EV FAQs

Transportation electrification efforts are rapidly expanding throughout the US. With this comes a host of questions about how EVs will impact individual lives as well as processes that have historically supported gas- and diesel-powered transportation.

We have collected a list of frequently asked questions related to electric vehicles here.

Affordability

Similar to gasoline-powered vehicles, electric vehicles are available at a wide range of price points, starting at $26,570 for the Honda Accord PHEV and $32,570 for the Nissan LEAF, a fully electric option. We have developed a resource that is a one-stop shop for finding MSRP values for over 100 electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles with 2021 models. You can find that information with sources here.

In addition, EVs cost significantly less in energy costs per mile travelled. The average gas-powered vehicle in the United States costs ~$0.13/mile to drive, whereas the average EV costs ~$0.05/mile to drive.

Finally, since EVs require no oil changes and have far fewer moving parts that might need to be repaired vs. gas-powered cars, there are significant savings on maintenance costs as well.

Whereas drivers of gas-powered vehicles pay road taxes through the purchase of gasoline at gas stations, EV owners pay an annual fee to cover the taxes they don’t pay while charging. EV vehicle registration currently includes an additional $100 annual fee compared to gas-powered cars to make up for lost road tax, and this value is expected to increase over the coming years. The EV registration fee makes up for the lost road tax in order to maintain Tennessee’s roadways. For up to date information on vehicle registration in Tennessee, visit the Tennessee Department of Revenue site.

Availability

Electric vehicles come in all shapes and sizes, from small hatchbacks to luxury SUVs. Check out our list of models that are on sale now or are scheduled to be by the end of 2022. Look for even more models and types of EVs to become available in the coming years.

Any Certified Pre-Owned car, SUV, or truck offers numerous positives, from an extended factory-backed warranty to the repair of any defects before the vehicle is sold by a participating dealer. Here’s what to know about CPO programs, including a list that connects you to every automaker’s CPO program with a single click.

EV Batteries

Tennessee currently does not have a statewide recycling plan available for spent EV batteries. However, many vehicle manufacturers such as GM and Nissan have developed plans for using old EV batteries to provide new services and recycling methods are being developed to recover lithium from these lithium-ion batteries. That being said, we recognize that battery recycling is far from a perfect process at this point. Here is an article from the Institute for Energy Research that gives an overview of both the progress and drawbacks of EV battery recycling. Here is another great article worth reading by Ian Morse, writer for the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

We also recommend that you checkout Earth911’s recycling search tool. Earth911 is one of North Americas most extensive recycling databases.  Simply enter in the material you are trying to recycle along with your zip code and click search!  It may not be the most accurate, but it will point you to additional information.

“The bottom line here is that if it’s properly cared for, an electric car’s battery pack should last for well in excess of 100,000 miles before its range becomes restricted. Consumer Reports estimates the average EV battery pack’s lifespan to be at around 200,000 miles, which is nearly 17 years of use if driven 12,000 miles per year.

This is from a www.myev.com article by their editor entitled “How long should an electric car’s battery last?” – read the full article here.


“The battery will outlive the car.”

From says Graeme Cooper, Head of Future Markets, in this article from NationalGrid(This article also goes into battery recycling!)

Ethics

Electric vehicles (EVs) reduce the overall lifecycle emissions from driving a comparable gas-powered vehicle by 60% on average. As our electric grid continues to shift away from coal and increasingly embraces low-emissions and renewable energy, those numbers will also increase.

In addition, EVs have no tailpipe, meaning they produce no emissions within the communities they operate within! This means that there are fewer on-the-ground emissions, which positively benefits human health in communities across the country.

Finally, EVs also offer significantly lower fuel costs compared with traditional gasoline vehicles. Did you know that a gallon of gasoline costs about twice as much as the comparable cost to run an electric car? That’s especially true if EV owners take advantage of off-peak electricity rates while charging at home.

Functionality

Range is one of the most important stats you will need to compare when shopping for an EV. Early EVs had shorter ranges of around 80 miles, while many modern EVs have a range of 100+ miles, 240+ miles, and some longer-range models can travel up to 400+ miles on a single charge making them highly competitive with even gas powered vehicles.

