In addition to dramatic savings in fuel expenses, plug-in electric vehicle owners also benefit from significant operating cost savings (see also, Economic Savings). A major reason for this is the simplicity of the electric drivetrain and the many fewer moving parts in comparison to conventional internal combustion engines—plug-in electric vehicles do not have crankshafts, pistons, valves, coolant, or multi-speed transmissions. Many routine tasks that motorists are currently accustomed to—such as oil changes—are no longer required, while other parts—such as brakes—require less frequent replacement due to the use of regenerative braking technology. Research suggests that the costs of maintenance and repairs are 35 percent lower for vehicles powered by electricity in comparison to those powered using a conventional internal combustion engine.
Charging an electric vehicle is as safe and convenient as charging a cell phone. Although the amount of electricity traveling from the charging station to the vehicle is about the same as what goes to your clothes dryer, the charging equipment is fully grounded and a charge only flows once connecting parts are safely interlocked. Be sure to hire a reputable electrician to install your home charging equipment, in order to ensure that it adheres to the highest possibly electrical safety standards. Publicly-installed charging stations are independently certified for safety and are installed pursuant to all relevant local and federal codes and regulations.
Additionally, plug-in electric vehicles are held to the same rigorous safety standards as conventional vehicles. For example, both the Chevy Volt and Nissan LEAF have been awarded five star crash test safety ratings by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).