Electric Vehicle (EV) Frequently Asked Questions


We understand that many folks have a lot of questions about Electric Vehicles. After all, this is a relatively new frontier for the automotive industry. We would love to help answer those questions for you so that you can feel educated, empowered and make informed decisions about making the switch to EV.

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Common Questions about EV:

Common Questions about EV:

  • Is an EV the same thing as a Hybrid?

  • Not exactly. An EV relies entirely on battery power to drive its electric motor and a hybrid vehicle uses a combination of both electricity and gasoline to power it’s combustion engine.

  • I know EV means “Electric Vehicle”, but what do PHEV, BEV, HEV and ICE mean?

  • PHEV = Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle: A PHEV will typically go about 30 miles on battery only, and then the gas engine will take over. PHEVs are for people who want to move away from gas and diesel cars, but can’t quite convince themselves to go the whole hog over to BEVs.
    BEV = Battery Electric Vehicle: BEVs are only powered by a battery, and are 100% electric.
    HEV = Hybrid Electric Vehicle: Hybrids have both a gas engine and a battery, but you can’t plug the car in to charge it. The driver of a HEV will hear the gas engine running most of the time. The battery itself charges partly via ‘regenerative braking’. When you press the brake pedal, it makes the electric motor go in reverse and act as a generator. As a generator, the electric motor can charge the battery.
    ZEV = Zero Emission Vehicle:This is any vehicle that emits no harmful pollutants at all from its exhaust pipe. A BEV is an example of a ZEV.
    ICE = Internal Combustion Engine: Normal gas powered cars have internal combustion engines.
    Learn all of the terminology you need to know in this article: Electric Vehicle (EV) Terminology and Technology Guide: Definitions for Owners, Shoppers, and the EV-Curious.

  • How long do EVs last? As long as my gas-powered vehicle?

  • Yes! With an EV, the full bumper-to-bumper warranty applies whether you lease or buy. There’s also the benefit of an 8-year/100,000-mile battery warranty. Federal rules require automakers to cover major components, like the battery and electric motor, for eight years or 100,000 miles.

  • What are the standard features for an EV?

  • Most EVs have the same standard features you would see in new conventional vehicles, like Birdseye view cameras, cruise control, lane-centering assist, blind-spot monitoring, and much more. Since EVs don’t require bulky gasoline engines, transmissions, and other large components, they are more spacious on the inside than their gasoline vehicle counterparts. More storage is often available as well, with some EVs providing both a traditional trunk in the rear and an additional trunk in the front where the engine would traditionally be located.

  • Can I drive my EV while it’s raining?

  • In Oregon, we know a thing or two about rain. This is also one of the states that has the most electric vehicle drivers on the road! You do not have to worry about electrical shock while driving or charging your vehicle while it is wet outside. EVs are perfectly safe in the rain.

  • Can I Still Drive an EV if I Don’t Have a Garage?

  • YES! You can own an EV, even if you don’t have a dedicated space for an L2 home charger. We’ve heard it before: you’re interested in making the switch to an electric vehicle but still have reservations about making the change because you don’t have a place to plug your vehicle in overnight. Read more about how you can still easily own an EV even if you don’t have a garage.

  • What does “EVSE”, “Kwh” and “OBC” mean?

  • There are a lot of new terms to learn with for EVs. EVSE stands for “Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment” also more commonly referred to as a “Charging Station”. Kwh, or “Kilowatts-Hours,” is a unit of energy equivalent to the energy transferred or expended in one hour by one kilowatt of power. Electric car battery size is measured in kilowatt-hours, so it can be compared as the electric car’s equivalent of gallons of fuel in a gas tank. OBC is the “On Board Charger” (the hose) which is a system which converts the AC input from the grid to a DC input which charges the battery. Learn all of the terminology you need to know in this article: Electric Vehicle (EV) Terminology and Technology Guide: Definitions for Owners, Shoppers, and the EV-Curious.

  • What should I do if there is a Power Outage and I can’t charge my EV at home?

  • While a power-outage is unlikely to really effect your ability to drive in most cases, it never hurts to be prepared in case of a long-term outage caused by a natural disaster— the same way you would keep nonperishable foods and candlesticks in your storage for example. While reserving your EV’s battery would be the best option, you could also use your L1 charging cable to plug into a portable power generator (or any working outlet anywhere, for that matter). You could also take your vehicle to a charging station outside of the affected area, or find an L3 charging station that uses solar power to serve it’s customers.

Questions About EV Charging:

  • What is the difference between L1, L2 and L3 chargers?

