Electric vehicles are great alternatives to gasoline cars. They are much more environmentally friendly and can save you a lot of money in the long run. Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular but there are still not so many of them on the roads which means that if you decide to buy one, your car will most likely be unique.
But whether you decide to go with an electric or gasoline-powered vehicle, it’s always beneficial to learn about what you’re dealing with before making a decision. Here is some information on electric vehicles (EV) and hybrids (HEV).
The first patent for the EV was filed way back in 1886, but it took until around 1900 before early prototypes of EVs began popping up. Apart from being incredibly inconvenient because of their low range and long recharging times, EVs were also pretty hard to start in harsh weather conditions so they never really caught on.
In the 1950s and 1960s oil prices rose dramatically which increased public interest in electric vehicles, but still, they never became mainstream. The main reason for this is because of the limited range EVs had and the time it took to recharge batteries.
Types of electric vehicles:
There are three types of EVs: all-electric, plug-in hybrid, and hybrid electric.
All-electric vehicles :
All-electric vehicles (AEVs) are powered completely by electricity and have no internal combustion engine. Because they have no gasoline engine, they only produce emissions from the brake pads and tires. AEVs are perfect for city driving because of their small size and quick acceleration. They are not ideal for long-distance driving because of the limited range that batteries have, especially on cold days when it takes more energy to get a battery going.
Plug-in hybrids use electricity and gasoline to power the car. Because they can be plugged in using a standard electrical outlet, drivers can recharge their vehicles while at home or work and decrease their dependence on traditional gas stations. The downside is that even though they have smaller batteries than AEVs, they still do not have as long a range as regular hybrid cars so drivers often have to refuel every 40–60 miles (70–100 km). This makes plug-in hybrids suited for daily commuting but not much else such as road trips.
Hybrid electric vehicles :
Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are powered by an internal combustion engine and an electricity generator. They do not require drivers to plug in and recharge their vehicles; instead, they have a larger battery that can be charged while driving. Many have also had regenerative braking which allows the car to generate its electricity while slowing down or stopping.
In 2002 President George W Bush announced the Freedom CAR initiative, a research program aimed at developing hydrogen fuel cells for use in cars. Unlike EVs which use chemical energy stored in batteries, hydrogen-powered cars use a tank of compressed gas to power an electric motor. The main advantage is that hydrogen-powered cars have a much greater range than all-electric, hybrid, or plug-in hybrids and can fill up in just a few minutes.
According to Green Car Reports, while EVs have seen steady sales growth over the past year, hybrid cars have outsold them every month except for two. One notable exception was June 2014 when plug-in hybrids outsold all-electric cars for the first time.
The market for electric vehicles is growing and with the advent of fast-charging stations, this trend is likely to continue. While there are some disadvantages to owning an electric car, the pros outweigh the cons for most people.
As battery technology continues to improve and more automakers start producing electric cars, the cost of these vehicles will likely continue to decrease. So if you’re thinking about making the switch to electricity, now is a good time to do so.