True or Not?
Myth: Plug-in vehicles don’t have enough range
Fact: The average American drives less than 40 miles per day. Battery electric vehicles have a range of at least double that, and plug-in hybrids can travel at least 300 miles on a combination of electricity and gasoline.
Myth: EVs are only good for short distance trips
Fact: Since the average American drives less than 40 miles per day, and electric vehicles have a range of at least double that, everyday driving needs can easily be met with a PEV. For drivers who need to travel further, plug-in hybrids provide greater range flexibility at 300+ miles on a combination of electricity and gasoline.
Myth: There is not enough public charging
Fact: The majority of PEV charging is done at home, so public charging isn’t as important as many people think. Still, a robust effort to install public charging in California is underway, and that includes DC Fast Charger stations that can charge up to 80% in just 30 minutes. At the end of 2011, there were more than 1,100 public chargers installed in California – and that is expected to grow exponentially for the next several years.
Myth: Plug-ins will crash the electrical grid
Fact: Most electric car charging will happen during off-peak times, so this is very unlikely to happen. The Nissan LEAF draws a modest 3.3 kilowatts – you can compare that to your 4.4 kilowatt clothes dryer.
Myth: EVs are too expensive
Fact: While the Tesla Roadster or Porsche 918 Spyder might be a little pricey, most PEVs are falling in the very competitive range of high $20k - $30k after tax breaks. Federal tax credits combined with California’s clean vehicle rebates, and various local incentives can make PEVs extremely affordable. Not to mention that the operating cost of an PEV is much lower and electricity is quite a bit cheaper than gasoline.
Myth: It takes a long time to charge an EV
Fact: If you are asleep, it probably doesn't really matter that it takes 4 - 6 hours to fully charge your PEV. At night is when most people do their charging, and conveniently, that’s also when electricity rates are at their lowest. If you need a top-off during the day, chargers are conveniently located in places where people tend to spend lots of time – such as shopping malls, parking lots, and places people work.
Myth: It costs $15,000 to replace a battery after a couple years
Fact: The Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt have an 8-year/100,000 mile warranty which includes battery replacement. Great manufacturer warranties are typically part of the PEV package, so if battery replacement is something you’re worried about, take comfort in knowing you’ll not likely be the one paying for it. If you tend to keep your cars for many years, it’s more likely you’ll replace a few battery cells, rather than the entire battery.
Myth: You can’t recycle the batteries and they are bad for the environment
Fact: Batteries made of lithium are not toxic, and since batteries contain valuable metals, they can be recycled and have a high residual value in the secondary market. Used PEV batteries can also be used by utility providers as energy storage.
Myth: Electric cars are untested technology
Fact: Electric cars have been around since the mid-19th century, and were actually a lot more common than gasoline cars back then. The return of electric cars in the 1990’s has given the auto industry more than 20 years to perfect the technology. Between the auto industry’s PEV work and the infiltration of many other battery-powered technologies in daily societal use (cell phones, laptops, etc.), it’s safe to say batteries are pretty well tested.
Myth: EVs are dangerous to pedestrians
Fact: Advancements are happening across all vehicle types that are changing what we’re used to hearing and seeing on the streets. Today’s car companies have spent millions of dollars to quiet down their internal combustion gasoline engines – silencing them nearly to the sound level that electric vehicles naturally have. Meanwhile, manufacturers are working to make PEVs noisier, with artificial sounds that alert pedestrians of oncoming traffic. Between the two efforts, it’s likely there won’t be much difference in noise between the technologies, and we should probably prepare for a new reality of quieter streets.