  • Finding the right charger will come down to the capabilities of your electric vehicle and how much driving you plan on doing. L1 chargers are portable, and come free with you EV. Most EV drivers need to have regular access to an L2 charger, whether it’s a home charger, the one at your place of work, or somewhere else. L3 chargers are the most powerful chargers in the industry, and will charge your vehicle in a short amount of time. Learn more about those difference by reading this article: What are L1, L2, and L3 chargers, and why does it matter?

  • How do I charge an EV?

  • Charging an EV is actually quite simple and intuitive! Check out this video on how to charge your new EV: Don’t forget to Subscribe to our YouTube & Turn on the 🔔 to never miss a video!

  • Where can I charge my EV?

  • There are plenty of places that offer electric vehicle charging. If you can’t charge at home with your L1 portable or L2 charger, consider going to a public charging station. You can find their locations online, or with an App on your mobile device (See our recommendations for the best Apps in 2022 to download for EV drivers). Public charging stations are often found in high-traffic areas like shopping districts, parking lots & garages, and other highly populated areas. Also, check out our EV Locator page to easily find any charger in the US.

  • How long does it usually take to charge an EV?

  • That depends on the type of charging station you use, your EV’s battery capacity, and how much you drive. Regardless of the type of charging station, the speed at which an EV battery charges is always limited by the maximum amount of power it can handle.
    Charging time for L1, L2 and L3 EV Chargers

  • Do I need a certain kind of outlet at home to charge my EV?

  • This mostly depends on the type of charger you plan on installing at home. If you use your L1 portable charging cable, then any outlet should work. Though, most who are able to use an L2 will need to have a dedicated circuit in your home to hard-wire it to. Portable models plug into standard 240-volt dryer receptacles (3 or 4 prong outlets meant for heavy-duty appliances).

  • Do I have to pay every time I charge my EV?

  • While many charging stations are free and subsidized by the city or other businesses, most charge a fee which is paid by the electric vehicle owner after charging, much like gas at a gas station. Charging stations can be more expensive than charging at home (which costs whatever your home electricity costs) but charging your EV away from home isn’t always as expensive as some people think.

  • Do EV’s have wireless chargers?

  • Yes! But, wireless charging is still very uncommon, and not available for home installation currently. Wireless charging is more convenient and creates less room for user error. “Plugless Power” is the leader in autonomous charging. At this time, wireless car chargers are only commercial level and are rather expensive to install onsite opposed to a regular L3 charging station. You can find wireless chargers at large companies like Google and Hertz, but they have yet to make the rounds in most places.

  • What is “battery swapping”?

  • Battery swapping is meant to serve as an alternative to traditional EV charging stations. It allows drivers to replace depleted packs almost instantaneously with fully charged batteries, rather than plugging the vehicle into a charging point and waiting for the battery to charge. Swapping could help mitigate the growing strains placed on the power grid as a result of overnight car charging and charging stations, as well as help to reduce range anxiety in drivers. Battery swapping is a relatively new charging system which has taken off across Asia and some select parts of Europe. Learn more about why battery swapping has yet to take off in North America in this article.

  • What do I do while my EV is charging at a charging station?

  • There are plenty of things to do if you don’t want to wait in your vehicle while it’s charging! Since getting a full charge only takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes, you could enjoy some fresh air and go for a walk, get some shopping done or have a cup of coffee! Read more about a few things to do in Wilsonville Oregon while your EV is charging at one of the many charging locations in the area.

Questions About EV Range:

  • How far can my EV car go?

  • While there are some short-range EVs designed primarily for in-city driving, you can also find EVs that are capable of traveling 300 miles or more on a single charge. Taking an electric vehicle on a long road trip still requires more advanced planning than driving a gas-powered vehicle, but even that is far easier than it was in the past. Check out this article on How to plan your EV Road Trip.

  • How do I improve EV range?

  • Just like in your conventional gas-powered vehicle, there are ways that you can improve the mileage you get out of each charge. Similar to their counterparts, EVs will get more range if you drive smoothly and don’t accelerate to hard and fast. Your electric motor adds charge when it slows the car down, so you should enable your car’s maximum regenerative setting. On top of this, keep it light if you are trying to get the most range possible. A a roof rack can affect fuel efficiency in internal combustion vehicles by as much as 25%. This is the same for EVs, so keeping the weight on the lighter side will help you get better range overall.

Questions About EV Performance:

  • Does my EV perform as well as a gas-powered car?

  • They do! While the characteristics of each respective vehicle give you a different experience, they both perform similarly. EVs have extraordinary acceleration, with some EVs hitting 0 to 60 in just two seconds. On the other hand, gas-powered cars still rank higher when it comes to producing top speeds. Right now, EVs top out at around 200 mph while gas-powered vehicles have top speeds around 300 mph.

