Updated: 4 days ago
Electric cars are becoming more popular as they are a viable alternative to conventional fuel automobiles. I am not talking about Hybrids. These are Fully Electric, Battery only powered vehicles. Battery technology is advancing for EV, Electric Vehicles, producing greater range and reduced charging time for them. There are about 1 million electric cars now on the road in the U.S. That is about ¼ of 1%, or .26 percent of the total of 280 million automobiles in the United States. But the number of EV’s being sold in this country and around the world is increasing every year.
There are some companies that manufacture and sell Electric vehicles on the market today:
There is Tesla, a company named after inventor Nikola Tesla. They are high end, high performance automobiles. Tesla has several models of fully Electric cars. They have the most power and have the longest ranges for any Electric vehicles on the market today. But they are much more expensive.
Nissan has the Leaf, fully electric automobile. It is more economical, with a less powerful motor and reduced performance compared to some other EV manufacturers. Turn over a new Leaf on life.
There is the Chevrolet Bolt, which is also a smaller EV with a little more power and speed than the Leaf.
Ford has the Focus Electric, available in 2018. It takes less time to charge its batteries.
There is the Hyundai Ioniq EV. It is reasonably priced with good range and performance.
The Audi e-tron is more expensive SUV, but has a higher top speed, better performance and a little longer range than some of the other EV’s.
And the Renault Twizy, which is a cheap, tiny, mini car available in Europe. It has no windows and doors are optional. There are no door locks and no heater. It is like a cross between a Smart car and a Golf cart.
The Chrysler Portal is an all electric minivan that is suppose to start production in 2020.
NIO is a company in China that manufactures Electric Vehicles.
Toyota does not have any Electric cars available on the market yet. Honda is no longer producing the Clarity Electric. But they do have Hybrid car models on the road today.
Electric vehicles cost less to operate than conventional automobiles. Their fuel is less expensive and they require less maintenance. The drawbacks of Electric cars are their range and time to charge their batteries. Most EV’s have a range of just over 100 miles on a charge. And it can take 1 hour to 24 hours or more to fully charge the batteries, depending on the Electric source used. There are many Electric vehicle recharging stations opening up across the country.
A big advantage of Electric vehicles is that they are more reliable than gasoline cars. They have fewer mechanical parts to fail. EVs have single speed transmissions with less things to go wrong. They last as long as conventional vehicles. Electric cars go about 5 years before the batteries start to degrade.
Electric cars do not need as much maintenance. They do not use oil, so they do not need oil changes. Most of them do not need power steering fluid. They use electric assisted steering. EV’s do not have exhaust systems to leak. Some Electric vehicles do use some type of coolant or have small radiators to cool the motor. EV’s still need brake fluid, windshield wash and AC Freon recharge. And Some Electric cars do use transmission fluid.
Mechanics do need special training to work on Electric vehicles. There are staring to be a few car repair shops in different areas that specialize in EV maintenance, like The Hybrid Shop in Philadelphia. Emergency first responders also need more advanced training to rescue people from Electric cars in accidents. Some EV’s are prone to battery fires after a collision, which can be difficult to deal with. There have been some cases of Tesla batteries catching fire due to Thermal runaway. But electric cars are less likely to catch fire than a conventional vehicle. And you don’t have to worry about a gasoline fire or explosion in an accident with battery powered electric only automobiles.
Another issue with Electric cars is that they are so quiet. In parking lots and streets, people sometimes walk out in front of them because they don’t hear any engine noise. So some Electric vehicles have Warning sounds that make noise at low speeds. It is a Safety feature to let pedestrians know there is an automobile approaching. Some EV audible systems sound like a gasoline engine running. A new law takes effect in late 2020, requiring all Electric vehicles generate warning sounds at low speed. There are also some third party sound generating devices available on the market for Electric cars, from companies like EV Tones and Soundracer. The Nissan Leaf has a manual Electric Warning system. Hyundai has the VESS, Virtual Engine Sound System. Honda’s have a low speed audible sound. Audi is working on audible noise generation for their Electric cars. Tesla EV’s do not have any Warning sound systems. Companies like Blink network and ChargePoint provide Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment, EVSE for charging stations. There are Tesla charging stations in different places, as well as some other car dealers also provide charge points. Cost to recharge an electric car at a Blink station can be about 60 cents per kwh in Maryland, approximately 5 cents per minute or about twenty some dollars for a full charge. Electricity is cheaper at home to charge up, at about 8 cents per kwh. Some public charging places for level 2 cost around $1.50 per hour for charging your EV. ChargePoint lets the business where the station is located to set the price.
There are three levels of charging Electric Vehicles; Level 1 is 120 volts. It takes longer to charge, from 24 to 72 hours or more at home. Level 2 240 volts, Quick charge, can take 4 to 12 hours to fully charge on 220v or 240 volts. Level 3 480 volts, some cars can use 480v to Fast charge in about 1 hour. But frequent quick charging can damage some EV batteries.
MPGE is Miles per gallon equivalent, is a measurement for Alternative fuel vehicles with miles per unit of energy, providing a comparison to conventional automobiles. Most EV models get over 100 mpge, as compared to the average automobile gets about 24 mpg on gasoline. The Cost of operating an Electric car is Less Expensive than a Gasoline vehicle. For fuel cost, If a conventional automobile gets 24 mpg with gas at $2.50 per gallon, the fuel cost is 10.4 cents per mile. For an Electric car, if electricity at home is 10 cents per kilowatt hour and it takes 24 hours to charge the batteries, at 100 miles range on a full charge, the fuel cost for the Electric vehicle would be only 2.4 cents per mile. However at a charging station, at 79 cents per hour and a quick charge taking 8 hours, with a range of 100 miles, the cost of fuel would be 6.3 cents per mile. It varies depending on the cost of gasoline at the time and place, the cost of Electricity at the source, The fuel millage of the conventional car and the range of the EV and the batteries capacity and charging.
Audi has come up with a concept called e-Dens. These are Electric car charging stations along the highways with activities people can do while they wait for their EV’s to charge. They could have Restrooms and Restaurants where people could get a meal while waiting. There could be stores for shopping, games, books and magazines available for travelers to pass the time. Some present highway Travel Plazas already have Electric recharging stations available in states like Delaware and Maryland. There are a few Hotels like Marriot that have Charging stations. You can recharge your EV overnight while you sleep. And a small number of restaurants like Cracker Barrel are beginning to install Charge points.
With the effects of Climate Change from people driving gas powered automobiles,
Electric vehicles provide a clean energy alternative that does not produce greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere when operating them. People are becoming more Environmentally aware.Driving fully electric vehicles can help reduce the warming of the planet in the future. The world is moving away from burning fossil fuels that produce greenhouse gasses and people are starting to use more Alternative and Clean Energy Sources, like driving Electric cars.