Electric vehicles have grown in popularity in recent years. However, many people are still a little skeptical when it comes to switching from ICE-powered vehicles to electric vehicles. So here are the 10 most common questions about electric cars asked by most people.
Are the maintenance costs of electric vehicles higher or lower?
Maintaining an electric vehicle costs less than an ICE-powered vehicle. The reason for this is that there are very few moving components, there is no engine, no piston, no crankshaft, no transmission, etc. The only thing that moves are the electric motors that draw electricity from the batteries and turn the wheels. So, when it comes to maintenance, there are brake pads, tires, air conditioning, suspension, etc. People who have purchased the Tata Nexon EV have reported a maintenance cost of Rs. 2,000, which is much lower than that of ICE-powered vehicles.
How to make long journeys?
By planning well in advance.
Well, with an ICE motor vehicle, you can find a gas station quite easily. However, this is not the case with electric vehicles. And you would have to wait about an hour to recharge the battery. While filling up with petrol or diesel only takes a few minutes. You should therefore plan your stops according to the charging station. What you can do is plan the stops around your food stops. So while your car is charging, you can eat and rest.
You’ll need to plan your route ahead of time, figure out where charging stations are, assume that due to unavoidable circumstances your EV’s range may drop, and so on. At the moment, electric vehicles are the best for getting around a city.
What else you can do is not fully load the vehicle. This is because as the battery percentage increases, the charging speed decreases. So you can charge up to 80% and then leave for the next stop. By doing this, you will be able to maximize battery efficiency and you won’t have to take long downtimes. You can make several short stops rather than one long one.
Can I charge by EV at home?
Yes. You can usually charge electric vehicles at home. All manufacturers of electric vehicles offer this possibility. So all you have to do is keep your car plugged in overnight.
If you live in an apartment, you should check with your residents association or society first to make sure they allow charging. Otherwise, life can get quite difficult.
Charging time: How long?
Well, charging times differ from vehicle to vehicle. The larger the battery, the longer it will take to fully charge the vehicle. It also depends on whether you charge the vehicle using a quick charger, home charger or wall charger. Usually you will be able to get a fully charged vehicle in the morning, if you plug it in at night. wall charger is the slowest, then there is the home charger which is installed by the manufacturer and then there is the fast charger. For example, a fast charger takes 60 minutes to charge the battery, a wall charger that comes with Nexon EV takes about 8 hours.
How does fast charging work?
Different companies have installed fast chargers in different locations. Most car manufacturers have installed charging stations at their dealerships and service stations. Using fast chargers is relatively simple. You stop at a charging station, park your car and plug in your vehicle with the charger. Your car and the charger should show “Charging” and then you just wait for your battery to be topped up with enough juice for your trip. You will need to pay for fast charging. However, some manufacturers offer free charging for a period of time.
Where to find chargers?
You can check the location of fast chargers through their apps. Usually electric vehicles come with an app that shows where all the fast chargers are. They are slightly more expensive than home chargers, but they charge the vehicle much faster than home chargers. In addition, they are very practical when you go on a long road trip.
What is the real range of a vehicle?
In India, the government follows the same tests for electric vehicles as for ICE-powered vehicles. For this reason, actual range is often less than ARAI claims. For example, Tata claims a range of 312 km for the Nexon EV but in real life the electric SUV offers a range of around 220 km to 240 km. It is therefore advisable to research the actual range of the electric vehicle you are considering.
Join EV owner groups on Facebook – just search for your car name + group and you can find them. The owners are the best source of information for you.
It is best that you contact an EV owner online or offline to get a clear idea of the actual range.
How many grants will I receive?
The grants differ from state to state, but the Union government grant remains the same. Not all vehicles are eligible for grants, they are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Thus, the available slots are limited. The amount of the subsidy depends on the size of the battery and the cost of the vehicle. To find out the exact amount of the subsidy, you should speak to the dealership of the vehicle.
How long before you have to change the battery of an electric vehicle?
There is no doubt that batteries are expensive. Some media believe that a new battery would cost around Rs. 4 lakhs to 5 lakhs for Nexon EV. However, you will only need to replace the battery after a few years. Generally, manufacturers grant a good warranty period on their batteries. For example, Tata claims a battery warranty of 1.6 lakh kilometers or eight years, which is a lot.
What you can do if you buy an electric vehicle is open a recurring depot for your replacement battery. You would be able to use the RD amount when it’s time to change your vehicle’s battery. The savings from your EV should make it easier to buy a new battery if you keep your EV for that long. Automakers are also likely to offer discounts to existing customers.
So far EVs are too new in India and we haven’t come across anyone who has exceeded their warranty/distance period so far.
Can I convert my current car to electric?
The short answer is yes; the long answer is no!
Nowadays, there are electric conversion kits available for some vehicles. The kit must be approved by the RTO and then you will need to follow the procedure for amending your certificate of registration. The problem is that these kits are only available for certain vehicles and are quite expensive considering you don’t own a compatible vehicle. For example, Northway Motorsports has spear an electric conversion kit for Maruti Suzuki Dzire. It costs Rs. 5 lakhs and is road legal, but you will need to convert your car’s RC.
How to extend battery life?
There are some ways to extend the life of your vehicle’s battery. You can use a slow charger, which means you have to charge more at home and less on fast chargers. Don’t fully charge unless you have a long trip. Load the vehicle up to 80 percent. Also, don’t let the battery drain too much.