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Electric vehicle Frequently Asked Questions

What is an electric vehicle (EV)?

An electric vehicle is a vehicle that gets some or all of its power from electricity rather than traditional fuel sources such as gasoline. EVs must be charged by plugging the vehicle into a power source.

What are the different types of plug-in EVs?

Two types of plug-in EVs are available depending on your driving needs.

  • All-electric vehicle (AEV)/battery electric vehicle (BEV): an EV that runs solely on electricity and must be plugged in to be recharged.
  • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV): an EV with plug-in capability; its power can come from electricity, gasoline, or a combination of both.
What are the benefits of EVs?

There are numerous benefits to owning an EV:

  • Charge at home: Drive your car off the lot and start charging at home. The 120v outlet in the garage is capable of powering your electric vehicle.
  • Home grown energy: EVs rely less on oil and more on electricity, which is produced 100% in the United States.
  • Low cost of ownership: EVs generally cost less than gasoline-powered cars to own, operate, and maintain.
  • Good for the environment: EVs are considered zero-emission vehicles because they produce no emissions when operating in all-electric mode. They create less noise pollution and can take advantage of renewable energy resources when charging
  • Driving experience: EVs are fun to drive. They utilize electric motors providing instant torque resulting in quick acceleration. EVs are designed to have a high level of handling and large comfortable interiors.
Will EVs need regular servicing like conventional gasoline powered vehicles?

EVs require servicing, but on a more limited basis than gasoline-powered vehicles because they contain fewer fluids and moving parts. BEVs require no oil changes, while PHEVs require them less frequently than gasoline-powered vehicles. Expected battery life on EVs is over 100,000 miles, depending on the vehicle.

How do I charge an EV?

80% of EV charging is done at home, overnight. There are options when it comes to selecting the level of charging for your home that best suits your needs:

  • Level 1 charging: allows you to use the existing infrastructure of your garage. You can simply plug into a standard electrical outlet and utilize the 120v outlet. Level 1 charging is generally adequate for any BEV or PHEV if the daily number of miles driven is under 40 miles. Every EV comes equipped with a manufacturer provided 120v charging cord. Simply drive your car home and plug into your garage.
  • Level 2 charging: requires an additional component that is not provided from the manufacturer, but allows for quicker charging times. While level 2 requires additional investment, some manufacturers will allow you to finance level 2 charging equipment with your vehicle purchase.
  • DC charging: or DC fast charging, is not suitable for at-home use, but is available in Westar service territory at limited locations.
What public charging stations can I access locally?

Public charging infrastructure is developed and available in Westar’s service area and surrounding areas. You can search charging station data to discover local charging stations by simply entering your location into the charging station locator tool below:

How green are EVs?

By using electricity as a fuel source, even if only for a portion of the overall fuel, EVs are significantly more environmentally friendly than their internal-combustion engine counterparts. The electricity that powers EVs comes from a variety of fuels depending on your location. Westar's energy comes from a combination of coal, nuclear, natural gas, wind, and bio gas. Significant investments in wind generation mean that Westar continues to be committed to increasing its renewable energy generation which helps make your EV ownership a green choice.

In addition, whether the EV is charged at the gas pump or charging station, Westar ensures that all electric vehicles purchased from October, 2017 through December, 2018 in Kansas are powered with carbon-free, locally generated wind energy for the first three years of driving. This is made possible through the retirement of renewable energy certificates, equivalent to the expected number of EVs sold in Kansas, driven at the national average of twelve-thousand annual miles. A renewable energy certificate represents proof that one megawatt-hour of electricity from a wind energy resource was generated. Once that electricity is fed into the grid, a certificate is created guaranteeing the transaction. Approximately 2,200 Kansas-based wind renewable energy certificates will be procured to cover the carbon footprint of the expected number of EVs purchased in Kansas from the end of 2017 through 2018.

How affordable are EVs?

The sticker price of an EV may be more than its gasoline powered counterpart. However, EVs provide significant fuel savings over the life of the vehicle, reduced maintenance costs due to fewer moving parts, and an additional warranty to cover the battery and associated systems for 8 years/100,000 miles. In addition, a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500 is available on nearly every EV model on the market today.

Should I buy or lease an EV?

Did you know that 80% of EVs are leased compared to 30% of gasoline powered vehicles? EV technology is constantly improving, manufacturers are announcing new models, and price is decreasing. Consumers can take advantage of the short terms of leasing and get the new technology of vehicle every two to three years.

Where can I learn more?

Find the best electric car to meet your needs! Search for makes and models, learn about electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, find tax incentives, explore how an EV can save you money, and discover other benefits of EVs. Learn more at Energy.gov.

The Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) provides information, data, and tools to help locate public charging stations to refill an EV. fleets and other transportation decision makers find ways to reduce petroleum consumption through the use of alternative and renewable fuels, advanced vehicles, and other fuel-saving measures. Learn more here.

Plug In America helps consumers, policy-makers, auto manufacturers, and others to understand the powerful benefits of driving electric. They provide practical, objective information to help consumers select the best plug-in vehicle for their lifestyles and needs. Learn more here.

Charging Resources:

Find alternative fueling stations near an address or ZIP code or along a route in the United States. Enter a state to see a station count or see stations data by state. Use the resource here.

ChargePoint brings electric vehicle (EV) charging to more people and places than ever before with the world’s largest and most open EV charging network. Use the resource here.

PlugShare is a free application for iOS, Android, and web that allows users to find and review charging stations, and to connect with other plug-in vehicle owners. PlugShare provides the most accurate and complete public charging map worldwide, with stations from every major network in North America. Learn more here.

As this dynamic market continues to change, we will keep you informed. Additionally, you can visit the resources above for more information.

Questions or comments? Email GoEV@WestarEnergy.com.

Looking for more information?

Visit our electric vehicle introduction.

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