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Electric Vehicles: Myth vs. Reality

Steer clear of the misconceptions about EVs. Learn the facts here.

Estimates put more than one million electric vehicles (EVs) on U.S. roads today. Drivers can choose from nearly 50 EV models in almost every vehicle class. Yet, myths about EVs persist.

To set the record straight, we decided to examine the most common misconceptions—and separate fact from fiction.

Myth: EVs are too expensive.
Reality: EVs can cost more to buy or lease than similar gasoline vehicles, but they cost about half as much to operate, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, which has a handy cost to fuel comparison tool on its website. According to the Edison Electric Institute, the average price to charge an EV is equivalent to about $1.20 per gallon. Electric vehicles also require less maintenance because they have fewer moving parts. That means no oil changes, and the brakes last longer because the electric motor helps bring the car to a stop. Drivers who purchase an EV also may be eligible for a federal tax incentive of up to $7,500.

The 2019 Hyundai Kona EV travels up to 258 miles on a full charge.

The 2019 Hyundai Kona EV travels up to 258 miles on a full charge.

Myth: You can’t drive very far before you run out of battery power.
Reality: The Chevy Bolt can travel up to 238 miles on a single charge. New models out in 2019—like the Hyundai Kona EV and the Kia Niro EV—offer similar or longer ranges. Bottom line—most EVs provide plenty of range for the average Wisconsinite who drives about 30 miles per day, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. But if you still have “range anxiety,” there are several popular plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) available, like the Toyota Prius Prime. PHEVs run on battery power before the gasoline engine kicks in.

Myth: Charging an EV isn’t very convenient.
Reality: Actually, it is—because more than 80% of charging happens at home. A Level 2 (240-volt) charger provides 10 to 25 miles of range per hour, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That means you can charge a depleted EV battery overnight and have it fully charged in the morning. With MGE’s Charge@Home program, drivers can get a Level 2 charger in their garage for a monthly fee of about $20, plus the cost of electricity. 

DC fast chargerIf you do need a quick charge away from home, you’ll find about 60 public charging stations in the Madison area. MGE’s charging network features more than 35 stations, four of which are DC Fast Chargers, capable of providing 60 to 80 miles of range in 20 minutes. You also can find DC Fast Chargers spread across many interstate and state highways.

Myth: The electric grid can’t handle millions of EVs plugging into it.
Reality: Our community grid currently has the capacity to handle EVs. Most EV charging happens at night when demand for electricity is low. MGE offers a Shift & Save rate that helps EV drivers save money if they charge during these “off-peak” evening hours. MGE also is testing “managed charging,” which allows us to manage the charging stations of Charge@Home participants. This helps MGE better understand customers' charging patterns and preferences, and the potential impact of EVs on the grid.

Myth: EVs don’t have any “get up and go.”
Reality: EVs offer instant torque. That means all the motor's power is available to the driver faster than with a gasoline engine. The Chevy Bolt goes from zero to 60 mph in less than 7 seconds.  

Green power tomorrow logoMyth: Switching to an EV won’t reduce my carbon footprint.
Reality: Driving an EV can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Transportation accounts for 29% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. You can further reduce your impact on the environment by charging your EV at home on green power. Sign up for Shared Solar or Green Power Tomorrow, and you can purchase up to 100% of your energy from renewable sources. All of MGE's public charging stations also are powered by 100% wind energy.

Myth: EVs are not safe.
Reality: EVs undergo intense and rigorous safety testing to make sure they meet the same safety standards as traditional vehicles. In addition to standard tests, EVs undergo specific safety tests to help limit chemical battery spills, keep the battery secure during a crash and prevent electrical shortages. These cars also have a lower center of gravity, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. This means the vehicle is less likely to turn over.

There's a lot to discover—and a lot to love—about EVs. Learn more about EVs at mge.com/LovEV. And, for news and features about electric vehicles, stay plugged in to the EV Rider section of mge2050.com.

published: Oct-11-2019

Debbie Branson

Until next time,

Debbie Branson

MGE New Market Manager

EV Rider