4 Little-Known Facts About Electric Vehicles

by James Florence

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Everyone knows electric cars are cheaper to fuel than gas-powered vehicles, but that’s just one of many interesting EV facts. Photo: American Ratings Corporation ©2019

It’s no surprise that electric vehicles (EVs) are rapidly growing in popularity. Not only are they more environmentally friendly than gas-powered vehicles, they’re far less expensive to fuel. However, there are many things the average person doesn’t know about EVs, including additional benefits and crucial safety information. To shed some light on this topic, we asked Kacey Copeland, owner of autoTech Blackhawk in Danville, to share a few little-known facts about electric vehicles.

  1. EVs rarely need their brakes replaced. When you step on the brake pedal in an EV, it signals the motor to slow down so the brake pads have less work to do. For this reason, it’s not unusual for EV owners to drive 100,000 miles or more before they need to replace their brake pads.
  2. Both braking and coasting charge an EV’s battery. Thanks to an innovative feature called regenerative braking, when you step on the brake pedal in an EV, it captures the kinetic energy that’s created and converts it into electricity to charge the battery. This same process occurs when an EV is coasting.
  3. EVs require a lot less maintenance than gas-powered vehicles. Since it doesn’t have a mechanical engine, an electric vehicle requires very little mechanical work. For example, EV motors don’t use oil, so you can say goodbye to recurring oil changes. Basically, the only maintenance items you’ll need to worry about are tire replacement/alignment and occasional brake pad replacement.
  4. EV air conditioning systems use a specific type of refrigerant oil. Refrigerant isn’t the only thing a car’s A/C system needs to function properly—it also needs refrigerant oil, which lubricates the compressor. Few people realize that gas-powered and electric vehicles each require specific types of refrigerant oil. Whereas the oil used in gas-powered vehicles contains metal, the oil used in electric (and hybrid) vehicles is metal-free. Why? Because if the metal in the refrigerant oil becomes electrified, it could electrocute the passengers in the vehicle! This is one reason why it’s important to take your EV to an auto shop that’s well-versed in EV maintenance.