Consumers are becoming more interested in plug-in electric vehicles, but many still have questions before they make the first step away from pure gasoline cars. The top 10 such questions can be answered by reading a simple-to-understand method, says Green & Energy Consulting Group, a consulting company focused on electric mobility and green energy.

Green & Eneregy surveyed about 4,000 people to determine the top 10 most important questions for plug-in consumers. Then, three scientists compiled the answers into a free ebook, using words that won't get readers stuck in puzzling technical vocabulary or excessive use of data.

The top question was "How do you recharge an electric car?" This is followed by questions on the lifespan of the electric car, the range of electric cars and how much they cost to own. Government subsidies and maintenance and repair questions were also of interest to survey takers. The consulting group itself focuses on political and environmental issues, such as the CO2 emissions of plug-ins and how to recycle electric car batteries.

The most interesting question, to us, dealt with whether electric vehicles were an over-hyped, passing fad. This question can be answered with a resounding no, according to the authors. Electric mobility is not just another technology that will be fashionable for a short while because of environmental, health and economic reasons. "Finding alternatives to oil and finite fossil fuels that are harmful to both the environment and people's health is of utmost importance. Furthermore the costs of finite fossil fuels will inevitably rise due to the limitation in combination with the constant increasing demand," the authors write.

Plug In America has compiled its own educational answers to frequently-asked questions about electric vehicles, charging and energy sources. These range from the simple, how to ("Is plugging in a hassle?") to more environmentally conscious ("What about overall emissions, including the car and the power plant?"). If you're looking for free answers, they're not all that difficult to find.

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      • 8 Months Ago
      This is a pretty good resource overall, though I don't agree with their conclusion that EVs have a shorter lifespan than conventional vehicles though (p19). The EV drivetrain could be designed to last 5x longer than a gas powered one. The batteries should be viewed as a consumable as once they are replaced, the drivetrain should effectively be brand new. If the car is designed well and looked after, it could last a million miles with 2-4 battery replacements. They also put the price if batteries at ~1000EUR / kWh. Consumers can already purchase at ~350EUR / kWh. And I'm sure OEMs can get them even cheaper.
      • 8 Months Ago
      "Finding alternatives to oil and finite fossil fuels that are harmful to both the environment and people's health is of utmost importance. Is it just me or is coal thee main producer of electric power. Does or does it not emit CO2, and is or isn't ico2 harmful to the people and planet? So there for electric is not the answer.
        • 8 Months Ago
        if you assume that the energy mix won't change in the future, when it is clear that it will. Renewables have an exponential growth of installed capacity, utilities are starting to consider stationary battery storage as a viable strategy, and the US approved the first new nuclear reactors to be built since the 70s. Even in the US, natural gas is overtaking coal as the primary electricity source, and gas burns much cleaner than coal. Even taking a coal fired plant, the co2 emissions are not greater than those of the gasoline burnt in an equivalent car. Coal plant have huge electrostatic filters, and also capture sulfur and other contaminants. It is much more economical to do that in one centralized place than to have emission control systems on each vehicle. Diesel particulates were found to be highly carcinogenic after 20 years of research (well duh!), and gasoline cars still emit aromatic hydrocarbons, which are a health hazard. And you are only looking at the US, france gets 75% of the electricity from nuclear, sweden gets above 80% from nuclear and hydro, norway is mostly hydro, and the share of renewables in the mix will only grow. Not to mention the fact that a considerable amount of people are installing solar panels or wind turbines (like in denmark) to generate electricity themselves, even if is still costly to do. You can't generate gasoline by yourself.
      • 8 Months Ago
      VAL, Please tell me wher they have new nuclear power plants (under 20 years) in the US. So no polutants come out of coal, because that is all we have around here (within a 400 mile radius), Yes somepeople are putting up solar panels but how will that help all unless hundres of thousands put up enough to remove them from the grid all together. For your info I checked out solar but it would take me 30 grid free to pay for it.Oh and nuclear isn't there toxic waste that is added into the mix when the rods are used up, and what if a meltdown occures like in China the cooling system is knocked out by a storm? That should all be included into the electric car (I know not all of it goes for cars but they can tell the diferance).
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