Learning the Basics of Electric Vehicles

AAA Mid States

Electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular. Currently, there are options to fit almost every lifestyle, preference and budget. To give you an idea, there were more than 130 different EV models in the 2022 model year, with options across every vehicle class (compact, midsize, large car, SUV, minivan and truck).

EVs are often described as “zippy” and for good reason. They typically can accelerate faster than gas-powered vehicles because their electric motors produce peak torque at any rpm. To give an example, Tesla claims its Model S Plaid goes from 0 to 60 mph in less than two seconds. This is more than two seconds faster than the gas-powered Porsche 911. This zippiness isn’t limited to high-end cars. The Nissan Leaf is the most affordable mass-produced EV and boasts a respectable sub-seven second 0 to 60 mph rate.

Another way EVs stand out compared to gas-powered vehicles is with their lower center of gravity. EV batteries are heavy and most EVs have their batteries located on the bottom of the vehicle. This has two important consequences. First, a lower center of gravity improves the vehicle’s stability and handling. This makes it easier to navigate tight turns, for example. Second, a lower center of gravity has the safety benefit of reducing the likelihood of the vehicle rolling over.

While EVs are like gas-powered cars in most ways, there are a few other differences that new drivers often must adjust to. Regenerative braking is one good example. To sum it up, regenerative braking is the system through which an EV captures energy released during the braking process and uses it to recharge its battery. This system makes EVs more efficient and helps to extend their overall range. One of the biggest and best-known differences with EVs is the lack of engine and exhaust noise. While sound from tires and wind drag remain, overall EVs make for a particularly quiet ride.

Most EV owners charge their cars at home, where they can plug in at night and have a “full tank” in the morning. If you live in an apartment building or are traveling, you can simply stop by one of the growing number of public charging stations available throughout the country. Many of these offer DC Fast Charging, which can charge an EV battery to 80% charge in less than 30 minutes.

EVs have fewer parts than gas-powered cars, meaning fewer mechanical pieces that need to be kept in good condition and less of a chance of anything breaking or wearing down. Because of this, EVs require significantly less maintenance than their gas-powered counterparts.

The convenience and peace of mind that come with fewer maintenance concerns can’t be discounted. But this benefit also adds up to real dollars and cents. AAA found EVs cost 7.70 cents per mile to maintain, while the average car cost 9.55 cents per mile. For 13,500 miles (roughly the average annual mileage of U.S. motorists), this equates to a savings of nearly $250 every year.