The best source of answers for your Tesla/EV ownership experience questions are the EV owners themselves! Don’t listen to all the fear-mongering sponsored by big oil.
Have a question that you would like me to answer? Please let me know!
Q: What are the advantages of driving an EV (electric vehicle)?
A: Without bringing up the environment, EVs are ultra cheap to run, have instant acceleration, quieter, smoother, and require MUCH less maintenance. Overnight charging is super convenient as well, as it is like having your own personal gas station at home.
Q: Gassing up takes 5 minutes, while overnight charging is overnight! How is that more convenient?
A: Unless you have a gas station at your house (and if you live next to one, I hope you are comfortable with the high flammability of gas stations), you actually have to DRIVE to the gas station and BUY gas/diesel, and take time out of your day to go buy gas. Whereas plugging your car in when you get home takes 4 seconds of your time and you get to do something else that you really want to do (like watch YouTube videos 😉 ) . I’m sure there are so many other things you would rather do than buy gas.
Q: Why did you choose the Tesla Model S? Why didn’t you get a(n) ___________?
A: The Tesla Model S replaced two Mercedes Benzes (plus our Prius is gathering dust now) for us. I needed the range, the comfort, the space, and I like the excitement of fast acceleration. The Tesla Model S offers the comfort and cargo space we had in the Mercedes ML350, is quicker accelerating than our Mercedes C300, and costs less than half the Prius in “fuel” to run, plus the 8-year unlimited kilometer battery and drive unit warranty gives peace of mind. Since I drive a lot, and the Mercs were falling apart due to the high mileage, this peace of mind gives me the confidence of just driving and driving and driving. Plus don’t get me started on Autopilot :-D.
Q: What regular servicing do EVs need?
A: None, aside from replacing your wipers when they streak, and your tires when they are worn out, and washer fluid when the reservoir is low. Even brakes need very infrequent replacing (300-400,000km) approximately, due to the majority of the braking done via “regen” or regenerative braking when youtake your foot off the accelerator. The only other components that would need replacing would be the suspension, but that’s about it.
Q: Charging stations are few and far between where I live. How is it possible for me to own an EV?
A: Common logic will make us think that since you need gas stations for gas cars, you need electric charging stations for electric cars. But this isn’t necessarily true. If you live in a single family home and/or have private parking with an electric outlet (even a 110v), you should be able to do the vast majority of your charging at home and/or at your workplace. For those who live in apartments/multi-family complexes and rely on street parking, it becomes a little trickier as your primary method of charging will be a Level 2 and Level 3 charging while you do errands during the course of the week.
Q: Okay, now you are being technical. What is the difference between Level 1, 2, and 3 charging.
A: From slowest to fastest (speeds in North America):
Level 1 – This is just plugging into a regular 110v outlet similar to those that you find all over your house or regular block heater plugs (that are not on cycle timers). You could charge your EV from it but it will be extremely slow. For a Tesla Model S, it will add just 6 km of rated range per hour of charging (approximately 1kW of charging speed). A 10-hour overnight charge will add just 60 km of rated range. This is useful if you don’t have any other option, and if you don’t plan to drive a lot. Plugin hybrids with limited range are fine with this type of charging as their battery packs are quite a bit smaller.
Level 2 – This is what I suggest your home charging setup be. This should give you a full charge in as little as 4-5 hours (with the Tesla High Power Wall Connector), or 9-10 hours (12 hours for 100D Teslas) with the 240V NEMA 14-50 outlet (aka dryer/electric stove plug) and the standard UMC (Universal Mobile Connector) that comes with your car.
What do I have? I just have a 240V outlet that gives me 8 kW of charging speed and it is more than sufficient for my needs (100-200km/day driving with the occasional longer trip).
Level 3 – For Tesla owners, the primary Level 3 charging is the Tesla Supercharger, for other EVs it will be the other DC Fast Charging stations with either a Chademo or CCS Connector. Since these are not widespread where I am from (Alberta, Canada), and have not much experience with Chademo or CCS, I will be biased and talk more about the Tesla Supercharger.
Compared to Level 1 and Level 2 charging, the Tesla Supercharger is extremely fast. Depending on your battery pack’s capability, you could get a maximum of 97-120kW (Tesla Superchargers) of charging speed which tapers down as your state of charge goes higher. Level 3 charging is ideal for longer trips, as a 20-minute charge is sufficient to bring your batter up from 20% to around 70-75% (more than enough to take you to the next Supercharger or beyond).
Q: Are EVs good cars to drive in the Winter?
A: Absolutely! Our Tesla Model S is the best Winter car we have owned! It does not require a warm-up time unlike an ICE vehicle, just get in, and go! Specific to the Tesla, the centre of gravity is low to the ground, and the dual-motor set up allows the power to be shifted from back to front in whatever distribution is best for traction in milliseconds, so the handling is superior to any ICE vehicle out there.
Q: Help! I get ridiculed for buying an electric car and people tell me that gas cars are better. How do I respond to these people?
A: I am no stranger to this, especially the snide remarks and comments I frequently get on my YouTube channel. I just tell them that I decline an argument, and that I am more than happy paying for my electricity, and they should be more than happy paying for their gas/diesel. They usually shut up after that.
Q: Am I hurting the Albertan/Canadian economy by not driving a fossil-fuel powered vehicle? My friends who work in Alberta/Saskatchewan oil and gas are guilt-tripping me.
A: Absolutely not. You are just shifting your fuel from one source of energy to another. Natural Gas and Coal (coal’s portion is rapidly decreasing) are currently the main source of power in the Prairies. Most of the rest of Canada gets the majority of its electricity from renewable hydro-electric power. There is a lot of employment in the energy sector and you are supporting jobs closer to your local community. For those who live outside the Prairies, your petroleum does not really come from Alberta. It really sucks that Ontario and Quebec (the two most populous provinces in Canada) actually IMPORT oil from the US, Venezuela, and the Middle East. Buying an EV will actually help reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and shift demand to local energy production, thus supporting local employment. I would rather support a local family than a sheik’s third Lamborghini.
Have more questions that you would like me to answer? Please let me know!