• Category:
    Energy Efficiency
  • Published:
    August 9, 2019

What You Need to Know about Electric Vehicles

Though Electric Vehicles (EVs) have been an option for nearly a decade, they can still seem a little foreign and out of reach for any car buyer. Constellation is working with EZ-EV to make sure you have all the information you need when making a decision that can impact your home energy use. If you’re wondering if and how you could switch to electric transportation, our EV experts have the answers your questions.

What is the difference between an electric vehicle and a hybrid?

An electric vehicle (EV) is an automobile that uses electric motors to operate. Electric vehicles come in the form of battery electric vehicles or “BEVs”, which rely solely on battery power, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles or “PHEVs”, which can use electric battery power and gasoline to operate. Both BEVs and PHEVs can be plugged in to an electric charging source. Hybrid vehicles are fully powered by gasoline but have a battery-assisted electric motor to improve the efficiency of the gas engine.

What EVs are available and where?

There are 41 electric vehicle models available on the market today and counting! Models available span a broad range of brands including: Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Kia, Jaguar, Nissan, Volvo, and more. While most electric vehicles are available nationwide, some have limited availability depending on where you live. Check out the EZ-EV Showroom to find the car that can work for you!

Are EVs more expensive than gas vehicles?

With models available in every price range, there is an EV for every lifestyle.

A common misconception about fully electric and plug-in hybrid EVs is that they come with a hefty price tag. While this may be true for most luxury brands, practical models are much more affordable. Plus, there are incentives available to help lower the upfront cost. Check out the Federal and State Incentives available to see what you qualify for, and make sure to look out for local or utility rebates. In addition, EVs have lower maintenance and “fuel” costs than gas vehicles. Check out any car detail page on the EZ-EV Showroom to compare costs to a gas vehicle.

Where can I charge an EV?

When it’s time to charge your EV, you have three great options: at home, at work, or on the go. At home you can plug in your vehicle to a standard 120V wall outlet or choose to upgrade and install a 240V home charger for a quicker charge. Many work locations have charging stations installed on-site. Inquire with your employer or developer to find out what options are available. Public charging stations will allow you to charge when you’re on the go. Learn more on the EZ-EV Charging page.

Does electricity cost more than gas?

Comparing the two involves some math, but on average EVs cost less than 50% as much to “fuel” as gas-reliant vehicles.

MPGe or Miles Per Gallon [of gasoline] equivalent is used to understand an electric vehicle’s fuel efficiency. The EPA developed a formula to equate kilowatt hours of electricity to gallons of gasoline. The formula breakdown gets a bit complicated, but simply put: 1 gallon of gasoline = 33.7 kWh of electricity. The national cost per gallon of gas is $2.90, while the average cost for 33.7 kWh of electricity is $4.04. For example, here are two vehicles to compare. The gas vehicle gets about 25 MPG, while the electric vehicle gets 100 MPGe. So, when you calculate the cost of charging versus filling up a tank to drive 100 miles, it’s less than half as much, according to the EPA.

Will home charging increase my electricity bill?

The short answer is yes. If you plug in your car at home, you’ll be using your home’s electricity to power it. This would replace your typical monthly gas spending, but also costs less than half as much. There are many ways to optimize your charging and vehicle use to save energy.

1. Charge at night rather than during the day when there is less load on the grid.
2. Purchase a smart charger to see real-time charging data, understand the costs, and schedule charging when it works for you.
3. During high or low temperatures, precondition your car while it’s charging to avoid wasting energy on the road.

Learn more about your charging options here.

What happens if I run out of charge on the road?

This fear, called “range anxiety,” is the most common worry for potential EV buyers. Gas stations are everywhere, but so are charging stations! You just don’t see them if you aren’t looking. Most people drive less than 40 miles a day, which is much shorter than the range of a typical electric vehicle. If you do have a longer road trip, there are plenty of tools available to help plan. Check out our charging map to see how many are on your typical routes.

Are EVs actually good for the environment?

For every gallon of gas avoided by driving an EV, roughly 20 lbs of tailpipe CO2 is avoided. It is estimated that EVs produce 50% fewer emissions over their lifetime compared to similarly sized gas vehicles. If you’re interested in more data, check out the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.

Aren’t electric vehicles ugly?

We’ll let you decide!

So … do all EVs drive like a golf cart?

We get this one a lot. While older models from years ago may not have driven with a lot of power, many models today accelerate at shocking speeds and often outperform gas powered vehicles of similar sizes. When you press the pedal in an EV, the battery instantly sends stored electric current to the motor(s), delivering what’s referred to as “instant torque.” They’re also incredibly quiet – when you accelerate all you hear is whatever music you’re playing! Check out our recap video from the D.C. Auto Show to see some of what we’re talking about.

For more information, please visit constellation.ez-ev.com.

By: Allison Murphy, EZ-EV Head of Marketing

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