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12 Myths About Electric Vehicles

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MYTH: The grid will crash if millions of plug-ins charge at once.
FACT: Off-peak electricity production and transmission capacity could fuel the daily commutes of 73 percent percent of all cars, light trucks, SUVs and vans on the road today if they were PHEVs, a 2007 study by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory found. Also, utilities are upgrading some local distribution systems to accommodate plug-ins, just as they do when residents add more air conditioners and TVs. Plug-ins, which can be seen as energy storage devices on wheels, can actually benefit the grid, making green energies like solar and wind power even more viable.

MYTH: Battery chemicals are bad for the environment and can’t be recycled.
FACT: Ninety-nine percent of batteries in conventional cars are recycled, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The metals in newer batteries are more valuable and recycling programs are already being developed for them. Utilities plan to use batteries for energy storage once they are no longer viable in a vehicle.

MYTH: EVs take too long to charge.
FACT: The most convenient place and time to charge is at home while you sleep. Even using the slowest 120-volt outlet, the car can be left to charge overnight, producing about 40 miles of range. Most new BEVs and PHEVs will charge from 240-volt outlets providing double or triple the charge in the same amount of time. Charging stations that reduce charging time even more are beginning to appear.

MYTH: Plug-ins are too expensive for market penetration.
FACT: New technologies are typically costly. Remember when cell phones and DVDs were introduced? Also, the government stimulus package includes a $2,500 to $7,500 tax credit for EVs and PHEVs. Some states are considering additional incentives ($5,000 in California and Texas). And, the purchase and lifetime operating cost of an EV is on par with or less than its gas-powered equivalent because EVs require almost no maintenance or repair: no oil or filter changes, no tune ups, no smog checks.

MYTH: Batteries will cost $15,000 to replace after only a few years.
FACT: The battery is the priciest part of a plug-in, but costs will drop as production increases and the auto industry is expected to be purchasing up to $25 billion in advanced batteries annually by 2015. Some car makers plan to lease their batteries, so replacement won’t be an issue. The Chevy Volt PHEV will have a 10-year battery warranty that would cover battery replacement.

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Read more: Conscious Consumer, Conservation, Do Good, Home, Life, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, Sustainable Dave, Transportation, , , ,

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Dave Chameides

Dave Chameides is a filmmaker and environmental educator. His website and newsletter are designed to inspire thought and dialogue on environmental solutions and revolve around the idea that no one can do everything, but everyone can do something. "Give people the facts, and they'll choose to do the right thing."


+ add your own
9:51AM PDT on Oct 19, 2011

great information here, thanks

5:13PM PDT on May 29, 2011

Good infomation, thank you.

7:52AM PDT on Apr 15, 2011

Very informative at a time I'm seeking information. Thank you.

11:01PM PST on Feb 17, 2011

saved, shared,

7:02AM PST on Jan 7, 2011

How about this one: FACT: The electric vehicles cannot be manufactured in any feasible way without light electric motors that are only possible because their manufacture depends on the use of rare earth metals (with exotic names like Neodymium) which are difficult to locate in mineable quantities. Right now, China is the only major source of these, and they are limiting export of such metals. This will limit the number of new electric vehicles that can be made, or possibly allow China to monopolize the market for such vehicles at some point in the future.

Anyone want to debunk that "myth" for me?

6:21AM PST on Jan 7, 2011

Thank you for the good information!

11:18AM PDT on Apr 20, 2010

Here in B.C., as you go further north into the province, one will see EVERY parking-lot has a post for each parking-spot..this is for the winter, which usually gets to around 20 below freezing or more..and the post is an electrical outlet for plugging in your vehicles' electric coil placed inside the engine to keep the water from freezing while at least in those areas, the infrastructure for electric plug-ins is already in place..We get most of our power from hydro-electric, which of course ruins the land by damming rivers and flooding pristine I too am of course in favour of a better renewable resource like solar or wind power, but at least in these particular towns/cities..there would be no problem of keeping the batteries re-charged...and we have had battery-recyclers here for as long as i have been alive,(car battery recyclers pay from 5 to 20 dollars each for the scrap) so no...the old dead batteries would not end up in a landfill somewhere up here.

5:00AM PDT on Apr 5, 2010

thank you

8:34PM PST on Mar 8, 2010

Good info!

8:30PM PST on Feb 27, 2010

Im 14 at the time and for my first car I am planning to get a EV. The cost will drop quite a bit by the time Im ready for driving so Ill be off to a good start! Plus no need to ask my parents for gas money :)

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