EVs are energy efficient, environmentally friendly, and reduce dependence on imported oil because they use domestically produced energy. If you’ve never ridden in an EV, you may find them intimidating or unapproachable. But EVs are not that different from their gas-powered counterparts, and understanding what makes them “go” may be easier than most people think. 🔌🔋
EVs generally require less maintenance than gas-powered vehicles because:
- The battery, motor, and associated electronics require little or no regular maintenance
- There are fewer fluids that need to be checked and changed
- Brake wear is significantly reduced, due to regenerative braking
- There are far fewer moving parts, relative to a gasoline engine.
Some hybrid and electric vehicle batteries have special cooling systems for the batteries and/or power control electronics. These systems require regular checks and refer to your owner’s manual for more information regarding when/if coolant service is necessary. Because of the size of their battery, EVs are heavier, which means tires wear significantly faster. Remember – weekly or biweekly checks of tire pressure are very important to your wallet and your safety.
EV Charging – Not Maintenance, But We Know You Have Questions
While most EV charging is done at home, a AAA survey found that 60% of people cite a lack of convenient places to charge as one of their top reasons not to buy electric. But home charging is a lot easier and often can be performed overnight while you sleep!
Getting to an EV charging station is more complex than just driving to the local gas pump. 👉 Use the AAA Find a Charger tool to find the nearest charging station wherever you are in the country.
Charging Your EV at Home
There are two types of home charging – Level 1 and Level 2
- Level 1 chargers, which come with most EVs, plug into a standard 120-volt household outlet (meaning no special installation is required). This option is the most convenient and affordable but much slower than the other options. The typical rate of charge is 2 to 5 miles of range per hour, meaning those who drive longer distances may not be able to fully recharge their vehicle overnight.
- Level 2 chargers operate on a 240-volt source. Some units plug directly into 240-volt outlets, which may require installation if not already available in the home, and others need to be hardwired to the service panel. The upfront installation cost may be worth it since Level 2 charging is up to ten times faster than Level 1. Depending on the unit, Level 2 chargers provide roughly 10 to 20 miles of range per hour. Most drivers will have plenty of time to get their EV back to full charge overnight.