  • How fast does my EV go?

  • It depends on the model. The average top speed of an electric vehicle is 110 mph, but some can reach up to 200 mph.

  • Can I take my EV off-roading?

  • EVs traditionally are more equipped to drive well and perform their best while in more densely populated areas, due to the slower speeds and proximity to charging stations. This, however, does not mean that an EV could never be a great choice for off-roading. Electric vehicles are often much lighter than their gas-powered counterparts and have faster acceleration. Read more about off-road in an EV in this article. Also, check out this video of the all-new Toyota bZ4X all-electric vehicle getting down & dirty in some mud: Don’t forget to Subscribe to our YouTube & Turn on the 🔔 to never miss a video!

Questions About EV Cost:

  • Why are EVs so expensive?

  • EVs come in a variety of different price points, and some are more expensive than others. The main offender is the cost of the batteries that power EVs. EVs are powered by ion-lithium batteries, and lithium is an expensive commodity. Compare the similar all-new 2022 Toyota bZ4x starting MSRP at $42,000 (Just a bit under the starting MSRP of a 2022 Toyota Highlander for example), to a 2022 Tesla Model X with a starting MSRP of $114,990.

  • Can I buy an EV that’s Used?

  • Just like gas-powered vehicles, you indeed can purchase Used EVs. Check out our current selection of Used Electric & Hybrid vehicles.

  • Will my car insurance cost more for an EV?

  • Insuring an electric vehicle works the same as insuring any vehicle, and because insurance costs are based primarily on how much it will cost the insurer to repair or replace your vehicle in the case of an accident, EVs typically cost a bit more to insure than gas-powered vehicles.

  • How expensive is it to install an EV charger at my house?

  • L1 chargers come with the purchase of an EV and don’t cost anything extra. They use a standard outlet, so there is not additional cost of installation either. I dedicated L2 charger installed by an electrician can cost anywhere between $300 and $1,200. If your home is not equip with a 240-volt connection, it will likely cost a bit more.

  • How can I reduce the cost of charging an EV?

  • It’s easier than you might think. Charging at home with an L1 or L2 charger is usually less expensive than at a public charging station. Many utilities also have lower electricity rates during the night when demand is lower, which can be especially advantageous for EV owners since that’s when charging typically occurs. You can also find places that offer free charging as well. Consider downloading an App for your mobile device that can help you locate free charging in your area.

Questions About Cash Incentive & Rebates:

  • How do EV tax credits work?

  • Taking advantage of incentives and rebates can make many electric vehicles very affordable! EV tax credits are available at the federal level, and a number of states also have their own EV tax credits and rebates. Read more about how to receive these benefits and how to apply for them at Oregon.gov: Clean Vehicle Rebate Program.

  • Do I qualify for the new 2022 Federal Tax Credits for New All-Electric and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles?

  • This credit applies to all electric and plug-in vehicles, but specific credit amounts can be found via the U.S. Department of Energy’s website. All electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles that were purchased new in or after 2010 MAY be eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500, according to the US Department of Energy. Read more about it at www.fueleconomy.org.

Questions About EV Maintenance & Technology:

  • Do EVs have engines?

  • They do not. Instead of fuel tanks and an internal combustion engine, EVs use rechargeable batteries and have electric motors.

  • Do EVs require special maintenance?

  • Trained EV technicians perform maintenance and repairs. You can find EV technicians at dealerships or an independent repair shop, just like with gasoline powered vehicles. Battery checks twice a year are necessary, but due to the fact that EVs are more simple machines and don’t have traditional transmissions or engines, there’s less to maintain, break down, and fix.

  • Can I replace my EV battery?

  • While some older EV models cannot have their batteries replaced, electric vehicles don’t typically require battery replacements as today’s batteries can last for hundreds of thousands of miles.

  • Does my EV have a transmission?

  • EVs don’t require enormous gasoline engines, transmissions, and many other components you would find in a gas-powered car. Because of this, they are often more spacious inside than their gas-powered counterparts.

Questions About EV Sustainability:

  • Do EVs cause pollution?

  • Electric vehicles generally score above 100 MPGe (the EV equivalent of miles per gallon) and electric motors are much more efficient than even the best engines, which means less energy is expelled as waste and more energy is used to propel the vehicle.

  • Can EV batteries be recycled?

  • Once your electric vehicle’s battery components are dead (which likely won’t happen for t least 10 years) you can indeed recycle it. While not every part of the battery is recyclable, new processes are expected that could push upwards of 90% EV battery recycling, minimizing as much environmental impact as possible.

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Woman charging her EV