September 9 to 17 is National Drive Electric Week. About 60% of Americans know little or nothing about EVs. They should. EVs are a practical and affordable option for many people, and they put much less carbon into the atmosphere than a gasoline-powered car. Take our quiz, based on the car pictured. It’s a used 2013 Nissan Leaf with about 25,000 miles on it.
- The Kelley Blue Book fair market value for this car is closest to:
a) Under $10,000
d) Used Leafs are unavailable or very hard to get.
- How many miles can this car drive on one charge?
a) 30 miles
d) 84 miles
- The miles-per-gallon equivalent for this car is:
a) 75 miles per gallon
b) 95 miles per gallon
c) 114 miles per gallon
d) 150 miles per gallon
- At .12 per kWh (U.S. average), what would it cost to drive 100 miles in this car?
- How long does it take to charge this car?
a) 6 hours
b) 16 hours
c) 30 minutes
d) 15 minutes
- How long will it take for this car’s battery to degrade 30%?
a) It depends on your climate.
b) It depends if you routinely deplete the battery almost to zero.
c) Maybe it doesn’t matter.
d) All of the above.
- What is a PHEV?
- 1. A Actually, used Leafs are readily available and modestly priced. It is comparable to buying a used gasoline powered Ford Focus with similar mileage. See Why You Should Buy a Cheap Used Electric Car.2. C or D This Leaf will offer you about 85 miles, but it’s best not to run the battery down below 20%, so 65 miles is a better answer.3. C 114 mpg. See http://www.hybridcars.com/what-is-mpge/4. B $3.48 This varies depending on the cost of electricity in your area and when you charge. Night-time rates are cheaper.5. A or B. If you trickle charge using a regular household outlet, it takes 16 hours maximum. If you install a 220-volt level 2 charger in your garage (around $500 – $700) charging time is six hours maximum. This car is not equipped to use a level 3 charger (the 30-minute option found in some public settings) but many newer Leafs can. Level 3 chargers are still hard to find.6. D Nissan will replace the battery of this car if its capacity falls below 70% before 60,000 miles or 5 years. Batteries in many cars will go a lot longer than that if the owners do not live in hot climates and avoid running the battery down almost to zero on a regular basis. But studies show that many people do not need a battery at full capacity to meet their daily needs. The average American drives less than 30 miles per day, so a somewhat reduced range is adequate. See battery lifespan
7. PHEV stands for “plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.” This is a car such as the Chevy Volt that has both a battery that can be recharged from an external source and a gasoline engine. It runs on electricity around town and switches over to gasoline for longer trips.