an EV can be a year or two. If gas goes back to $5/gallon it can save you closer to $3000/year if you drive 15000 miles a year.

EVs Don't Have Enough Range. Won't I Get Stranded?

No, no you wont. The new Mustang Mach-E has at least 300 miles to a charge. We all know there's a difference between the window sticker and real world performance though. Average drivers drive about 40 miles a day, and most EV drivers recharge their car at night at home.

Let's say you don't want to drop below 20% charge to feel safe - then lets think about the dead of winter when its cold outside performance of other comparable vehicles show about a 40% reduction of range when the temps drop below 0. So in a worst case scenario that 300 miles is more like 120 miles of effective charge driving however you want to drive.

When Does an Electric Vehicle's Battery Wear Out?

Turns out Automotive batteries aren't quite like the phone batteries we have. Most studies on the matter see no more than a 10% decline in battery performance over the first 50k miles. In a broad study of Nissan Leaf taxi cabs there was over 75% of battery life left after 120,000 miles of very aggressive driving and charging.

Are Electric Vehicles Safe?

HEVs, PHEVs, and EVs undergo the same rigorous safety testing as conventional vehicles sold in the United States and must meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

Battery packs meet rigorous testing standards, and vehicles are designed with insulated high-voltage lines and safety features that deactivate electric systems when they detect a collision or short circuit.

Isn't Maintenance Expensive?

Because HEVs and PHEVs have an internal combustion engine (ICE), their maintenance requirements are similar to those of conventional vehicles.

Electrical systems (battery, motor, and associated electronics) require minimal scheduled maintenance. A manufacturer's warranty of a battery typically covers 8 years/100,000 miles. Expected battery lifetime is 10-12 years under normal operating conditions.

EVs have less maintenance requirements because they have fewer moving parts and fluids to change.

Is Electricity More Expensive Than Gasoline?

Electricity is much cheaper than gasoline or diesel fuel, costing about $1.20 per gallon (of gasoline equivalent) at a nationwide average. All-electric vehicles are about three times more efficient than ICE-powered vehicles, which have earned these vehicles top spots on Fuel's list of most efficient vehicles. Most are rated at more than 100 miles per gallon (equivalent). Regenerative braking allows HEVs, PHEVs, and EVs to capture energy normally lost during braking by using the electric motor as a generator and storing that captured energy in the battery.


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