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10 unusual questions about electric cars

Does the battery ever wear out?

Yes, they do wear out over time but while many smartphones don’t take more than a couple of years to wear out, the batteries of an EV, while similar in technology, are designed to last significantly longer.

This is also because of other technologies in the car that is designed to always keep the perfect conditions for the battery.

So if it gets hot outside or while charging it’ll start cooling the batteries to have the optimal temperature.

Many manufacturers make promises about how long their batteries should last. Many say it’ll stay over 70% charging capacity for 10 years, which is pretty wild.

If however, the battery starts to degrade very quickly or that you cannot live with -10 to 30% less charging capacity, you can get individual battery cells changed in an authorized workshop.

Can you charge an EV in the rain?

Yes, there is no risk in charging your EV in the rain. They are some rumors which claim that people have been electrocuted or that the car wouldn’t start afterward. This is utter bullshit.

No power will flow from the charging station to the EV without there being a good uninterrupted connection. Water will short fuse and close down any connection if anything happens and it’ll happen so fast that you won’t even feel any shock at all.

What happens to an EV if it’s struck by lightning?

There is no higher chance that an EV will be struck by lightning than a normal gasoline car with a combustion engine. Like in every other car the chassis will protect you. The chassis will protect you for up to 1 million volts.

The closed construction of a car will only let lightning have superficial tension and lead it straight to the ground.

The EV electronics, on the other hand, can actually be damaged from lightning. There is slim to no chance it’ll happen and even less that it’ll break something, but it can happen.

Do you need special tires for EV’s?

No, you don’t need special tires for EV’s. But a lot of EV manufacturers make special rolling resistance optimized tires, Tesla for example. The less rolling resistance the longer you can drive on a charge.

How do I provide start-up assistance for an electric car?

The short answer is, you’ll not ever provide start-up assistance for an electric car. The long answer is, if you end up in a situation where you need to have start-up assistance or to get it jump-started, it’ll not be because of the main battery, but because of the 12-volt acid lead battery.

These 12-volt batteries are the same as which you find in gasoline cars and hybrid electric cars. But the potential risk of this happening on an EV is very slim because it’s always getting charged from the main battery.

Can an EV sound like a sports car?

I think if you search for this on Youtube, you’ll find a lot of people who’ve tried this. It can be done to a point, with large speakers and good recordings of other sports cars.

Of course, I will admit that a brutal engine from a sports car sounds fantastic. But I don’t think it’s the point to make EV’s sound like normal, sports, or supercars. I think an EV has a fantastic sound on its own and it’s just a bit lower and different.

There is a good point in making EV’s a little louder. It’s a little paradoxical, we have tried for many years to make gasoline cars less noisy and now we want to make cars sound louder. But it makes sense because of safety.

You’ll not be able to hear a fast EV before it has already hit you. With a gasoline car, you might be able to move away before anything bad happens.

So right now VW, Skoda, Hyundai, and Nissan just to name a few, are working on giving their EVs more standard sounds which are also just a little noisier.

Where is the nearest charging station?

I think this is an unusual question that I often come across. It’s unusual because the answer is so simple.

The nearest charging station is just the nearest outlet and that most often is in your home or garage.

But I think the real answer is about third-party charging stations. And there is only one answer to that; closer and closer for every day.

Hundreds and sometimes thousands of charging stations are installed every day, so it’ll just become easier and easier with time.

In all EV’s you have the function to find the nearest charging stations closest to your route, you’ll be able to find it under “Navigation”.

Can an EV tow a caravan or trailer?

While most EV’s actually can tow trailers and caravans, a very little amount of them is actually allowed to by their manufacturers.

Take for example a Tesla Model 3 and Model S, they are both very capable of pulling a caravan, but according to the owner’s manual of both cars, they aren’t permissible for towing neither a trailer nor a caravan.

A Tesla Model X, on the other hand, is actually allowed to tow a trailer or caravan with a maximum of 5000 pounds or 2250 kg. This isn’t to say that it’s a very good idea to do so just yet.

You gotta be very patient if you’ll want to take a caravan on longer trips with a Model X because it’s very inefficient at the current state of batteries.

The more weight and wind resistance you have, the more power/energy is needed for accelerating and keeping the momentum and it happens exponentially the faster you drive.

So a long trip in a Model X with a caravan on the highway might not be the summer holiday you were hoping for.

Does the speed affect energy consumption?

Speed affects energy consumption in a very big way, and not just because you have to move the weight of the car faster but because of wind resistance or so-called drag.

The drag is exponentially increasing at the speed you are driving at. The lower you are driving the less energy you’ll actually consume per kilometer or mile. Here is a very oversimplified example.

Let’s say you drive 100 km/h you consume 1% of each kilometer and you’ll be able to drive 100 kilometers. But if you chose to drive 200 km/h instead you would consume 2% of each kilometer and you would only be able to reach 50 kilometers.

So the faster you drive, the less distance you would actually be able to drive. Just taking it further for fun. Let’s say you were driving 1000 km/h you would only be able to drive 1 kilometer.

Does the battery take away a lot of space inside an electric car?

Today the battery of an electric car doesn’t take up any space inside the car. EV’s actually typically have way more storage space than a normal gasoline car. This is because the motors are way smaller and there are way fewer parts taking up space.

Most EVs also keeps the battery in the bottom of the car to minimize the space taken up and to keep a lower center of mass. People often get surprised when they take a look in the frunk of a Tesla.

The frunk is where the motor of a gasoline car is used to sit and Tesla has used this space for another trunk or “frunk” for extra storage.

Also, other manufacturers have started adapting the frunk, like Skoda Vision E for example.

The frunk is really great for smaller items like charging equipment or anything you usually carry around in the car anyway.

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Author: Morten Pradsgaard

Morten has been working with technology, IoT, and electronics for over a decade. His passion for technology is reflected in this blog to give you relevant and correct information.