Author: Michael Schuck Published: 2/16/2021 THINK-EV
Introduction: Get Charged Up!
As time goes on, electric cars become more popular. There are an increasing number of brands from Jaguar to BMW to Audi that are making their own electric cars, and they’re becoming easier to access for the general public.
There are a lot of benefits to buying an electric car – they’re not just for the richest people in society anymore. They are affordable, and you’ll spend a lot of money on gas. You can also get tax breaks as they are energy efficient.
With that being said, electric cars are still a fairly new thing in some respects. This means that a lot of people may not know how they operate, or even if an electric car is the right choice for them.
Thankfully, we’ve got the lowdown in this article about every single thing you could possibly need to know about electric cars.
When Was The First Electric Car Invented?
It’s easy to think that the electric car was a recent, 21st century invention. What you may be surprised to learn, however, that its history spans back a lot further than this.
Electric cars have actually been around since around the late 19th century, almost the same amount of time that we’ve had standard gas fueled cars.
It is somewhat challenging to pin an exact date on when the first electric car was invented. The reality is that it was a journey consisting of a range of smaller ideas.
During the early 1800s, many inventors in the Netherlands and the United States were beginning to come up with the idea of vehicles powered by batteries.
It was during this time that some of the very first smaller-scale electric cars were produced. Then, later on the first electric carriage was made by Robert Anderson. With that being said, the first electric cars made for practical purposes didn’t emerge until the latter half of the 19th century.
There are a few different inventors credited with the ideas behind the first electric cars used in a practical setting. The electric motor is generally attributed to the Hungarian Engineer Anyos Jedlik.
Lead acid batteries for commercial projects were invented by the French physicist Gaston Plane in 1859. These two things then combined together to manufacture the first electric car in London in 1884 by Thomas Parker.
The first ‘real’ electric car was made in 1888 by a German inventor by the name of Andreas Flocken, and it was called the Flocken Elektrowagen.
In fact, during the late 19th and early 20th century, electric cars were widely popular and a favorite method of transportation.
They have continued to be popular through the years, especially during the 1960s and 70s where gas was short and electric vehicles were an attractive alternative. They were not without their faults, however.
Today, electric vehicles are seen as an environmentally friendly alternative to gas fuelled cars, releasing far fewer carbon emissions for the sake of a greener planet.
Electric cars may be seen by many as the way forward for motorized vehicles, so understanding more about these energy efficient contraptions is certainly beneficial.
Electric Cars: A Short Timeline
First small scale electric cars developed, and the very first crude electric car was made in 1832 to debut in the United States in 1889.
Thomas Edison develops a new battery to make electric batteries more efficient and the very first hybrid electric car is invented by Ferdinand Porsche. His car was called the Lohner-Porsche Mixte.
1908 – the electric car briefly falls out of popularity, thanks to Model T releasing gas operated cars that were earlier to purchase and were more affordable to the masses
During the 60s and 70s, the prices of gas began to skyrocket. As a result, electric cars started to rise in popularity once again.
General Motors created an urban electric car prototype that’s later exhibited at the Low Pollution Power Systems Development in the same year. Alternative fuel cars are being investigated by automakers across the world.
Electric cars yet again fall in popularity as they couldn’t provide the same range and performance as gas alternatives.
The EV1 is released by GM, and it gains a large amount of popularity in niche groups.
The very first mass produced hybrid is unleashed onto the market by Toyota – it was called the Prius. It became a massive hit among celebrities and gained global fame.
Tesla Motors, a company started in 2003, unleashes the prototype Tesla Roadster to the world. It used the lithium-ion battery, a common battery in electric cars in the users following.
A nation wide charging infrastructure is developed to allow users to charge their cars on the go. In the United States alone, there are at least 8,000 charging stations to date.
The first plug in hybrid is released by GM called the Chevy Volt, followed by the Nissan LEAF in 2010
What types of electric cars exist today?
As time has advanced, the kinds of electric vehicles on the market have also developed. As such, there is not one specific type of electric car on the market. Rather, there are numerous different kinds of electric cars on the market, all with their own pros and cons.
There are currently three primary kinds of electric cars on the market, also known as EVs. The electric vehicles are BEVs, PHEVs, and HEVs.
The first is the BEV, short for Battery Electric Vehicle. Then you have the PHEV, standing for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles. Finally, HEVs – Hybrid Electric Vehicles. Of course, there are a number of additional types of EVs, but these are the main ones that you need to know about.
Electric & Back Up
Electric & Back Up
All Electric Range
The first kind of electric vehicle is the Battery Electric Vehicle. These are generally just referred to as EVs, but to put it simply they are entirely electric vehicles.
They usually come with rechargeable batteries that you would need to charge at a designated charging point, and they do not feature a gasoline engine.
You heard that right – they run on only one kind of fuel type. There’s no more worrying about the extortionate prices of gas if you have a BEV!
These vehicles are also sometimes called pure electric vehicles.
