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Electric Vehicle Virtual Event Review

EV 101

A Brief Introduction to Electric Vehicles

EV 101 Recap

Definitions

PHEVs: Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle

  • Limited electric range of 10-50 miles
  • Can run entirely on gas or entirely on electric range as needed
  • Must have a plug
  • Eligible for federal tax credit
    • Amount depends on battery size and number of vehicles sold by the manufacturer
    • Most receive a smaller credit due to small battery size
  • Examples of PHEVs on the market:
    • Ford Fusion Energi
    • Kia Optima Plug-In
    • Mitsubishi Outlander
    • Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid
    • Toyota Prius Prime

BEVs: Battery electric vehicle

  • Electric range of 150-260 miles
  • Only uses electricity as fuel
  • Eligible for federal tax credit
    • Amount depends on battery size and number of vehicles sold by the manufacturer
  • Examples of BEVs on the market:
    • Kia Soul EV
    • Chevy Bolt
    • Nissan Leaf Plus
    • Ford Mustang Mach-E
    • Tesla Model X

Benefits

EV Savings

  • Fewer moving parts in an EV means there is less to maintain
  • Fueling an EV in Nevada costs about the equivalent of paying $0.98 per gallon
  • Market growth for EVs is increasing, lowering prices

EV Convenience

  • Can charge an EV in your own home or on the road

EV Performance

  • Smooth acceleration
  • Instant torque

EV Safety

  • Driving an EV reduces your odds of injury in a collision
  • EVs have better overall Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ratings than a standard gas vehicle

EV Technology

  • EVs include some of the most advanced technology in the automotive industry
    • Connectivity
    • Smart features

Available EV Incentives

  • Both PHEVs and BEVs are eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $7500
    • Tesla and Chevy are no longer eligible since hey have have hit the cap of 200,000 qualified vehicles sold for the tax credit.
  • Nevada also offers an EV Emissions Inspection Exemption
  • NV Energy offers EV Time of Use rates that discounts charging during specific times of the day

Charging EVs

  • Level 1 charging
    • Every EV comes with a Level 1 charging cable
    • Plug your EV into a standard wall outlet
      • ~4 miles of range per hour of charge
    • Be sure to okay your charging setup with an electrician
  • Level 2 charging
    • Requires specialized installation at home by a professional
    • Needs a 240V circuit at home
    • Commonly found in public spaces
    • 12-25 miles of range per hour of charge
  • Level 3 charging (DC Fast Charging)
    • Fastest way to charge
    • Only available in public areas
    • Locations can be found on the Plugshare app
      • Over 400 charging stations in the Las Vegas area
Can I charge my EV using my home solar panels?

You absolutely can! Even a small solar setup (10 panels) can sufficiently charge your car. This is a fantastic, cost-effective way to power your vehicle! You can find more detailed steps to the process at Green Car Reports.

Should I try out an electric car on a cheap smaller vehicle first to see if I like it?

Test drives are a great way to try out different vehicles and you might even consider renting an EV for an extended experience. The used EV market has lots of good, low cost options as well. You can explore used EVs at MYEV.

Can you "overcharge" an EV?
If you’re taking your EV to full charge every time you plug in, it may degrade the battery. It's recommended to charge your battery to 80% (rather than 100%) to help preserve the battery life. Limiting the use of DC Fast Chargers helps against battery degradation Most EVs have a charging limit you can set, so your vehicle will automatically stop charging once it reaches 80% (for example). Motortrend has some tips for extending the life of your EV battery.
I get gas once a week on a full tank. Do you feel like you're constantly plugging in the vehicle?
Depending on the range of your vehicle and how often it’s used, you can top up overnight as needed or while out shopping. If you have a BEV with a range of 230 miles, and you only travel around 5 miles a day, you won’t need to top it off as often as you might if you travel 25 miles a day.
What are the different levels of charging?

Charging an EV is like charging your phone. It will take more time if your battery is nearly empty and less time if it isn’t fully drained.

Level 1 charger (120 volt): Provides roughly 4 miles of range per hour of charging. So a 10-hour overnight charge will provide about 40 miles of range
Level 2 charger (240 volt): Provides roughly 12-25 miles of range per hour, depending on the vehicle
Level 3 charger/DC fast charge (480 volt): 85-125 miles roughly per 30 minutes, depending on the vehicle and the DC charger. The larger the battery the more time it will take to reach a full charge.

What vehicles are eligible for the federal tax incentive

While GM and Tesla vehicles do not currently quality for the federal tax incentive, many other vehicles do. You can learn more about which vehicles are eligible for the federal tax credit at the US Department of Energy.

