Frequently Asked Questions

Batteries, Charging, and Range

While it is possible to charge to 100%, it is not a great idea to do so regularly unless it’s absolutely necessary. Keeping the battery at 100% will speed up battery degradation which will decrease range over time. Additionally, charging slows down as you approach 100%, so charge times will take longer. Whenever possible, it’s a better idea to make more charging stops on a road trip to reduce the overall time spent charging (because the average charge rate will be higher).

Tesla does recommend charging vehicles with LFP batteries such as the Model 3 RWD to 100% at least once per week when possible. This is because the battery management system (BMS) is not able to properly calibrate when the LFP battery is not at or close to 100%. This does not mean that there is no added degradation from charging to 100%.


Charging speed depends on a variety of factors including the current state of charge (battery %), the maximum rate of the vehicle’s on-board charging system, and the maximum output of the EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment). Generally EVs charge at around 25-45 miles per hour at home on level 2 (240v) charging and around 4-6 miles per hour on level 1 (120v). 
Here are some examples of charge speeds in miles per hour while charging at home with a level 2 (240v) EVSE in a 2022 model year vehicle:
  • Tesla Model 3 & Model Y - 44 miles
  • Ford Mustang Mach E - 28 miles
  • Chevy Bolt - 26 miles
  • Nissan Leaf - 25 miles
Charging speed depends on a variety of factors including the current state of charge (battery %), maximum rate that the vehicle can accept, and the maximum rate that the charging equipment can supply. Generally a 20-80% charge will take around a half hour on average, however some cars may charge faster or slower. Rates of charge in miles per minute vary from 3-20 miles per minute. It is important to note that at very low or even more importantly, very high states of charge (under 20% or over 80%), charging speeds slow down.
Here are some examples of approximate charge speeds (0-80%) while charging at a level 3 fast charger in a 2022 model year vehicle:
  • Tesla Model 3 & Model Y - 28 minutes
  • Ford Mustang Mach E - 48 minutes
  • Chevrolet Bolt - 60 minutes
  • Nissan Leaf - 40-60 minutes
  • Volkswagen ID.4 - 28 minutes
  • Porsche Taycan - 23 minutes
Most EVs will get around 200-300 miles of range, but some vehicles will have more or less range depending on battery size, weight, aerodynamics, and other factors. 
Here are some examples of maximum estimated EV range in 2022 model year vehicles (numbers are based on the highest range variants offered):
  • Tesla Model 3 -358 miles
  • Tesla Model Y - 330 miles
  • Tesla Model S - 405 miles
  • Tesla Model X - 351 miles
  • Ford Mustang Mach E - 314 miles
  • Chevrolet Bolt - 259 miles
  • Nissan Leaf - 226 miles
  • Volkswagen ID.4 - 280 miles
  • Porsche Taycan - 212 miles
  • Lucid Air - 520 miles
EVs do not use much battery when parked. Usually, less than 1% of the battery will be used per day while parked. This will vary and could be higher or lower depending on the vehicle, temperature, and other factors.
You can charge an EV anywhere that you can find an electrical outlet. You can also charge using home charging equipment or public fast chargers.
No, battery EVs (BEVs) are fully electric and do not have backup ICE engines like a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV/PHEV) or fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV).
Minimum warranties on the high voltage battery in EVs start at 8 years/100,000 miles in the US. Some battery warranties go beyond that. Warranty protection isn’t just for failure either, but is based on the maximum charging capacity. Each manufacturer guarantees that a battery will maintain a certain percentage of its original capacity. If the battery capacity dips below the guaranteed minimum within the warranty period, they will replace the battery at no cost. This is simply the warranty though, not the lifespan. EV batteries can easily last 300,000-500,000 miles or more.
A traditional 12v battery is used to power vehicle accessories such as the lights, radio, windows, media system, and other small components. It is recharged by the high voltage (HV) battery rather than an alternator like an ICE vehicle.

If there is a power outage and you don't have a backup power source (generator, backup battery, etc.), you won't be able to charge... but you also won't be able to pump gas without power. As with any vehicle, planning ahead is key. If a major storm is likely, simply make sure your EV is charged before a potential outage - the same way you would fill up with gas before a storm. With an EV or ICE vehicle you may need to travel to be able to charge/fill up.


Yes, electric cars are safe to drive and even charge in the rain or snow. The battery is sealed and electrical components are not directly exposed to the elements. You actually have a much greater chance of damaging an ICE vehicle in a flood than an EV.
Charging an EV is bad weather including heavy rain is totally safe for several reasons. The vehicle and charging equipment are both designed and built for use in all conditions. Systems are tested and rated to handle bad weather. Electrical components are not exposed, so you can’t touch a live component by accident. If the charger is not fully connected, the system will not deliver power. The charging systems on both ends (vehicle and charger) monitor the power input/output and can detect problems and shut down charging nearly instantly.
Electric vehicles are very safe, with many of them earning top safety awards. Because there is no engine, the front of the car is more suitable for absorbing an impact. The low center of gravity provided by the battery pack makes EVs stable and less likely to roll over. Any vehicle can catch on fire, but EVs are actually around 100x less likely to catch fire. They are more challenging to put out than ICE vehicle fires, but since they are less likely to happen the overall issue of fire is much greater with ICE vehicles.