Whether or not you need to make it to the next public-charging spot, are able to complete your daily commute, or are instead stranded on the side of the road depends on the vehicle’s range. Check out EPA’s ratings on the ranges for EVs on the current market. In many cases, these ratings are 100+ MPGe (miles per gallon of gas equivalent), far exceeding fuel economy ratings for gas cars.

In order to operate an EV in Tennessee comfortably, you’ll need to know the ins and outs of charging: how charging stations work, how you purchase the electricity to refill your EV’s battery, and where to find those recharge locations in your area. Check out our compiled list of resources for finding EV Charging.

Whether you plan on using your EV for local, daily driving or longer cross-state treks, recharge time is going to have an impact on your life. Depending on the type of charging you intend to use (Level 1, Level 2, DC Fast Charge), refilling a depleted battery pack takes considerably more time than topping up your gasoline-powered car’s tank. But how much more time? And why does that differ depending on where you choose to charge it up?

Charge times vary greatly, depending on the size of the battery, how fast the car is able to take the charge, and the amperage of the circuit. Charging a vehicle overnight at home has been proven the cheapest and most convenient for many EV owners (one DriveElectricTN staff member’s EV costs ~$2 to charge from 0-100%, for example). Charging times can vary from 30 minutes (using a DC Fast Charge station) to 13 plus hours (using a Level 1 charger plugged in to a regular home electric outlet).

Most electric cars deliver instant power from a stop and they are much quieter than traditional gasoline-fueled cars. Attend one of our Ride n’ Drive events to see for yourself. Check out our list of upcoming events to find the event nearest you.

Gas powered vehicles have an average lifespan of 12 years or 200,000 miles when properly maintained according to this article from the AARP. This is considered to be the upper-end of a vehicles lifespan, but that number is increasing every year as technology and maintenance improve.

Electric vehicles are quickly advancing in technology, so the average lifespan is extending every year. Currently, the limiting factor is the capacity of the battery over time, and each year the range depletes at about 2.3%/year on average. As explained in this article from Battery University, 10-20 years is the expected range for a car’s electric battery.  Currently, vehicle manufacturers have a warranty of at least 5-10 years or about 100,000 miles, and this is expected to be extended as battery technology increases the longevity of electric batteries.

Sustainability

As the electricity generation source in Tennessee goes, we recognize that a sizable portion of electricity in this region is harvested from fossil fuels. However, in 2021 57% of electricity generation was free of fossil fuels, a 21% increase from 2005, as shown in the figure below from the TVA Carbon Report. The majority of electricity generation in Tennessee is from nuclear power (according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration), and the Tennessee Valley Authority announced that it will be closing all coal plants in the region by 2035. Even with this in mind, driving an EV produces approximately 50% fewer emissions throughout its lifecycle than an internal combustion vehicle. Given this information, EVs still contribute to environmental degradation, but to a significantly lesser extent than diesel and gasoline vehicles. Visit this resource to see the energy generation sources for Tennessee.

There is concern about EVs crashing the electric grid, but very little evidence that this would occur. The main consideration for local power companies is not the availability of electricity, but the times during the day and night when demand varies between high and low.

In California, the viral story about the “EV Grid” crashing has been widely misunderstood. The California Independent System Operator, a nonprofit that oversees California’s power grid, asked people to conserve electricity during peak hours. This was simply a suggestion for people to voluntarily switch charging schedules to benefit the grid as a whole. However, this was just an ask and not a mandate. Here is our source if you are curious to read more.

Mythbustin’

No, they aren’t.

Analysts from AutoInsuranceEZ examined data from the National Transportation Safety Board to track the number of car fires and compared it to sales data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Hybrid-powered cars were involved in about 3,475 fires per every 100,000 sold. Gasoline-powered cars, about 1,530 fires per every 100,000 sold. Electric vehicles (EVs) saw just 25 fires per 100,000 sold.

Read the full article on their website, here.

13,000 people in 18 countries were asked about what kind of car they wanted to buy next and 52% chose an all electric, plug-in hybrid or hybrid. This is the first time that number has breached 50% in such studies. Some individual country responses: Italy (73%), China (69%), South Korea (63%), Australia (38%), and the US (29%).

Read the full article here > (“In a global tipping point, 52% of car buyers now want to purchase an EV – here’s why“).

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