You may have already heard of some Battery Electric Vehicles. Just a few examples include:
- Tesla X
- Hyundai Ioniq
- Renault Zoe
- BMW i3
- Kia Soul
- Nissan LEAF
- Volkswagen e-Golf
- Toyota Rav4
A BEV usually stores its electricity inside of a high capacity battery pack that’s inside of the vehicle. Of course, you can’t just use any battery, in case you’re wondering.
The batteries are made just for powering up your electric vehicle, and the packs power up all of the electronics in the BEV. They also charge the electric motor.
To charge a BEV, you simply need to plug them into an external outlet. This may be an outlet that you would normally have at home, though it is best to get your own home charging point. This will make the charging better, giving your car a thorough charge in a shorter amount of time.
Battery Electric Vehicles usually tend to come with a way of charging the battery internally. This is known as regenerative braking. In essence, when you slow the vehicle, the effort of this charges the battery inside of the car.
This means that the heat and kinetic energy that is normally wasted inside of a car is instead put to good use.
There are a bunch of benefits to getting Battery Electric Vehicles, though the primary benefit is that it’s eco friendly. If you are eco conscious then you will be pleased to know that BEVs are the best for the environment out of all the EV types.
They don’t produce any harmful emissions, and you don’t need to worry about hazards caused by other kinds of fuel. You can also save a lot of money on fuel, and they’re generally easier to maintain. You even get tax benefits for owning an EV!
EVs also run much more quietly. This can be a little alarming at first if you’ve never driven an electric vehicle and you’re used to cars making a lot of noise.
It is not without its issues, however. While the ranges on EVs are certainly better than they once were, they certainly aren’t the best. They can only run for so long before they need to be charged again. This is made even more annoying thanks to the fact that EVs can take a pretty long time to charge.
PHEV stands for Plug In Hybrid Electric Vehicles. It’s not difficult to figure out how they operate – it’s literally in the name. These vehicles are pretty similar to the BEVs discussed above in the sense that you can charge them by using an external charger.
They’re also pretty good as far as energy is concerned – in fact, using a PHEV car can save you up to 60% in energy, pretty impressive in comparison to many other kinds of hybrids.
As the PHEV uses an external charger to power up the electric motor, they actually boast a zero emission range. If you aren’t sure what this is, it’s essentially a vehicle that’s capable of emitting around 75g/km of CO2 or less than this.
If you’re looking to go greener in your day to day life and transport, then a PHEV is a good choice.
What about their running time? Well, a PHEV is capable of traveling at low speeds for a short amount of time, and then the standard gas engine will activate for the remainder of the journey.
You can sometimes find a PHEV will run for around 40 miles before the power will switch. As a result of this, it’s much better suited to drivers that are planning on traveling short distances than for people traveling long distances on the highway.
In short, the PHEV is essentially a stop point in the middle of a parallel hybrid and an entirely electric vehicle.
There are a few Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicles on the market that you may have heard of, including:
- Mercedes C350e
- Kia Optima
- Toyota Prius
- BMW 330e
- BMW i8
- Ford Fusion Energi
- Chrysler Pacifica
- Chevy Volt
- Mini Cooper SE Countryman
- Audi A3 E-Tron
- Volvo XC90 T8
- Fiat 500e
- Hyundai Sonata
So why should you invest in a PHEV, instead of the alternative electric car options? Well, the main reason is that it has a much longer range than a standard electric car. You can get quite a substantial run time out of your electric car before it needs to switch to gas.
As a result of this, it’s also rather cheap to use, especially for short journeys. If you’re only traveling for around 40 miles then you can save yourself a lot of money on fuel, and you don’t need to worry about the fuel depleting for the short journey.
What about the problems? Well, the battery of the PHEV can be rather heavy. This means that when your car is operating on fuel after the electricity has run out, the fuel economy isn’t the best for long journeys.
Thus for longer journeys, you are probably going to be spending more money on fuel than you may have anticipated. You will also need to charge the batteries a lot more often than you would on a standard EV, and it needs to be plugged in to charge, in contrast to a parallel hybrid.
If you aren’t quite ready to fully let go of traditional fuel sources but you want an introduction on the way to going fully electric, an HEV Electric car may be a good choice for you.
HEV stands for Hybrid Electric Vehicle, and as the name suggests, they usually run both on electricity and on gasoline.
Hybrid Electric Vehicles are likely the type of electric vehicle that people know the most about.In fact, they made their way onto the market all the way back in 1997 when the Toyota Prius made its first debut.
A standard hybrid vehicle usually runs on electricity, in addition to another kind of fuel such as diesel or gas.
The car will usually start on the electric motor, and then when you’re traveling at higher speeds it will switch to the standard form of power, and it may also change in other situations where the vehicle needs additional power.
Like the standard EV, the HEV charges the electric battery through regenerative braking. This means that you don’t need to seek out an external power source.
In addition to this, a standard hybrid controls its motors through the use of a computer system inside of the car.
The decision about whether electricity or gas is used is dictated by this system, and the decision is based on the most economical option for the driver. It means the car will always work in the way that you intend for it to work.