Driving, Handling, and Performance

No, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. EVs are usually faster than similar ICE vehicles. Because electric motors provide 100% of their torque nearly instantly, they accelerate faster. The quickest production car is an EV (Tesla Model S Plaid) with a 0-60mph time of just 1.99s - quicker than cars many times the price. EVs are also capable of reaching high top speeds, well above anything needed on the road. The highest top speed of a production EV is 258mph (Rimac Nevera).
Just like with ICE vehicles, handling on snow or ice depends largely on the type of drivetrain (e.g. 4WD, AWD, RWD, FWD) and the type of tire used (e.g. winter, all-season, summer). EVs have an advantage though because they have more quicker and more precise torque control for each wheel. This means that they are better able to handle the adjustments necessary to maintain control in slippery conditions.

Maintenance, Costs, and Practicality

Yes, electric cars work well in cold weather, but there are some things to consider. In very cold weather, range can drop by around 20%-40% depending on the vehicle, heater use, and exterior temperature. There are ways to reduce this loss of range such as battery pre-warming and pre-heating the cabin. Using seat heaters instead of cabin heat or lowering the cabin heat also improves efficiency.
Home Charging: The average cost for electricity in the US (as of 2/2022) is around $0.15 per kWh. The average EV uses about a third of a kWh (0.346kWh) per mile. This puts the average per-mile cost of an EV at about $0.05 if you don’t factor in power loss during the charging process. Corrected for this power loss (90% efficiency) the actual cost is just shy of $0.06 per mile.
Fast Charging (Public / Level 3): Level 3 chargers are the fastest way to charge. L3 charger costs vary based on provider and location. The average price is around $0.28 per kWh which would put the average cost per mile at just under $0.10. Prices can range from $0.20-0.79 per kWh. This would put the potential per mile cost range at around $0.07 to $0.27 per mile. So there will be some circumstances where charging is more expensive than gas, but that is usually not the case, even when all charging is done at an L3 charger.
Fast Charging (Public / Level 2): Some level 2 chargers are free to use, so obviously the cost per mile for electricity is zero in those cases. So let’s compare only to chargers which are not free. The average L2 charger costs about $0.25 per kWh which would put the per mile cost at just under $0.09. Prices can vary and may end up with similar costs to L3 chargers in some cases.
Gas: The average cost of gas is around $3.57 per gallon (as of 2/2022). The average 2022 model gas powered vehicle gets about 25 miles per gallon (mpg). This puts the cost of gas at around $0.14 per mile - more than double the cost per mile to drive an EV.
Diesel: The average cost of diesel is $4.06 per gallon (as of 2/2022). Average MPG for a diesel powered car such as a sedan or coupe (not including pickups and larger vehicles) is around 35mpg. This put the per mile cost at just under $0.12.
The average person drives about 1,000 miles per month. Based off of average electricity costs, average vehicle efficiency, and average charging losses, the average electric bill would be around $58 per higher month. The average cost of gas would be around $143 - about $85 more than an EV costs to charge at home. That means the average EV owner can save over $1,000 per year versus a gas powered car.
Electric cars have much fewer parts than ICE cars. They also have less maintenance requirements. Electric motors require no regular maintenance and EVs don’t need oil changes. Brakes are rarely used because of the regenerative braking system which recaptures energy from the motors. This system causes the car to slow when letting off of the accelerator pedal and does not use the regular braking system. This means that brake pads can last for over 150,000 miles, 5 times longer than ICE brake pads. Wiper blades, washer fluid, and tires are amongst the most common maintenance items for EVs, much like ICE vehicles. Overall, the cost of maintaining an EV is about half the cost of maintaining an ICE car.
Tires may have a slightly shorter lifespan on EVs due to the power from instant torque, higher weight, and the lower tread from the more efficient tires. According to some sources, this can mean a 20-30% shorter life. This may be true, but it depends on who you ask. Some, including a major manufacturer of tire dispute this claim and state that tires do not wear more quickly on an EV.
No, electric cars do not need regular oil changes like ICE vehicles.

No, EVs are not more likely to get stranded in traffic jams. Electric vehicles use very little energy when they aren't moving. They are also much more efficient than ICE vehicles. EVs don't run their motors while stationary. Ice vehicles must keep their engines running to power heating and cooling systems.

There are federal credits available for the purchase of EVs. Depending on where you live there may also be state and/or local credits. There are also incentives for EV charging equipment.

For information on the federal incentives visit our article on electric vehicle tax credits.

Efficiency and Environment

Yes, just like anything that uses electricity, an EV can be charged using solar. A home solar system can easily provide enough power to fully charge an EV.
Electric vehicles are better for the environment that ICE vehicles. EVs can be powered by any source of electricity, including green technologies like solar, hydro, or wind. ICE vehicles can only be powered by combustion of fossil fuels, mainly derived from oil. EVs are also much more efficient than ICE vehicles - about 90% EV efficiency versus approximately 20-30% for ICE. 
But what about the downsides? Mining and manufacturing certainly do some level of harm to the environment, so just like any vehicle, EVs aren’t 100% pollution/emissions free. The pollution from these processes actually mean that EVs are actually slightly more harmful to make than ICE vehicles. So does this mean that they are worse for the environment? Simply put, no. To understand the environmental benefits of EVs we must look at the whole picture, including use/driving. 
Within the first 5,000-15,000 miles EVs make up for their “dirtier” manufacturing processes with their lower emissions. EVs themselves have no direct emissions, however their power source does in most cases. So we have to look at the average percentage of each type of power source to assess the full picture. With all of these factors considered, emissions from EV use are significantly lower than ICE emissions. In fact, studies have shown that even if EVs are used in less developed areas with coal power plants, the emissions are lower. This is because power plants are more efficient than small combustion engines.
For a more detailed look at this topic, read our comparison of the environmental impact of EVs v ICE vehicles.