Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)
• A reduced dependence on fossil fuels.
• Less negative environmental impact than gas-powered vehicles because of higher efficiency, lower energy consumption and no tailpipe emissions.
• Very little maintenance is required beyond changing windshield wipers and tires. There are far fewer moving parts than in gas-powered vehicles, so less can go wrong with them. Even brake pads last longer because of regenerative braking.
• BEVs are extremely quiet, as there is no combustion noise produced.
• The acceleration is surprisingly good.
• A better range in stop-and-go traffic than on highway driving, making them ideal for in-city commuting.
• BEVs are not yet ideal for long-distance driving, as the battery range may be limiting. Range varies by vehicle, driving conditions, speed and more, but 2016 range averages were 60-100 miles. Several vehicles with 200 mile ranges are scheduled for introduction in 2017. However, longer trips will still require planning for recharging.
• If you must charge partway through a trip, you may be stopped for far longer than it takes to fill up a gas-powered vehicle - often for hours, rather than minutes.
• It may be difficult to find a charging station when and where you need one. This is changing as BEVs become more common. Several apps help you locate the nearest spot to recharge.
• If you live in an apartment or condo, you may not have access to charging, a critical function.
There are several levels of charging. How and how often you charge depend on how far you drive your vehicle and the charging method.
• A standard 120-volt home receptacle (Level 1 charging) on a dedicated circuit will provide five to eight miles of driving range for every hour of charging.
• A 240-volt connection (Level 2 charging) will provide 12 to 75 miles of range for every hour of charging. Note that this connection must be installed by an electrician who understands BEVs.
• Some public areas and workplaces offer charging stations.
• Direct Current or DC, fast charging will provide 100 to 200 miles of driving range in about an hour of charging. However, this option requires special equipment and isn’t compatible with all vehicles.
Learn about plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) here.