Electric Vehicles: FAQs, Cost, Benefits
Over 10 years ago, Nissan launched the world’s first all-electric mass-market vehicle. Since the launch of the Nissan LEAF, the brand has continued to pioneer the car industry in a more eco-friendly direction. Recently, Nissan unveiled their EV36Zero flagship, a plan to create the first-ever EV manufacturing system. Under this plan, they aim to help build a cleaner, more sustainable society for all.
As the market shifts, more drivers are shopping for hybrids and electric vehicles (EV) each year. If you’re looking to make the change, here’s what you’ll need to know on how EVs work, their costs, benefits, and more.
How do electric vehicles work?
As the name implies, electric cars use electricity rather than gasoline as their fuel source. Instead of an internal combustion engine and gasoline tank, EVs are equipped with an electric motor and battery pack. Because of this, they emit zero tailpipe emissions. Compared to traditional vehicles, EVs have a significantly reduced carbon footprint.
Since EVs use electricity, they must be charged using either a wall outlet or a charging station. All electric vehicles come standard with a charging cable, meaning it can be done even from the comfort of your home. If you’re traveling, there are over 42,000 public charging stations. Even more so, the current administration hopes to expand this to over 500,000 charging stations nationwide by 2030. Most EVs can drive 150 to 250 miles in one charge.
Unlike EVs, plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) use both gasoline and electricity. Because it uses both fuel sources, they are equipped with a battery, electric motor, gas tank, and internal combustion engine. Furthermore, they can be either charged or fueled using gasoline. Most PHEVs operate exclusively on electricity until the battery is empty, which on average is about 30 miles. After that, gas will power the vehicle.
Hybrids, on the other hand, do not run exclusively on electricity. Instead, the electric motor and gas-powered engine work simultaneously to create excellent fuel economy. Because all the energy comes from gasoline, it cannot be plugged into to charge.
How do I charge my EV?
Charging is simple, convenient, and cost-effective. It can be done either at home or at a public charging station. There are 3 different types of charging, each categorized by how fast they work. The first is Level 1, which is the slowest method. Typically, this adds about 5 miles of driving range per hour. For drivers who charge overnight or have daily urban commutes, this is sufficient. Level 1 charging requires a dedicated 120 V outlet, which is the most standard type.
The next is Level 2, which is faster but requires installing a charging station. Level 2 charging requires a dedicated 240 V electrical circuit, which most garages include. Depending on your vehicle’s battery, this adds about 15 to 35 miles of driving range per hour. Some states even offer rebates to help lower the cost of installing a home charging station. While price will vary on home configuration, it typically ranges from $500 to $1500 with labor and materials.
The last charging type is DC fast charging. This requires a 480 V connection, meaning it’s unsuitable for most homes. Additionally, not every EV is capable of this type of charging. Fortunately, DC charging is compatible with both the Nissan LEAF Plus and Nissan Ariya. DC stations can be found along major travel routes and shopping centers. On average, they add up to 10 miles of driving range per minute. This means you can get a full charge in 15 to 30 minutes, depending on your vehicle’s battery size.
How much does it cost to charge an electric car?
In Nevada, the current residential electricity costs equal about 8 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). At this price, charging the Nissan LEAF with a 40-kWh battery (150 miles) would cost about $3 for a full charge. A 25-mpg gas vehicle with the same mileage would cost about $24.
That’s 8x the cost of an EV! You can use Nissan’s calculator for an accurate estimate of yearly savings, including incentives and tax rebates. On average, EV drivers save over $10k in gas alone.
At a public charging station, costs can vary. Some offer free charging, while others require payment per hour. Normally, this costs about $2-$3 per hour of charge time. To find stations near you, check out websites like PlugShare.
What are the benefits of owning an EV?
Most drivers are drawn to EVs for their zero tailpipe emissions, but that’s only the start. When you buy a traditional vehicle, the cost of owning it isn’t just what you pay upfront. It’s also the gas, maintenance, and occasional repair work. With EVs, not only do you pay less for charging, but the fewer moving parts require little to no regular maintenance work. When you go electric, you can say goodbye to oil changes and gas stations forever. Along with this, when you do need repair work, it’s typically less expensive than gas-powered vehicles. Even parts like brakes require less maintenance due to regenerative braking.
It doesn’t stop there, though. There are also federal and state tax incentives on electric vehicles. Nissan also recently slashed the price of LEAF’s, making it the most affordable EV on the market. Additionally, EVs are quieter than diesel vehicles, meaning they produce less noise pollution and offer a more comfortable cabin experience.
Lastly, one of the biggest reasons to go electric is that electricity is a renewable resource. EVs have a significantly smaller carbon footprint over their lifetime and help create a cleaner, more sustainable environment.
What kind of electric vehicles does Nissan offer?
Nissan has two all-electric vehicles on its lineup. The first is the iconic Nissan LEAF. It is equipped with a 40-kWh lithium-ion battery and has a driving range of 150 miles per charge. Drivers who need more mileage can upgrade to the LEAF Plus, which is equipped with a 62-kWh lithium-ion battery and has a range of up to 226 miles. Both models are sleek, budget-friendly, and offer generous technology and safety features.
For those needing something bigger, the 2022 Nissan Ariya makes a perfect choice. This spacious SUV is equipped with an 87-kWh battery and is estimated to have 300 miles of driving range per charge. The Ariya is expected to go on sale in early 2022.