On May 18, 2014, the Union of Concerned Scientists brought together a dynamic panel of experts to respond to the most common questions about electric vehicles (EVs) that we received from our supporters.
Check out this Google+Hangout discussion for answers to the following:
1. How do I respond to the criticism that electric vehicles are powered from dirty coal plants and therefore are not as clean as gasoline or clean diesel?
2. What is battery range?
How do I respond to the criticism that "I like to travel and an electric car is only for traveling short trips in town"?
3. What are the implications of using an EV in a cold winter climate, like Minnesota?
4. Are there many charging stations today and when can we expect a better infrastructure to expand the number of available stations across the country?
5. Are there any negative results for using a fast charger multiple times a day?
6. Should an EV be charged even after a short drive, or should the batteries be nearly drained before charging them back up?
7. My LEAF is three years old, averaging 85 miles / workday for the first two years, and about 20 miles / day for the last year. The batter used to charge to 105 -- 110 mile range in the first year, but now chargers only to an 80 mile range. Is this expected?
8. What is the useful lifespan of an EV battery pack and is there a cost effective way to replace it?
9. How reliable is an electric car and where do it take it for servicing?
10. Is slow charging better for overall battery life and longevity and does the temperature of a garage affect the amount of energy it takes to charge an EV?
11. Why are there three types of DC fast charging options? Is there a way to standardize these types of chargers?
12. I charge my LEAF using 110V. Would it use less energy per charge if I used a 220V charging dock?
13. What is the state of battery development with respect to cost, energy storage, and EV range? What can be expected in the near future?
14. What are the facts behind the life cycle environmental impacts for modern batteries in electric vehicles?
15. What is the current status for recycling spent batteries?
16. What are the most viable pathways to clean energy to power EVs?