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Electric vehicle Frequently Asked Questions

What is an electric vehicle (EV)?

An electric vehicle (EV) is a vehicle that gets some or all of its power from electrical energy. All EVs use electric motors and most store electrical energy in batteries. EV batteries must be replenished by plugging the vehicle in to a power source.

What types of non-road vehicles are available as EVs?

Many types of commercial on-road and off-road vehicles come in both electric and conventional internal combustion engine versions.

Numerous types of tractors, trucks, vans, buses and warehouse off-road vehicles are available in electric versions. The Alternative Fuels Data Center offers a vehicle cost calculator to compare costs.

How do I charge an EV?

Charging an EV requires plugging it in to an electrical outlet. Most charging will be done at home over night. Public charging infrastructure is being developed and Westar is contributing to this effort by creating additional charging stations in its service territory. There are a number of options when it comes to selecting the type of charging station that best suits your needs. AC Level 1 Charging allows you to use existing infrastructure; you can simply plug into a standard electrical outlet. Faster charging options such as Level 2 or Level 3 requite the installation of charging equipment but allow for quicker charging times. Learn more.

What public charging stations can I access locally?

You can search for local charging stations by simply entering your ZIP code in the charging station locator: 

For information on the go, you can also download the free mobile app developed by the Department of Energy's Renewable Energy Laboratory for the iPhone and iPad on iTunes: Alternative Fueling Station Locator. 

What are the benefits of EVs?

EVs generally cost less than gasoline-powered cars to own, operate and maintain. EVs are considered zero-emission vehicles because they produce no exhaust or emissions. EVs run more quietly and can be charged during non-peak electric load times to take advantage of renewable energy resources, such as wind. To compare the benefits of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric vehicles, visit the U.S. Department of Energy.

Will EVs need regular servicing like internal combustion engines?

EVs require servicing, but on a more limited basis than internal combustion engine vehicles. EVs contain far fewer fluids and moving parts. Expected battery life on EVs is over 100,000 miles, depending on the vehicle. Expected battery life on a EV is about 100,000 miles, depending on the vehicle. 

If you're on the go, use the Department of Energy's Renewable Energy Laboratory mobile version. IPhone users can download an app from the app store.

Do EVs need regular servicing like internal combustion engines?

EVs require servicing, but on a more limited basis than internal combustion engine vehicles. EVs contain far fewer fluids and moving parts. Expected battery life of EVs is over 100,000 miles, depending on the vehicle.

Are EVs really green? Do they actually lower emissions?

The electricity that power EVs comes from a variety of fuels depending on the location of the customer. Westar's energy mix is a combination of: coal, nuclear, gas, wind and biogas. Significant investments in wind generation mean that Westar has already exceeded the amount of renewable energy generation required to meet Kansas' renewable energy portfolio requirements. Westar's commitment to renewable energy helps make your EV ownership a green choice. The Alternative Fuels and Data Center provides a tool to help you compare emissions by U.S. location.

Can I convert my current fleet to EVs?

In some cases it may be the best business decision to convert a current fleet of internal combustion engine vehicles rather than wait to replace them. To explore this options contact a local representative of the manufacturer who would be authorized to make such changes. The Alternative Fuels Data Center offers resources on vehicle conversion.

How expensive are EVs?

EVs vary in price depending on the type of EV. They often require a larger upfront payment but result in significant fuel savings over the life of the vehicle. With few moving parts, maintenance costs can also be realized. The replacement cost of a battery can be high after the warranty has expired (warranties for electric cars are usually 8 years/100,000 miles). However, given the rapidly developing technology in this field, battery prices are expected to drop quickly over the next few years. Also, there may be tax incentives available for your EV.

How can a company's commitment to clean energy be advertised?

The Department of Energy initiated the EV Everywhere Charge Challenge in 2012. As part of this initiative, businesses can become partners in the Workplace Charging Challenge and develop a program to provide charging stations for their workforce. Businesses who commit to this challenge can be listed on DOE's Everywhere Charge Challenge website.

Where can I learn more?

As this dynamic market continues to change, we will keep you informed here. Additionally, you can visit resources for additional information on specific topics.

Questions or comments? Email ElectroGo@WestarEnergy.com.
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