Electric Cars: The Most Frequently Asked Questions

As the fight to decrease emissions and conserve the environment takes center stage, the popularity of electric vehicles is surging like never before. This trend has resulted in countless car manufacturers taking the decision to produce hybrid and electric vehicles, thereby making them more accessible to the average consumer. But while more drivers are trading in their gas-powered vehicles for electric alternatives, they find themselves having to deal with a new set of pros and cons that never previously existed. In order to help you better understand what you'll be in for should you decide to make this change as well, here are some of the most frequently asked questions that drivers have about electric cars.

Do electric cars use oil?

In order to answer this question, it's important to determine whether a car is pure electric or a hybrid. Hybrids are a cross between electric vehicles and gas-powered ones and they possess the same internal combustion engine. This means that they still require oil and regular oil changes and maintenance. Electric vehicles, on the other hand, are powered by EV engines with electric motors, meaning they do not require oil to operate.

How long does it take to charge an electric car?

Charging is determined by two factors, namely, what type of power source it needs and how much power it can handle. Level 1 chargers, the most basic option, provide 5 miles of traveling per hour of charge. Level 2 chargers can provide about 35 miles per hour of charging, while level 3 chargers, found only at commercial charging stations, are said to provide the fastest possible charge. In fact, manufacturers of the 2023 Mini Cooper Electric claim the vehicle can charge up to 80 percent of its battery within the first 36 minutes of charging at a level 3 station. Charging times differ case by case, but it's still quicker to fill a gas tank, albeit more expensive.

What maintenance is required?

While electric vehicles may not require oil, they still have other components that need maintenance. Just like gas-powered alternatives, the brake pads need to be checked periodically. Electric cars also have battery coolant and transmission fluid, which require regular maintenance. Because they're supported by software like engine management systems, electric vehicles need routine checkups. Unlike other forms of maintenance, however, software updates are typically delivered by manufacturers over the air, meaning you won't have to take your EV to the service center in order to remain up to date.

What is the typical lifespan of an electric car?

Like other electronic devices, charging an electric cart takes a toll on its battery. While electric vehicles' batteries last longer than those of devices such as smartphones, thanks to their cooling systems, they still operate on a limited lifespan. Electric car batteries are supposed to last for about 100,000 miles. Federal law mandates manufacturers provide at least 8 years or 100,000 miles of warranty protection on batteries.