Depending on who you ask, electric cars are either going to save the world or are hunks of junk that run out of juice before you can leave your driveway. Whatever your feelings, as a future auto mechanic, you might have many questions to answer about electric vehicles (EVs). There are more of them all the time, and it doesn’t look like they are going away any time soon. As EVs become more and more popular, you’ll likely get a question or two about their benefits, or asked if you think they’re worth the cost.
Here are some FAQs about electric cars you’re likely to be asked, as well as the answers you might offer to curious customers.
What Do Auto Mechanics Think About Ownership Costs For Electric Cars?
As students completing their auto mechanic training know, the cost of a vehicle is only part of the total cost of ownership. Buyers need to think about fuel and maintenance costs, too—and those can add up.
Electric cars do cost quite a bit more than the average gas guzzler. Even with tax credits available from several provinces, as well as at the federal level, electric cars are at a bit of a disadvantage in terms of up-front price. But, per kilometer, electricity is less expensive than gasoline. Users report saving an average of $2,000/year, and since electric vehicles have fewer moving parts, they’re less prone to requiring pricy maintenance.
Overall, a cheap gas-powered car is likely still cheaper than an EV, but an electric car offers better value than a comparably priced conventional car over time.
Do Electric Cars Have Enough Range For My Purposes?
One of the greatest concerns most customers have with electric cars—and one they are likely to ask professionals with auto mechanic training about—is whether an electric car has enough range for their needs.
Electric vehicle range varies by model, so when answering this question, you should first ask how they’ll use their car in order to determine what their specific needs will be. Run customers through a couple of scenarios and see how they respond. Do they just need something to get from home to work and back? If so, then any electric car should be fine. Do they need or want something to go hundreds of kilometers in a day? Do they plan on travelling to remote locations where charging stations might be few and far between? In that case, they’ll probably either need to get an expensive EV like the Model S, or, more likely, stick with a conventional gas-powered car.
Based On Your Auto Mechanic Training, What Is a Likely Lifespan for an Electric Car?
Conventional gasoline-powered cars can get beat up, and they sometimes need a lot of money put into them. However, if a customer takes good care of their car, it can last a surprisingly long time. Modern electric cars are pretty new, and relatively few people have owned them, so it makes sense that one of the biggest questions customers will have for their auto mechanics is “How long will an EV last?”
Because there usually isn’t much maintenance required for an electric car, most customers can expect a good, long lifespan out of their EV. The batteries do lose charge—expect a capacity reduction of approximately 20 per cent in five years—but those can typically be swapped out for a new, fully-functional battery whenever that becomes necessary. It’s possible that, should compatible batteries continue to be available, a person could keep a well-maintained EV for far longer than they would a regular gas-powered car.
Electric cars have their upsides and downsides when compared to gasoline-powered cars. By learning about how the different technologies stack up, aspiring auto mechanics can help guide the average person to the best decision for their personal needs.
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