Are electric cars reliable? Nissan LEAF B mode? EV Support Program answers your questions
02.14.2019 - by John U’Ren
Are electric cars reliable? Nissan LEAF B mode? EV Support Program answers your questions

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 members, 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!

7 comments on “Are electric cars reliable? Nissan LEAF B mode? EV Support Program answers your questions”
  1. Mike Kruse says:

    Why coast in a Leaf when you can build up more miles through regenerative braking?

  2. Mike Brady says:

    EV purchasing: new ones are still too expensive for the range you get. Used, you mostly can find Chevy Bolt (be sure the battery fire recall has been done) and Nissan Leaf (reputation for poor battery life in older, small-battery ones). Bolt isn’t a bad deal at $10-15K with 30-40K miles, but they’re getting more than that right now. Remember, battery warranty is 8 years, 80-100K depending on brand.

    Chargehub – pretty, but basic. The web site not mentioned at all here is, which locates nearly all charging networks’ stations with good mapping and directions, and has been around for years. Also shows a lot of non-network sites. Very useful, unless you already know where all the chargers are on the trips you make.

    Main problem with away-from-home charging at the public chargers is the cost – competitive with gas, sometimes premium. I charge at home when possible. SMUD has a discounted overnight rate.

  3. violeta fowler says:

    If you are a support for Ev and similar types of cars, Why it so secret to inform people and educate them about what you said you are there to help and you are a sustainable agency. I already visit one dealer by the area I live in and it seems that he doesn’t care to sell/ n0t interest in my questions. I had an old clunkerand I i like the incentives as they are for clean cars but i dont know about it, I cannot get an station where i live @,, it sounds that used and new EV are about the same prices, and how come a lot of newer cars are back @ the dealer’s and selling as used. Please answer,

  4. marvel says:

    i am looking foward of seeing the off road vehicles getting alot more electrified especially the recreational one like jeep.

  5. Climate Buddy says:

    Jorge jtamargo:: The Tesla is a different “plug” from other EVs. Most of the remaining EV’s use the same 240v plug, though there are two different types of 480v Fast Charging plugs. See this article for details.

  6. jorge jtamargo says:

    are all the plugs for all EV the same Physically fit plug and able to handle all charges ?

  7. ira josephs says:

    The Leaf also coasts really well so if you are going downhill with a subsequent uphill it could increase range by switching to neutral while going down. Is it ok to keep switching back and forth while I am driving hilly backroads?

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