FPL | Electric Vehicles Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Electric Vehicles

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Listed below you will find answers to questions that FPL commonly receives regarding electric vehicles. For answers to questions not listed, visit our Additional Resources page for links to reputable sources of information online.

When will EVs be mass-produced?
More than 80 percent of vehicle manufacturers have plans to produce EVs. Chevrolet is expecting initial sales of 10,000 - 30,000 cars per year for its plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Volt. More than 50,000 individuals in the U.S. have registered an interest in buying the Nissan Leaf, a battery electric vehicle (BEV) model. Both the Volt and Leaf are scheduled for launch in late 2010. Ford and Toyota are also planning large-scale plug-in launches in 2011 and 2012.

Are EVs dependable?
Consumer Reports has weighed in on the matter by saying hybrid systems are very reliable. PHEVs and BEVs have not hit the road in mass; however, automotive manufacturers, the federal government and venture capitalists have committed upwards of $15 billion for electric transportation over the next three years. The key stakeholders are investing a great deal of capital in the electrification of transportation and part of that investment is ensuring these vehicles are dependable.

Are plug-in EVs practical?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, more than 75 percent of Americans commute 40 miles a day or less, so BEVs may meet the needs of most Americans. For those individuals who travel farther on a regular basis, plug-in hybrids combine the efficiency and environmental benefits of battery power with the extended range offered by an internal combustion engine.

Does FPL offer incentives for purchasing /driving a plug-in vehicle?
FPL is not offering incentives to buy or drive plug-in vehicles, but we are studying the technology and its impact on the grid to determine how best to ensure a positive experience for our customers. The advantages of electric vehicles are chiefly low fuel costs and reduced environmental impact.

What is the cost per charge?
The cost depends on the kWh rate, the size of the battery and how much electricity you use. If your car used 10 kWh per day driving at the FPL standard rate of $.116 per kWh, it would cost $1.16 per day (10 kWh x $.106).

Does FPL offer its customers a special rate for charging EVs?
Not at this time. Standard electric rates would apply within the FPL service territory. Assuming FPL standard electricity rates, EV fuel costs are substantially lower than internal combustion engine fuel costs.

Are lithium-ion batteries safe and dependable?
As with gasoline-powered vehicles, plug-in vehicles must meet industry safety standards. Chevrolet has offered an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on its Volt battery, and other EV manufacturers anticipate a lifetime of five to 10 years on their batteries.

What happens when the batteries run out of power?
They must be recharged, either at home or at a public charging station. As the public charging infrastructure continues to expand, drivers of plug-in vehicles will have more options to charge up. Current EV manufacturers have Roadside Assistance Warranty programs in place that may be useful in the event your vehicle runs out of power and you have no ability to get to a charging station. Consult your vehicle manufacturer for more information.

Where are existing public charging stations located?
The U.S Department of Energy has set up a website where consumers can locate charging stations: (www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/locator/stations/). As the number of EVs on the road increases it is expected that the number of public charging locations will also increase.

How can I tell whether I have the necessary equipment and electric capacity?
Consult your vehicle manufacturer on the requirements for the car and a licensed electrician for questions about your home electrical outlet needs.

Is plugging in an inconvenient chore?
No. Plugging in your EV takes only a few seconds, and the actual charging takes place overnight or during the day while you are at the office or running errands.

What are FPLs future electric vehicle plans?
We are continuously evaluating electric vehicles as well as planning to accommodate the additional customer demand for electricity from plug-in electric vehicles charging via the electric grid. We are actively engaged in discussions and forging partnerships with other utilities, automotive manufacturers, local governments and charging infrastructure providers. We educate the public about electric vehicles and are involved in numerous regional and national coalitions in order to spur EV innovation in Florida and around the U.S.