Electric vehicles are slowly but surely beginning to take over the automotive industry due to the significantly reduced carbon footprint. Gavin Gescheidler, a car salesperson at Thomas KIA of Highland, was able to provide some insight and answer some frequently asked questions about this new world of automobiles.
“I know a lot of people are nervous about moving forward to electric vehicles, especially people that haven't even had a hybrid vehicle yet, so it's a big step,” Gescheidler said. “It's more simple than what people are thinking especially if you just drive an electric vehicle around town.”
He explained that most electric vehicles, or EVs, can go 250 to 300 miles on one charge. Whether you are driving around town or driving long distances, electric vehicles can get you to where you need to go, and Thomas Kia has a mobile app that will help you find charging locations along the route of your road trip as well as how long it will take to charge.
“There's an app through Kia and you can put into your navigation of where you want to go. If you want to go from Chicago to Florida, it will give you all the charging spots on your route,” Gescheidler said.
“Even if it's a crazy long drive you can have all of those charging stations on the way and then set your route accordingly and then you'll know how long it takes to charge depending on which level of charge you get.”
There are two different levels of chargers. The first level typically comes with the vehicle and takes about 48 hours to fully charge the vehicle. The level two charger is highly recommended because it can fully charge the vehicle in about nine hours, ensuring waking up to a fully charged car every morning. The level two charger requires a 240-volt plug.
“You need a 240 volt to plug into your house and then that is where you can charge it in nine hours,” Gescheidler said. “That's the easy one that I tell all my customers, plug it in overnight and when you wake up, you'll always have a full battery no matter if you drive 200 miles a day or 20 miles a day. That level two charger is recommended.”
A big concern many people have regarding making the switch to electric vehicles is how they feel when driving. Due to the difference in mechanics between typical gas intake engines and electric vehicles, they do feel slightly different when driving.
“It's kind of hard to describe without driving it,” Gescheidler said. “But for gas vehicles, we hit the gas and then hit the brake and then the transmission does all the work so it's pretty smooth normally depending on what kind of vehicle you drive, but for the electric vehicle, there is a bit of a lag but it is very minimal.”
Gescheidler explained that when you let off the acceleration pedal, it almost feels as if the car is preparing to brake before the brake pedal is pressed. Electric Vehicles drive smoothly, but they do ride slightly differently than regular gas intake vehicles.
“The difference is very subtle. More people notice it, or some people notice it more than others, but I think it's okay, something that you get used to if you drove it every day,” Gescheidler said.
Through Thomas KIA of Highland, the batteries in electric cars come with a 10-year 100,000-mile warranty. This is more protection than most manufacturers put on their engine and transmission.
In terms of the environmental impact of hybrid and electric vehicles, there are virtually no emissions because there is no exhaust in fully electric vehicles, and hybrid vehicles can operate in EV mode and run only on electricity, producing no emissions.
“The carbon footprint is decreasing, which is good. That's a big change,” Gescheidler said. “Of course, there are no fumes when you charge the vehicle because of the electricity, so you don't have any gas that could spill. It's definitely in the right direction the more and more vehicles that come out electric.”
For more information on Thomas KIA of Highland, please visit thomaskia.com.