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Frequently Asked Questions


A. No. EVs pose no greater risk of catching fire than gas-powered vehicles. The fact is, EVs are less dangerous regarding fire risk than gasoline-powered cars, according to the most conclusive and recent report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).


A. Yes, if you have solar photovoltaics at your home or business, plugging in and charging up with solar power makes perfect sense.

A. No. The existing electric grid’s off-peak capacity for power generation is sufficient to power 73 percent of commutes to and from work by cars, light trucks, SUVs, and vans without building a single new power plant, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The existing nighttime electricity could also be stored in plug-in vehicles and later retrieved through vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology for use on the grid. While this technology is still in development, some existing EV models are already capable of exporting energy to power jobsites, appliances, and even entire homes.  The U.S. power grid is also getting cleaner every year as affordable renewable energy continues to replace coal plants.

A. While EV batteries can be recycled for their raw materials, the market for their direct reuse is rapidly growing, eliminating the need for recycling. Used EV batteries can potentially provide valuable services to the electric grid. A battery considered too degraded for electric vehicle use still has about 75 percent to 80 percent capacity and can be used for home energy storage or energy storage applications and grid support.

If reuse is not an option for a particular battery, most components can be recycled. Lithium, the most abundant material in a lithium-ion battery, is in high demand for laptops and phones and other electronic goods, and a robust market for recycled lithium already exists.

A. Most Lithium-Ion batteries in EVs are warranted for at least 8 years and 100,000 miles, but they can last even longer, depending on driving and charging habits, as much as 10-15 years or more. Some electric car batteries on the road today can already last well over 200,000 miles, according to Coltura.

Battery degradation is a natural process in any battery, including those that power vehicles. Degradation permanently reduces the amount of energy a battery can store, or the amount of power it can deliver. The batteries in EVs can generally deliver more power than the powertrain components can handle, so degradation is rarely observable in the driving performance of EVs, but it can impact how much energy can be stored, which directly affects range.

When the time comes to replace an EV battery, it will likely be less expensive than it is today. Battery costs are falling, and we expect the trend to continue.


A. DC fast charging is slightly more taxing on an EV battery than level 1 (120-Volt) or level 2 (240-Volt). While all batteries experience some degradation over time, using DC fast charging in moderation is unlikely to have noticeable negative effects on your battery.

A. The cost to charge an electric car is significantly less than refueling a gas-powered car. While the average cost is about 1/3 that of gasoline, check out our savings calculator and see for yourself.

A. Charge the battery at a slower rate whenever possible (charge more at home, less at high-voltage public chargers; it usually also costs less.) Don’t fully charge the battery unless you’ve got a long trip the next day; stop at 80 percent to 90 percent. Don’t let the battery run down too far.


A. Absolutely! Just like you would with a gasoline-powered vehicle, pay for an independent inspection. With an EV, you’ll want to fully charge the battery and have a certified mechanic check for its battery capacity percentage versus capacity when new. What seems like a generous battery warranty, eight years and 100,000 miles, is required by the federal government and is transferable as the vehicle changes owners.

A. EVs require less maintenance than conventional cars or hybrids. Electric vehicles operate with fewer moving parts than conventional vehicles. Besides tire rotation and windshield washer fluid, EV drivers don’t need to worry about oil changes, transmission fluid, or all those belts on an internal combustion engine (ICE). Regenerative braking also reduces wear and tear on electric vehicle brakes.

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Glossary of EV-related Definitions

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV):
A vehicle with an engine designed to run on a fuel other than gasoline or diesel.

Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV):
An EV that does not have a combustion engine at all.  Instead, it relies solely on a battery system and must be plugged into a charging source to replenish the charge.

Electric Vehicle (EV):
A vehicle that is propelled by a motor powered by electrical energy from rechargeable batteries or another source onboard the vehicle. This broad category includes all types of electric vehicles.

Electric Vehicle Support Equipment (EVSE):
The “charging” equipment used to maintain a charge on EV battery systems.

Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV):
An EV that combines an internal combustion engine with an electric propulsion system. The charge on the batteries is maintained through the normal operation of the engine.

Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV):
An HEV that incorporates a separate battery system where the charge is maintained by plugging into an external power source (such as a standard electrical outlet).