Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why use an electric Vehicle?
A. There are several advantages to the electric vehicle the most obvious being its lack of tailpipe emissions. Another advantage is the relatively silent operation which reduces noise pollution. The third big advantage is the reduction of reliance on foreign oil. As oil supplies dwindle the availability of gasoline will become much less stable. As electric vehicles don't need gasoline they will be able to glide by the gas station as others line up to buy gasoline.
Q. What about an EVs limited range?
A. Range is a limiting factor with electric vehicles and this makes them unsuitable for some applications. However, as the average person commutes just 22 miles per day, the ability to home charge and start each morning with a "full tank" makes range much less of an issue, particularly when the car is a second vehicle. Most EVs can easily handle a 22 mile commute without recharging during the day. Production EVs like the Toyota RAV4 EV and GM's EV1 can easily do more than 70 miles on a charge so they can handle normal driving without any problems. Remember, 15,000 miles per year would be a daily average of 41 miles.
Q. Aren't EVs expensive?
A. Because EVs are currently being built in very small numbers they are more expensive than internal combustion engine (ICE) powered cars. Offsetting this is lower running costs as it is much cheaper to charge an EV than it is to use gasoline for a given mileage. To help reduce the additional cost and get the electric vehicle industry moving there are many government incentives that have been introduced. The US federal government for example gives a $3,000 tax credit for the purchase on a new electric vehicle. The State of California provides grants of up to $9,000 towards the purchase of certain Electric Vehicles. In Britain, Electric Vehicles do not have to pay road taxes.
Q. Don't EVs just move pollution to power station location?
A. Depending on the method used to generate electricity there is some pollution involved. However, it is much easier to control pollution from at a few hundred power generation facilities than it is to control it at millions of vehicle tailpipes. There are also many different ways to generate electricity and many of these such as Solar, Wind and Hydro do not create any pollution. Some EV drivers have taken the next step and installed solar panels at their home so that they can generate the electricity to run their vehicle without pollution. It is also important to understand that it is not how much pollution is created generating the power that should be considered, but how much additional pollution is created by the act of charging the EV. As most people charge overnight when there is a surplus of electricity being generated that would otherwise be wasted the amount of additional pollution created to charge the EV is zero. Southern California Edison estimates that there is enough surplus energy being wasted each night to charge about half a million EVs.
Q. When I run low on charge don't I have to wait 6 hours until the recharge is done.
A. It typically takes about 6 hours to re-charge an EV from empty to full using a home charger. Comparing this to filling up an ICE has often led people to consider this a major problem. Most people not familiar with EVs suffer from what I like to call quarter full syndrome. Going to the gas station to full up is such a chore that most people wait until their vehicle is a quarter full and then go fill up. They expect to do the same with an EV; drive it until it is quarter full then recharge. EV drivers do things differently. They like to charge up overnight so that they always have a "full tank" in the morning. Those that have low range and long commutes may also recharge during the day while they are at work. Others opportunity charge on occasion while they shop at the local Mall, eat at a restaurant or watch a movie. The thing to remember is that you don't have to wait until an Electric Vehicle is quarter full to recharge, you do it any time it is convenient. You also don't need to fully charge it either, just give it enough of a charge to get you home.
Q. What about the lack of public charging?
A. Opponents to EVs in California are always pointing out that there are only 400 public charging stations in the State. What they fail to tell people is that almost everyone that has an EV has a charging station in their home for overnight charging. One problem with the current California infrastructure is that it gets too little use from the 3500 EVs currently in operation around the State. There are also many vehicles like the Corbin Sparrow that use a standard 110V connection for charging. There are literally millions of 110V outlets that could be used to get a quick recharge.
Q. Aren't Electric Vehicles hard to Find
A. Yes they are and that is why this website was created.
Contact me if you have any additional questions.