How long do EVs last? Do BEVs or PHEVs last longer?

Under warranty, batteries last an average of eight years or 100,000 miles, but this varies by manufacturer. There's no difference on vehicle lifespan between the types though of course will depend on driving approaches

At charging stations, is there a charging etiquette?

Charging at Level 2 charging stations around town can add roughly 12 to 25 miles of range per hour, depending on the vehicle. DC Fast Chargers charge even quicker. You don't have to stay with your vehicle while it charges. The app will notify you when it's finished charging.

How much can I save with an EV?

Fuel savings alone can save $4,700 over the first seven years! Consumer Reports provides more information.

How soon will more models of EV cars and trucks be available?

Many many coming! Most manufacturers have announced definitive plans to convert some or all of their vehicles, and there are a lot of trucks set to be released in the next couple of years. For example, the Tesla Cybertruck will be released in 2021, as well as the Rivian R1T. Ford is coming out with an electric truck in 2022, the F-150. 

What are the safety benefits of driving an EV?

With the absence of an engine in the front of the vehicle, the crumple zone on EVs is better than traditional ICE cars. Crash test results conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and NHTSA show that Tesla’s Model S performed as well as comparable gasoline-powered vehicles in most side-impact collisions, and better than those comparable gas-powered models in front and rear-impact crashes.

Is EV battery power efficiency affected by the extreme heat or cold we experience? Should we expect an EV to have less travel distance or hold a weaker charge during the winter?

Range does get affected by weather extremes, just like gas car efficiency can change in the heat or cold. It's not overly dramatic, but EV drivers definitely learn how their vehicles are affected by extreme heat or cold and plan accordingly.

What about used EVs?

Used EVs hold their value well and are often at great prices! One con – vehicle range has been growing over time, so it might be a lower-ranged vehicle, depending on the make/model and year.

Why are there different charging options? Is there going to be a universal charger at some point?

Options have been converging around a couple of standards, but advocates have been hoping to get that to one. While that process continues to play out, the adapters are a good work around!

Do you need a specialist to work on EVs?

Work done on an EV just happens in the same dealer shop, so no major higher costs. In October, Consumer Reports released a new study that captures and quantifies the savings for drivers from driving electric. 

 

Are all charging stations free?

MANY are free. Some will have charges (that vary based on the charge host). Apps are good ways to know in advance whether or not particular charge station options are free!

What are the environmental impacts of the batteries?

EV batteries can be recycled depending on their type and use case. In many cases, EV batteries may also see a second life in battery storage of renewable energy.

Is the lifespan of an EV expected to be comparable to a gas powered vehicle?

Life span is comparable! Some would argue actually longer because of the lower maintenance burden, but  comparable is a good way to think about it!

Would I need to "warm-up" my EV car or truck in the winter?

No! Your EV will be ready to roll regardless of the temperature. You could, though, set the internal temperature in advance if you'd like to enter a warm vehicle!

EV 201

Finding the EV for You

NV Energy EV 201 – Finding the EV For You 

EV 101 Recap

  • Definitions
    • PHEVs
      • Have ranges of up to 50 miles just using electric power
      • Have both a gas tank and a battery 
      • Are eligible for a federal tax credit based on the capacity of the battery
      • Are priced as low as $28,500
    • BEVs
      • Run on electricity only
      • Can have a range of over 300 miles 
      • Are eligible for the federal tax credit
      • Can be priced as low as $31,500
    • Benefits
      • Significant savings on fuel and maintenance costs
      • Convenience because you can charge right at home
      • Superior performance
      • Enhanced safety and lower maintenance costs from fewer moving parts
      • The freedom to skip the gas station 
      • Advanced technology
    • Walkaround Video
  • Different models can fit into different lifestyles
    • Subaru Crosstrek PHEV – 17 miles of range on electric
    • The MINI Cooper BEV – 110 miles of range
    • Volvo XC60 – 19 mile range on electric
    • Tesla Model Y – 326 miles of range
    • Chevy Bolt – 259 miles of range
    • Ford Mustang Mach-E – 300 miles of range
    • Jaguar I-Pace – 234 miles of range
    • Electric Motorcycles
      • Zero FXS – 100 miles of range
      • Harley LiveWire – 146 miles of range

Finding the EV for You 

  • Highlight Different EVs and Fun Facts
    • Chevy Bolt
    • Hyundai Kona
    • Level 2 charging

