FAQs

Q: Why buy a car that plugs in?

A: Plugging in to tap renewable power such as solar, wind, tidal or other, allows you to drive without contributing to the pollution that sickens and kills hundreds of thousands of Americans every year, providing you with virtually pollution-free driving. Electricity is much cheaper than gas (1/3rd the current cost of gas) and allows you to opt out of spending tens of thousands of dollars on gas for the rest of your life. It allows you to drive silently; you won’t add to the din of thousands of internal combustion engines moving throughout your community.

Q: Isn’t plugging in an inconvenient chore?

A: Absolutely not! Plugging in literally takes about 5 seconds of your time. You no longer have to visit a gas station and jockey for a pump. You can charge anywhere there is an electric outlet, including your house or workplace.

Q: Are electric cars impractical because of their range?

A: Not at all! Well over 90% of daily driving is under 100 miles. According to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, the national average is 30 to 40 miles per day. Most new battery electric vehicles have a range of double that and can be charged at an ordinary 120V electrical outlet or at a public charging station. To find out your daily driving range, keep a record for two weeks of how far you drive every day. If it averages between 10 and 90 miles a day, you’re a prime candidate for an EV or PHEV! Range anxiety about EVs and hybrids is misplaced. Most EV drivers are finding that they can drive to work, do their chores around town and get back home with plenty of battery capacity left over.

Q: Aren’t EVs inefficient?

A: No. On the contrary, they’re one of the most EFFICIENT technologies in existence. Gas vehicles only convert 17% to 21% of the energy stored in gasoline to power at the wheels. Electric vehicles convert 59% to 62% of the electrical energy from the grid to power at the wheels. This makes EVs environmentally friendly and energy-efficient. EVs emit no tailpipe pollutants. Some of the power plants producing the electricity for EVs may emit them. But electricity from nuclear-, hydro-, solar-, or wind-powered plants causes no air pollutants.

Q: Don’t EVs take too long to charge? 

A: No. The most convenient time and place to charge is at home while you sleep. Even using the slowest 120 outlet, charging overnight, an EV will replenish 40 to 50 miles of range. Most new EVs and PHEVs are capable of 240 V charging to full in 3 to 8 hours. A good example is the NISSAN Leaf, which fully recharges in 4 hours. Public DC Fast Chargers provide an 80% charge in as little as 20 minutes for some EVs. 

Q: Are EV and hybrid ranges improving? 

A: YES! With dramatic leaps and bounds! For instance: the 2014 NISSAN Leaf goes 90 miles on a charge; the 2015 model goes 130 miles on a charge.  

Q: Why should we support plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) over vehicles that run on biodiesel or ethanol? 

A: A plug-in hybrid (PHEV) is like any normal hybrid, but with two important differences. It has a larger battery capacity and is able to plug in to the electrical grid to charge the batteries. Instead of a battery with a capacity of about 1 kWh of power like an ordinary hybrid, these batteries will have a capacity of 9-10 kWh of power. This will enable the PHEV to drive like a fully electric vehicle for up to 40 miles before the gas engine kicks in. CURRENT supports any clean fuel that is not oil. However, it is clear that electricity is the cleanest, cheapest and most ubiquitous source of domestic energy for moving cars and trucks. The need for multiple sources of energy to replace the oil we use makes excellent sense, so all alternatives will have their place as we transition away from oil. 

Q: If I were to drive a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), how much would my gas mileage improve?

A: Your gas mileage could improve to several hundred miles per gallon, plus electricity. If you had a PHEV with a 40-mile range in EV mode, and you rarely drove over 40 miles without charging, then you would almost never need gas. Most people will find that if they have an EV with 150 miles of range, they would not need another vehicle for any of their daily driving. For longer trips, you could rent or borrow a PHEV. For families with two vehicles, one would be an EV, and the other a PHEV. For those families, they would only need gas when they drove over 40 miles in a day.

Q: Driving an EV, I’ll spend less money at the gas pump, but won’t my electricity bill go through the roof? 

A: Absolutely not. In fact, the reverse is true. Your energy bill will be less overall by driving with electricity. EVs are so efficient that the cost, per mile driven, is significantly less. For instance, a 2002 Toyota RAV4 will travel 100 miles on 4 gallons of gasoline. At $2.50/gallon, this is $10.00. A 2002 Toyota RAV4 EV will travel 100 miles on 30 kWh of electricity. At 10 cents per kWh, this is $3.00. Most drivers spend around $250 @ month on gas. EV owners spend about $40@ month on electricity to charge their vehicles. That’s 5x times less!

Q: Could a solar power system produce electricity for a plug-in car? 

A: Yes, easily. EVs typically can travel 3-4 miles (or more) per kWh. If you drive 12,000 miles per year, you will need 3,000-4,000 kWh. Depending on where you live, you will need a 1.5kW-3kW PV system to generate that much power using about 150-300 sq. ft. of space on your roof. In fact, many EV drivers recharge their cars from rooftop solar panels today, generating virtually no pollution for their local driving.

Q: Can CURRENT help me install solar power to charge my electric vehicle?

A: Yes! CURRENT, which sells EVs and installs chargers, has partnered up with Pick My Solar, which installs solar power systems, to make the process of charging your EV and home with solar power possible! No other company in the USA can sell you all three items to make your home and transport system 100% energy-efficient.

Q: Does it cost more to insure an EV?

A: No. In fact, according to Farmer’s Insurance, most EV’s are very safe vehicles that tend to be driven by mature, careful drivers and actually cost less to insure than comparable gas powered cars.

Q: Will driving a Plug-In Hybrid improve my gas mileage?

