We recently launched the Plug In America EV Support Program, which connects current and potential EV drivers with experts to answer questions about vehicles, charging, incentives and more. This service is a benefit for Plug In America paid supporters, but anyone may access the service one time for free.
We’ve received many calls and emails with important questions about EV ownership, including these questions below!
Are electric cars reliable?
Yes! Electric cars are the most dependable vehicles on the market. They will last as long or longer than gas cars with less regular maintenance required. Since there are significantly fewer moving parts in an EV compared to a gas car, less ongoing preventative maintenance is needed. If they’re a BEV (battery electric vehicle), they require no oil changes, tune-ups, or new spark plugs. If they’re a PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric), the maintenance on the gas generator is usually negligible. Brake life is extended on all EVs thanks to regenerative braking, where the motor is used to slow the car, recapturing the kinetic energy and storing it back in the battery. Electric motors themselves are extremely simple and durable, and will last hundreds of thousands of miles. Electric cars are also more likely to start in the freezing cold than a gas car.
My 2016 Nissan Leaf has a regular “Drive” and an alternative “B” driving option. Is it safe to always drive in B or is that meant only while driving downhill?
The “B” driving mode on a 2016 Nissan Leaf (also labelled as “L” or “low” on other EVs) is a regenerative braking mode that allows you to slow your EV while simultaneously putting energy back into your battery. Now, your EV does this when you press the brake pedal, but the “regen mode” is designed so that you don’t have to work the brake pedal quite as much to enjoy the benefits of regenerative braking. So yes, you can safely drive in both D and B modes on your Nissan Leaf. Electric cars can use the resistance of the electric motor to naturally slow the vehicle. Using this resistance does not damage the motor or drivetrain of the vehicle at all, so feel free to drive your EV in regen mode!