📝FAQs as an EV Owner

This post answers some of the frequent questions I get as an EV owner.

📝FAQs as an EV Owner
My trusty Sparky at Bay Area Park in Clear Lake.

Electric vehicles are becoming more appealing to consumers looking for a new vehicle and as a new owner of a Tesla Model Y 📝X Reasons the Tesla Model Y Is a Great Family Car (5 Seater - Family of 3), I tend to hear the same questions asked by people wanting to learn more about EVs. In this post, I'm going to answer those questions and share some insight into what it's like to own an EV.

If you have more questions, shoot them over to me on Twitter @itschrishuerta.

How long does the battery last?

This question is usually related to range. I have the 2022 Tesla Model Y Long Range and Tesla lists the range at 330 miles, but of course range varies depending on multiple driving conditions. For comparison, the Lexus NX 300 F Sport I drove before this had a range of 340-360 miles on a full tank of gas, so in terms of overall range, I didn't lose much, if any.

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How long does it take to charge?

This question is multifaceted because there are so many factors that contribute to charging time.

  • What kind of charger am I using?
  • Are you charging at home? Supercharger? Other EV charger?
  • How much are you charging? Is it 0-100% (it rarely is)?

I charge at home using the Tesla Mobile Connector plugged into a NEMA 14-30 outlet. This combination gives me a charging rate of ~20 mi/hr so the total time to charge really depends on two factors: starting and ending charging percentage.

Some napkin math shows that it would take 16.5 hours to charge from 0-100%, which admittingly, is a very long time! But, even though my range at 100% is ~330 miles, I rarely charge to 100%. I also rarely let my charge get down to 0% either.

When I first got my car, I set my daily limit to 80%. After a few months, I have lowered my daily limit to 60%. On a regular weekday, after 80-100 miles of driving, I typically end up with 30%. According to the Tezlab app, which tracks a lot of my Tesla's metrics, a charge from 53% to 80% took 3 hr 48min. It's also important to note as well that the car charged overnight.


How often do you need to charge?

The easy answer is to charge when you need it, but personally, I charge every day and to be fair, it's not as inconvenient as it might sound.

When you equate the experience of filling up your gas tank at a gas station to charging your car, it makes sense why charging every day might seem inconvenient. But it's important to remember that for most people, charging happens at home. When I get home every day I plug in the car knowing that the next morning, I'll have my desired charging percentage ready - no trips required. And that's the beauty of owning an EV.

I could also not charge every day, let the battery get low, and then do one large charge but when you're dealing with electric vehicles and large batteries, there are some things you have to consider. If you read the Tesla owner's manual they also recommend the car is plugged in, if possible, when not in use.


One thing to point out as well is that the car doesn't necessarily charge when it's plugged in. You're able to control in the app whether the car is charging when it's plugged in. I use the scheduled departure feature and off-peak charging feature in the Tesla app, which allows the car to charge overnight when rates are lower and it starts charging so that I have my desired battery level of 80% ready by my department time (ex. 8 am). Pretty awesome!

Where do you charge?

I charge at home using the Tesla Mobile Connector and a NEMA 14-30 adapter and outlet. NEMA 14-30 outlets are typically used for dryers and I had an electrician install it while our new home was under construction. Looking back, I would have installed a NEMA 14-50 adapter, which would have given us ~29 mi/hr of charging instead of ~20.

The Tesla Mobile Connector comes with the vehicle and it includes a standard household outlet. If this is all you had, you could still charge your car albeit a lot slower. For a Model Y it would charge at 3 mi/hr.


Do you use Tesla Superchargers?

For those unfamiliar, Tesla Superchargers are Tesla-owned chargers that charge your car very quickly. Depending on the supercharger power output, expressed in kW, Tesla says you can get up to 200 miles in range in 15 minutes. The amount of time you spend at one depends on your arriving battery percentage, charge limit, and the amount of power the supercharger is providing.

I have used superchargers multiple times but it's important to note that most of my uses have been outside my home city. Superchargers are really meant for people who are on long road trips or those who might not have the option to charge at home.

Are you scared that you'll run out of battery?

This is a valid concern for many prospective EV owners and to be honest, I am not scared of running out of battery nor have I had "range anxiety." Here's why.

My car has 330 miles of range at 100%, but I've already said I don't charge to 100%. At 80%, the range is around 260-265 miles. My daily driving is around 80-100 miles a day, which means I'm always getting home with plenty of range left over and plenty of time to top off overnight.

Unless you're driving more than 300 miles a day in a Model Y and/or don't have a reliable place to charge, I can understand having some range anxiety. Otherwise, it's nothing to be concerned about.

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Do you take your car on road trips?

Yes! Our family recently took a road trip from Houston to Austin and it was the most seamless driving experience. The drive from our home to the hotel was 160 miles, so we made it to the hotel with plenty of range. We did some driving to visit some friends as well and I didn't have to worry about making a detour at a supercharger.

A big reason for this was that when booking a hotel, I researched to see which hotels had EV chargers. We stayed at the JW Marriott downtown (it was our first family trip since before COVID, so I treated us) and each night we would park the car with the valet and ask them to plug it in. They did and we started each day with plenty of charge for the day.

I'm also planning a trip from Houston to West Texas (~1200 miles roundtrip). Yes, it takes some additional planning but from what I've seen from others, it's worth it!

Any additional FAQs?

I'll keep updating this post as I get more questions. If you have any, reach out on Twitter or Instagram!