Q&A from 4/23/20 Zoom Chat

1. How can I be sure that I don’t run out of charge while driving?

For the most part, your battery will not run out on a typical day of driving. The range of a full battery can be anywhere from 150 miles to 300 miles and therefore if you don’t drive more than that you can go about your day without needing a charge. In fact, you are unlikely to use a full charge within a given day, just as you are unlikely to use a full tank of gas on an average day. As a result, many EV drivers can function with only their at-home charger that they use overnight.

In the event that you need to drive longer distances that come close to, or exceed, the range of your vehicle, then some planning will be required. Most, if not all, EV manufacturers have navigational tools that provide the location of chargers in a given geographical area, which allows you to plan your stops as needed to charge.

2. Will AAA respond to a vehicle that has run out of charge and do they have a portable battery charger?

Yes, they will tow an EV. Not sure if they have portable charging.

3. Will the battery life diminish over time, similar to a cell phone battery? Do you need to ever replace the battery?

The batteries have a 10y or 100, 000 mile warranty. There may be a marginal decrease in battery life over the years, which will slightly decrease the range over your vehicle after several years. Most manufacturers suggest that for daily driving needs, the battery only be charged to 75-80% so as to extend the life of your vehicle’s battery. For the most part, a 75% charge will be more than sufficient for a typical day of driving locally.

4. How readily available are the home chargers? Do you need to get them at the dealership?

Home chargers or smart chargers can be ordered online (for example, on Amazon). Smart chargers are not required – you can use a regular socket in your garage (Level 1 charging), or you can have a 240V socket installed (used for a clothes dryer or dishwasher) that is considered Level 2. Dealerships will initially give you a cord to plug into Level 1 charging and sell adapters that can be used for different sockets.

5. How do we go about getting rebates? What are the expected trends for rebates?

The Massachusetts rebate is a single form that you complete and mail/email in. The federal incentive is a tax credit and is therefore addressed when completing your taxes. To register with the HMLP off-peak charging program, you give them a call or email and they will assist you in subscribing and ensuring that you have everything you need to comply with program requirements.

The Massachusetts state rebate recently increased and we anticipate EV rebates to stay fairly healthy. Once a particular make and model of a vehicle gets established (eg. Chevy and Tesla), the rebates do start to decline, but newer models are eligible for full rebates.

6. What is the resale value of EVs?

There are several EV models that are available used.

7. What is the comparative cost per mile?

The equivalent cost to operate an EV is roughly $1/gallon.

If you would like to talk with someone with personal experience owning an EV who can answer questions and guide you through the rebates and incentives, an EV’s Climate Coach is available. To reach a local citizen who can help as you consider how an EV could meet your transportation needs, click here.