Driving an EV may take a little getting used to. Here we address some common questions, and misconceptions about driving an EV.
Q: Are EV safe to drive?
A: All EVs must meet the same Federal Motor Carrier Standards and Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards — and undergo the same rigorous safety testing as ICE vehicles. EVs also meet the electrical and safety standards set by the Society of Automotive Engineers, the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Working Council, and others.
Q: Is there special safety training or guidance I should provide to my drivers?
A: We strongly recommend scheduling an online training course before a driver picks up their EV. After pick-up, encourage them to read the vehicle manual and get comfortable driving in an empty parking lot.
Q: It is rumored that EVs have slow pick-up, is that true?
A: No, and in fact EVs accelerate more quickly from a stopped position than an ICE engine.
Q: Does EV braking differ from that of an ICE vehicle?
A: EVs use regenerative braking, a very cool technology to help to power the vehicle and optimize its range. To maximize this, EVs are equipped with a feature called One Pedal Control, the accelerator pedal controls both speeding up and slowing down. Pressing this pedal makes the vehicle move as usual but lifting the foot makes it slow down, hard, not coasting.
Q: How often is preventive maintenance needed on an EV?
A: Electric motors do not need the same level of maintenance as an ICE engine as they have fewer parts and no oil and fuel filters; however, you will still need to keep up a regular preventive maintenance schedule. Items such as transmission fluid, brake fluid, pads and rotors, coolant reflushes and / or refrigerant recharges, tire rotation and replacement are all examples of preventive maintenance work that will eventually need to get completed. The timing of those items will vary, the vehicle’s maintenance guide will provide direction for drivers.
Q: How does weather impact an EV?
A: Extreme hot and extreme cold can affect battery life. Parking in a shady spot on hot days and sunny spots on cold days can help.
Q: In case of an emergency, does an EV require special handling?
A: In case of accidents, plug-in vehicles have built-in safety mechanisms to protect drivers and first emergency responders. First responders are trained on protocols for handling accidents involving plug-in vehicles.
For a roadside event, there are specific providers that are equipped to help with an EV. In this case, contact the typical support number for roadside and an associate will address the need and find a provider than can help.
For additional EV operating tips: please see our collection of Driver Safety Tip Sheets