Here's where we breakdown the jargon and the key considerations of Electric Vehicles (EVs) and why they are the future of transport.
Electric Vehicles are not a new phenomenon, in fact, have been around since in the early 1900s about one third of the cars on the road were electric. It is only now they are achieving their potential with technological advancements in charging networks and higher-capacity batteries.
There are Not all EVs are created equal, and since charging still isn't as quick as filling up a tank with gasoline (not to mention the ever-present range issue) buying one still requires some thinking ahead. Here's what you need to know to choose, buy and maintain your EVs.
These are essentially 100% electric powered solely by a battery charged from the electricity grid. Currently, typical pure electric cars have a range of approximately 200 miles or more and given that most drivers in the UK drive on average 18 miles per day, this more than covers the day to day miles. In the UK, pure EVs have many tax incentives to encourage their use. They do not have an alternative fuel source to switch to if the charge of the battery runs down. They are charged using standard charge stations, but they need to be allowed to charge for much longer in order to get the battery to maximum capacity.
Plug-in Electric Vehicles emit zero exhaust emissions while driving using their battery, making them the ideal solution to reduce vehicle impact on air quality. They are driven predominantly in urban areas, in a stop-start environment, where plug-in vehicles operate most effectively.
Traditional hybrid vehicles are vehicles with a normal internal combustion engine and an electric battery. The design of the car includes non-traditional vehicle components which are designed to convert wasted energy so that it can be reused to power the car. Plug-in Hybrid vehicles also combine an electric motor with a traditional internal combustion engine. However, plug-in electric motors are charged up by plugging the vehicle into a special power station. These vehicles only have a limited range when they are being operated in electric power mode, but they can be switch to traditional fuel power when the electric motor is unable to provide power anymore.
Cheaper to run
EVs can save up to 65% on fuel costs on a per mile basis - so could save £1,000s per year.
EVs are emission free and can be ran on green energy so do not impact the environment.
Easier to maintain
EVs have much fewer parts and so require less maintenance and less associated costs.
EVs have few mechanical processes and so create near zero noise.
EVs convert c.60% of energy to power the wheels, petrol and diesel convert c.20%.
EVs represent hi-tech, comfortable, smooth and high performance driving.
There are loads of reasons why driving an EV makes sense
EVs are cleaner - Electric cars have zero exhaust emissions, which means they do not emit any harmful exhaust gases. In contrast, the exhaust emissions from vehicles with internal combustion engines is a significant source of CO2 that contributes to global climate change and air pollutants that harm people’s health at a local level.
EVs are cheaper to run - When looking at the all-in costs of car ownership, EVs are cheaper to run. Depending on your electricity deal at home and how efficient your electric car is, you can drive from 2-5p a mile. This equates on average to ~£1,000 a year in fuel savings by driving electric.
Energy Efficiency - Electric cars are far more energy efficient (85-90% efficient) than internal combustion engine cars (17-21%), which means that they use less energy to get you from A to B. Less energy used means less produced, which in turn means less CO2 emissions produced by non-renewable energy sources and the wider energy supply chain.
Electric cars perform better - Contrary to the cliche, electric cars are fundamentally superior to combustion vehicles in terms of power, torque and acceleration. On the whole they handle better too, due to their low centre of gravity with their heavy batteries mounted in the chassis.
Electric cars are more convenient to own - Our cars are parked 95% of their life. Electric car drivers make use of that time to put energy into them at their destination, rather than detouring to a petrol pump to wait to fuel and pay a fortune. Now electric cars are available with ranges of 200-300 miles, if you are able to charge at home or work, each time you get back to your car in the morning or evening you will likely find it full. It is hard to explain what a quantum leap in convenience this offers until you try it.