A: Your gas mileage could improve to several hundred miles per gallon, plus electricity. If you had a PHEV with a 40-mile range in EV mode, and you rarely drove over 40 miles without charging, then you would almost never need gas. Most people will find that if they have an EV with 150 miles of range, they would not need another vehicle for any of their daily driving. For longer trips, you could rent or borrow a PHEV. For families with two vehicles, one would be an EV, and the other a PHEV. For those families, they would only need gas when they drove over 40 miles in a day.

Q: How long does it take to charge a Plug-In?

A: How long does it take to charge your cell phone? Think about charging your car just like you think about charging your cell phone. Most people charge their cars at home or work, just like a cell phone. Plug it in when you arrive and it will be ready for you in the morning, or the end of the work day. The actual charging time depends on the size of your battery, how far you have driven, and the amperage of the charging system. Keep in mind that most of the time, the battery will not be empty when you plug in, just like your cell phone.

Q: Where do you recharge a Plug-In vehicle?

A: Most people recharge overnight in their garage, carport or driveway or work, but there are many public chargers for electric cars as well. An estimated 99 percent of all charging currently happens at home or work.

Q: How much does it cost to charge a Plug-In vehicle?

A: Much less than it costs to buy gasoline. Exactly how much depends on the vehicle and electricity rates. On average, it costs less than $1 to charge a plug-in hybrid and $2-$4 for an all-electric car. Your overall energy bill will be lowered by driving with electricity.

Q: Will plug-in cars lead to more coal and nuclear power plants?

A: No. The existing electric grid’s off-peak capacity for power generation is sufficient to power 73 percent of commutes to and from work by cars, light trucks, SUVs and vans without building a single new power plant, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The existing nighttime electricity could also be stored in plug-in vehicles and retrieved during peak-demand hours through vehicle-to-grid technology for use by the grid, helping to meet society’s daytime power needs. The U.S. power grid is also getting cleaner every year as affordable renewable energy continues to replace coal plants.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT WORKING WITH CURRENT:

Q: If I get my car through CURRENT, where will it come from?

A: Your brand new EV will come from an authorized new car dealer. All purchase, financing and leasing documents will be in your name and you will be the first owner of your new vehicle.

Q: Do I get the dealer’s and manufacturers’ warranties?

A: Yes. You get the exact same warranty coverage as if you purchased or leased your car from your local dealer. 

Q: If I buy an EV through CURRENT, where do I get my car serviced?

A: You can get your car serviced at any authorized dealer for your make of vehicle. This includes all warranty service as well.

Q: If I buy or lease my EV using CURRENT, do I still get tax credits, rebates and other available EV incentives?

A: Yes, CURRENT will not only make sure you get every incentive and benefit you are entitled to, but we will also provide you with ALL of the appropriate forms and guide you through each process so that you get every EV benefit that is available to you. Most dealers don’t do this. Many of them don’t know about ALL the benefits available for EV drivers –  like we do!

Q: Do I have to travel far to pick up my new vehicle?

A: Not at all. In most cases, your car can be picked up at a local dealer, at our office or we can arrange to actually deliver your new EV to your home or office.

Q: How do I know you can get a better deal on an EV than I can?

A: CURRENT has deals in place with many local dealers who sell and lease EV’s. Since we are the EV experts, and know which dealers are the most competitive and willing to give us the best prices, you can be assured that we can beat just about any deal you can get. We get dealers to compete. And because we bring them many customers, we get better deals than any individual customer can get.

Q: What is CURRENT’s fee?

A: We don’t charge our clients a fee for our services. We are paid a nominal fee by the selling or leasing dealership.

Q: How does the process for purchasing an EV with CURRENT work?

A: Most of our clients know which EVs they’re looking to buy. They have already researched prices and have a few quotes. We improve the price for them. When we find the car you want and agree on a price, we ask you to fill out our credit application, so that we can pre-approve you with the dealership we’re getting your car from. Then we meet you at the dealership to complete the transaction.

If you’re starting fresh and don’t know which car is right for you, that’s fine. We’ll ask you some questions about your budget, driving habits, needs and where you live, to help determine which car will work best for you. Once we’ve established basic price parameters, we can schedule meetings at one or more dealerships for you to examine the cars in person and test drive them. Then, when you choose a vehicle, we handle all the negotiations for you. It's hassle free!

Q: If I just want to look at a car and test drive it, can CURRENT arrange this?

A: Yes. We schedule test drives at dealerships. We can meet you there to answer questions about the EV you’re thinking about purchasing. If you’re ready to purchase, we can stay with you to answer all your questions about the transaction process, and guide you through it with the dealer. In effect, we act as an advocate for the buyer. After your test drive, if you want to go home and think about it some more, that’s fine. You can call us to ask questions until you’re ready to make a decision. CURRENT won’t ever “push” you into buying an EV. You establish the time process; we’re there to help along the way and offer you the knowledge you need to make the right decision. Then, when you are ready to buy or lease, we'll handle all the negotiations for you.

Q: Who will I be working with at CURRENT?

A: CURRENT’s sales force is highly experienced with EV’s, chargers and solar power. They own, drive and use them all the time. Having this wealth of experience makes it easy for us to “walk the walk and talk the talk.” The best way to learn about EVs, chargers and solar power is to talk to someone who has “been there and done that.” When you deal with CURRENT, it’s like going to EV SCHOOL. You come away much smarter about the process of buying an EV, a charger, and/or solar power.

Q: After I purchase my electric vehicle via CURRENT, can I call with questions?

A: Yes! We encourage you to do so. Driving an electric car is easy, but you’ll have occasional questions we can help with. Feel free to call us.

Q: How do I obtain my rebate, my tax credit and my HOV stickers?

A: CURRENT will help you with that. We’ll assist you with completing the paperwork and answer any questions you have about the process.