FAQs

1.What is an EV’s range?

My 2015 Nissan LEAF can go 100 km under all conditions, and 150 km under optimal conditions (current maximum distance on a single charge: 156.6 km).

Most EVs can travel at least 100 km. Most vehicle trips in BC are shorter than that. Some models can travel up to 400km; others have a back-up gas tank to extend range.

2. How long does it take to charge an EV?

It depends on the type of charging. For my 2015 LEAF, to fully recharge from basically empty to full it takes about:

Level 1 (120 V) ~12-20 hours

Level 2 (240 V) ~ 3-4 hours

Level 3 (480 V) ~20-30 min to get to 80%.

3. Where do I charge my EV?

There are over 600 public stations in BC, and more being added all the time. See http://www.plugshare.com/. Most charging is done at home, where a 120 V outlet can be used or one can install an electric vehicle supply equipment unit at home. I charge at home and at work, and it’s simple and easy.

4. How much does it cost to charge an EV?

A full charge uses ~$1-2 in electricity (to travel about 100 km). Many public stations are currently free!

5. Are EVs expensive to buy?

Total cost of an EV over its lifetime is considerably less than a gas or diesel vehicle, due to ‘fuel’ and maintenance savings. Depending on how much the vehicle is driven and what you’re comparing it to, savings could be in the order of $10,000+ over an ownership period of several years. My 2015 Nissan LEAF cost about $30,000 including taxes and fees and I’m saving about $5000/year in gas/oil changes/maintenance. In the long run, an EV is generally much cheaper to own and operate than an internal combustion engine car. It’s also much better for the environment and more fun, but those are other topics.

6. What maintenance do EVs require?

EVs require very little maintenance, mainly rotating tires, topping up washer fluid, and an annual battery test. Because the brakes are regenerative, they last a lot longer and require less maintenance than normal brakes as well.

7. What if the battery dies?

Most EVs have a comprehensive 8-year warranty on the ‘big’ battery. Even after the warranty has ended, batteries can be replaced for ~$5500, according to pricing Nissan has released (a cost that is decreasing all the time). You will likely save more than that amount in gas and maintenance over an 8+ year period.

8. What about the emissions from electricity generation?

In BC, over 90% of electricity is generated from clean hydro power. Lifecycle emissions of an EV, including battery manufacture, are substantially lower than a comparable gas car. The battery can also be repurposed and in the end, recycled, after it is not longer useful in the car.

9. What is the difference between and EV and a hybrid?

A battery electric vehicle, such as a Nissan LEAF, runs exclusively on electricity from its battery. A conventional hybrid, such as a Toyota Prius, has both a gas engine and electric motor and runs on both. A plug-in hybrid, such as a Chevrolet Volt, also has both gas and electric capabilities, and can be plugged in and run exclusively on electricity for short ranges (typically about 40 km) and then the gas engine starts once the electricity reserve is depleted.

10. What happens if the EV runs out of charge while I’m driving?

In practice, this rarely happens, just as drivers of gas cars rarely run out of gas. If it does, the car can be towed to the nearest charging station. Many manufacturers will even offer roadside assistance for free (Nissan does!)

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