Incentives

  • Federal Tax Credit Examples
    • Audi e-tron Sportback 
      • Eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit
    • Mitsubishi Outlander
      • Eligible for a $5,836 federal tax credit
  • Local Dealership Offers

Charging 

  • Level 1 Charging
    • Can charge at home overnight with a regular wall outlet
      • 5 miles of charge per hour
    • Good for running errands around town
  • Level 2 Charging 
    • Can charge in public, or at home with special equipment
      • 25 miles of charge per hour
    • Good for a day trip 
    • Introduction of PlugShare
      • App that shows where the charging stations are on any given route
  • Level 3 Charging
    • Can charge in public
      • 80% charge in ~30-45 minutes
    • Good for a longer road trip
      • Regional example
    • Can find stations along the way with PlugShare

Bringing Your EV Home

  • Active Family 
    • Audi e-tron BEV – 222 miles of range, towing capacity of 4,000 pounds
    • Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – safety features, charges to 80% in 25 minutes
    • Chrysler Pacifica PHEV – largest PHEV on the market, 32 miles of electric range
  • Single Professional Woman
    • Audi e-tron BEV – 222 miles of range, roomy
    • Ford Mustang Mach-E BEV – 300 miles of range, 0-60 in 3.5 seconds
    • Tesla Model 3 BEV – AWD, safety features
  • Retired Couple
    • Highlight Public Charging
    • Chevy Bolt BEV – good size for city parking, 259 miles of range
    • Nissan Leaf+ BEV – best-selling, roomy
    • Kia Optima PHEV – 28 miles of electric range

 

 

How do BEV and PHEV do going up mountain roads?

BEVs and PHEVs are excellent on hills (great torque) and maintain speed very well because they don't have the gearing issues that we see in gas cars. Certainly, going up hill takes power, but going down hill EVs can regenerate the battery! No issues, but always want to make sure you have a good plan for range through the trip!

If you buy used, is there a way to know if the battery still has a long life other than the mileage?

Used EVs hold their value well and are often available at great prices! Used EVs will generally have fewer miles on the odometer, so they've had less wear and tear on the brakes, the tires and the suspension. Always check to make sure that the warranty on the battery follows the car (it should!).

Will the prices of EVs come down in the next few years?

Used EVs can also vary in price – from as low as $5,000 from some older and short-range models to $50,000+ for used high-end Tesla models. However, you should always take your driving patterns into consideration when buying an EV and consider the range you’ll need on a typical day. Keep in mind that EVs cost less to fuel and require less maintenance, so it makes sense to consider the total cost over the life of the vehicle. NV Energy offers a great vehicle comparison tool to sort options!

What is the cost to install a level 2 charger?

Costs will typically have two parts – the cost for the unit itself (comparable to an appliance purchase) and then the costs for professional installation.

Are there charging stations available in public places in Reno or Las Vegas?

You can find public charging stations in your location on apps like PlugShare.

What is the total battery life of an EV?

While an electric vehicle’s battery pack will tend to degrade slightly with each charge and discharge cycle, 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 gradually 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.

What kind of home chargers for EVs are available?

There are 2 types of chargers for at-home use. There is the Level 1 charger which provides roughly 5 miles of range per hour of charging. This is just a basic wall outlet plug you use for everyday appliances. Then there is a Level 2 charger which provides roughly 12-25 miles of range per hour, depending on the vehicle. This Level 2 charger requires additional installation and you may need to consult an electrician. 

Can you see on the app when a charger has open charging stations?

Certain apps will show whether charge stations are in use! The Tesla app will show that, for instance. I'd expect to see more in the coming years!

How much does it cost to use a charging station?

Some are free, while others charge by the minute. The prices vary depending on where you are and whose service you’re using. There are membership options where you can pay a premium each month. 

Do EVs have low gears for going down hill or does easing off the accelerator work better than gas vehicles?

Many EV drivers talk about "one foot driving" because the vehicle begins to slow as soon as the accelerator isn't being used!

How is the dependability mechanically for BEVs?

Since BEVs have fewer moving parts than gas vehicles, there is less to maintain. This makes BEVs very reliable mechanically.

Are tax credits yearly?

The tax credit is available in the year the vehicle is purchased and is a one time incentive. 

How do EVs perform in the heat or cold?

Blasting the A/C or heater will use up some of your battery, but EVs perform well in the heat and cold.

Let us know your interest!

A perfect follow-up to EV 101, this free virtual event on December 8 from 7 to 8 PM PT will help you find the right EV for your lifestyle and driving habits. 

 

Contact us

Please reach out to us via email if you have general questions about content on this page or about our virtual event.