SAN MATEO, CA - JULY 29: A car goes through the car was at Ducky's Car Wash on July 29, 2015 in San Mateo, California. As California endures its fourth year of severe drought and state water officials have implemented mandatory water reductions, San Mateo County Health System officials are encouraging residents to have their cars washed by a local professional car wash instead of washing your car at home with a garden hose. Most professional car washes use recycled water and average about 20 gallons or less per wash versus up to 150 gallons for a home wash.

Are you able to take an electric vehicle through a car wash? Yes, you read that right. And yes that’s a real question that’s searched over 2300 times a month. The answer is yes. And please do. No one wants a dirty car! Our friends the car leasing experts at Nationwide Vehicle Contracts compiled and answered the most often asked electric car questions in the U.S. These however are not your typical searches for things like delivery lead times, mileage, and forms of payments. These are those questions you want to know the answer to but are afraid to ask.

I have to say I don’t have much desire to jump on the electric vehicle bandwagon even with the price of gas these days. It just seems to impractical to me as someone who takes frequent road trips. I just can’t wrap my head around not being able to pull over for gas, instead having to sit and wait for a vehicle to charge. And some of these answers to the questions, yeah aren’t all that comforting to me. But you be the judge and do what works best for you! Below you will find 10 of the most commonly asked questions about electric cars, including “can you take an electric vehicle through a car wash?” But just so you know some aren’t quite that obvious when it comes to answers!


  • Are electric cars safe?

    26,970 searches a month

    The answer:

    Yes, all-electric cars are built to meet the same strict design and manufacturing regulations as any conventional gas or diesel vehicles. They go through the same rigorous safety standards to ensure the cars are as safe as possible. Manufacturers then subject all their vehicles – including their electric offerings – to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards alongside over-safety assessments to ensure the highest level of safety on the roads. Electric vehicles have solid structures, extensive crumple zones, and multiple airbags to ensure that passengers are as well-protected during potential crashes.

  • Can I charge my mobile phone?

    19,810 searches a month

    The answer:

    Yes, you can charge your phone inside an electric vehicle the same way you would a traditional vehicle. By simply plugging your phone into the car’s USB port. Some may be concerned that it will drain electricity from your vehicle’s battery. Luckily most electric cars have an eco-mode driver setting that increases the efficiency of your electric vehicle. This will limit the amount of power you have for electric systems mode and will limit some functions, meaning your phone might not charge as quickly. But don’t worry, you won’t be draining the vehicle’s battery anytime soon from charging your phone.

  • Are all electric cars automatic?

    15,830 searches a month

    The answer:

    Pretty much all electric vehicles are automatic since an electric motor doesn’t need gears. This means there’s no clutch and no way of stalling, unlike a standard manual car.

  • Are electric car charging stations free to use?

    10,360 searches a month

    The answer:

    There are around 140,000 free electric car charge stations in the U.S. Most of these are located near shopping malls, grocery stores, public parking lots, hotels, and even gas stations. Some stations could have restrictions such as a set time or requiring a purchase in-store, so it’s best to check. The easiest way to find your nearest free electric vehicle charging station is to download an EV charge station map, such as PlugShare. 

  • Are you allowed to take an electric car through a car wash?

    2,350 searches a month

    The answer:

    Electric vehicles are perfectly safe to take to a car wash. Just like regular gas or diesel vehicles, electric cars go through what is called a ‘soak test’. This is where vehicles are tested and subjected to near-flood water levels to check for possible leaks, which is carried out to ensure the car is safe. If they pass the soak test they will easily make it through the car wash!

  • What if I don’t have a driveway?

    770 searches a month

    The answer:

    This could be an issue. If you’re considering charging your electric car at home but don’t have a driveway, contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to find out if there are plans to install on-street charging stations.


  • Will air conditioning ruin my battery life?

    390 searches a month

    The answer:

    Running your air conditioning on full blast can reduce the range of your electric vehicle by 17%. However, most electric vehicles have a feature called preconditioning. This allows you to pre-cool your vehicle’s cabin before a long journey and  works best when your car is plugged in overnight. Instead of taking energy from your electric vehicle battery, it will be taken from the mains, so your battery life won’t be affected. So on hot summer days, you won’t need to have your air conditioning on full blast.

  • Can you drive through standing water?

    320 searches a month

    The answer:

    You should never drive through standing water in any vehicle gas, electric, or diesel. 

    The National Weather Service warns that just a foot of flowing water is enough to float your vehicle. In an electric car, this means that the circuit breakers can trip if a car is submerged in water and water gets into the electrical system. As such, the car’s flow of power from the batteries to the motor is interrupted, and you may be left stranded.

  • Can an electric car cause electric shock?

    320 searches a month

    The answer:

    The average electric car operates at voltages between 12 and 48 volts. This can be dangerous but is unlikely to give a fatal shock. Of course, any piece of electrical equipment is potentially dangerous but the only shock you’re likely to get is static electricity from touching it in dry weather, the same as a regular car.

    As for the electrical energy stored in the battery, the high-voltage cables are thickly insulated and well-protected in the event of an accident. Therefore, as long as safety regulations are adhered to, there should be no danger of an electric shock.

  • How safe are electric car batteries?

    110 searches a month

    The answer:

    A common concern is that electric car batteries run on lithium-ion batteries. These can be flammable in the wrong conditions. If the power cells are damaged and short-circuiting occurs, there’s potential for combustion which is known as thermal runaway. While this sounds scary, it’s extremely unlikely.

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