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Electric Vehicle 101

Written by Caitlin Ritchie

Edited by Jamie Cesanek

Last updated 01/06/2023

Monty Rakusen/ImageSource/Getty images

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Electric vehicle FAQs

  • Yes, there are tax credits and incentives for electric vehicles. The recent Inflation Reduction Act provides a tax credit of up to $4,000 for used EVs and $7,500 on certain new EVs. Many states also offer tax credits and incentives for consumers who purchase electric vehicles. 

  • Private and public EV charging stations work a lot like cellphone chargers. When you plug your EV into a charging station, the charger converts AC electricity from your home into DC electricity, which powers the electric battery in the vehicle.

  • The time it takes to charge an EV will depend on the level of charger. Level 1 chargers can take between eight and 40 hours to fully charge an EV, while Level 2 chargers cut that time down to between four and 10 hours. Level 3 chargers are by far the fastest charging option (although they come with a very high price tag) with a charge time of between 30 and 60 minutes.

  • Historically, some venues offered free public charging stations. Whole Foods, for example, offers free charging stations at select locations. However, the majority of public charging stations are not free. The cost to use a public EV charging station will depend on the charging network. Most charging stations require payment in some form, whether it’s per kWh of electricity you consume, per minute of use, or through a subscription fee. 

  • California has by far the highest number of public charging stations in the U.S. with nearly 13,500 available public stations across the state. The U.S. Department of Energy offers a map of all the public charging stations located across the country.

  • Yes, you can plug an EV into a 120-volt household outlet with a Level 1 charger. This outlet should be dedicated to only charging your EV. However, upgrading to a Level 2 home charger will speed up your charge time significantly. 

  • The average cost of a new electric vehicle in 2022 is approximately $66,000, but that cost will vary greatly depending on the manufacturer and additional upgrades. For example, the base price of a Nissan Leaf is less than $28,000. Meanwhile, the starting price for a new Tesla Model S in 2022 is $104,490. 

  • The government requires manufacturers offer warranties on EV batteries for eight years or 100,000 miles. Some states require longer warranty periods, including California, which extends the warranty requirement to 10 years or 150,000 miles. Consumer Reports estimates the average EV battery lifespan is 200,000 miles, or a little more than 15 years if driven the average 1,060 miles per month. 

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