As we’ve already covered, you’ve probably heard of a few hybrids before now, but some specific models include:
- Honda Civic Hybrid
- Toyota Camry Hybrid
- Toyota Prius Hybrid
A hybrid vehicle is usually best suited to drivers doing short to medium journeys. Thankfully though you aren’t limited to shorter journeys thanks to the additional fuel source.
They’re ideal for traveling around the city or in urban areas, and this is primarily because the regenerative braking is highly effective for charging the electric motor. You’re a lot less likely to brake on a motorway than you are in an urban area!
The big glaring issue with a hybrid is that the fuel economy is not the best. This is again because of the same problem with PHEVs – the batteries are very heavy, and the motor can run low on charge when you’re traveling at high speeds.
It’s also not nearly as eco friendly as the other two models, though it’s certainly better in this respect than a standard gas powered vehicle.
Electric Cars: How do they work?
So now you know about the main kinds of electric cars, how exactly do they work? In many respects, they don’t operate like the standard gas fueled cars that we’re used to.
Before we get into it, here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know:
- Instead of a gasoline engine, the electric car features an electric motor
- This motor receives power from a controller inside of the car
- This controller then receives power from rechargeable batteries.
Here’s the long version:
An electric car has an electric motor inside of the car. This contrasts to the combustion engine that you would find in most gas cars.
They also have a large traction battery pack – these are positioned on the interior of the car quite low down, and are pretty large. This battery pack is what powers up the electric motor.
They are positioned lower down to make sure that the centre of gravity of the car is low, and it means that it stays in place when you are rounding corners. As we’ve already mentioned, the batteries can be incredibly heavy.
In addition to this, you will usually find most electric vehicles are equipped with auxiliary batteries. This means that if you run out of your primary kind of power the electronics such as lights and the information system will continue to work.
Once you have charged your vehicle, the inverter kicks into gear. This will change the direct current, also known as DC, from the electrical charge, into the alternating current (AC) instead.
This AC power is then changed into AC power in the AC motor, and this is what gets the wheels moving. The power from the motor is then transferred to the wheels thanks to the drivetrain.
Some cars also feature an E-Pedal. This will get the regenerative braking system going, which in turn changes the kinetic energy into the electricity you need to get the battery working properly.
One of the key parts of an EV is the battery. To put it simply, the battery is what enables it to run on electricity! EV batteries are usually very long, sometimes stretching up to several meters! They are usually positioned on the bottom of the car along the chassis.
The batteries can stay charged for quite some time, though it depends largely on the vehicle that you buy.
There are a few different types of battery available for your EV.
- Lithium Ion Batteries
The vast majority of EV batteries are lithium ion batteries. In terms of operation, they’re pretty similar to how batteries work in laptops or mobile phones.
The battery whole eventually drains and needs to be recharged, and their capacity will also decline as the years go on. It won’t decline too much though – it’ll likely only be around 80% of the original capacity once you’ve been using the car on a daily basis after 8 years or so.
These batteries tend to have the best power to weight ratio, they work very well in high temperatures and have low self discharge. You can usually recycle these batteries too. There are some concerns about overheating with these batteries, however.
- Nickel Metal Hydride
These batteries are generally found in computers and medical equipment. They’re ideal because they tend to last much longer than some other battery types, they are very safe and durable. They are also expensive, however, and hydrogen loss needs to be controlled with these batteries.
- Lead Acid Batteries
These high power batteries are pretty affordable, can last for some time without any trouble and they are safe to use.
The problem is that they aren’t the best in cold weather and they have low specific energy. Manufacturers are working on new high powered lead acid batteries, but they aren’t really the best choice at this stage.
EV Infrastructure and the Challenges of Charging EVs
Thankfully, owning and running an electric car is becoming much more feasible as time goes on and the EV infrastructure improves. With that being said, it’s not without its challenges.
In fact, one of the main reasons why EVs aren’t even more popular is because of how it works for regional travels.
Many EV owners worry about the range of their vehicle and how it will perform for longer journeys. While EV charging stations are becoming more common, there also aren’t nearly as many as there should be.
Even so, in 2020 the market size for electric vehicle charging infrastructure was placed as 2.08 billion USD and it is only estimated to grow. More governments throughout the world are beginning to focus on making charging stations more accessible in order to support the environment.
Naturally, cities and other metropolitan areas are the most prepared for electric vehicles. Here are just a few of the locations in the United States with the most charging stations to offer its residents.
No. Charging Stations per 100,000 Residents
Washington DC Metropolitan Area
San Francisco Bay, CA
Naturally the infrastructure will change as more charging stations are made available, though owning an EV is becoming increasingly more popular as time progresses and more awareness is made about them.
Economics of Owning an EV
There are a few things to consider when it comes to buying an EV when it comes to price. To put it simply, you may be paying more upfront to buy the car, but could you be paying less in the long run?
Let’s get the most obvious part out of the way: buying an electric vehicle up front can be expensive. Even some of the more affordable vehicles start at around $30,000 for the latest model. Does the tax relief and the fuel economy make up for this? Let’s take a look.
Tax Credits and Incentives
The first thing to think about is tax credits. What you may not know is that if you buy a new electric vehicle, you can have up to $7,500 in tax credits depending on your location.
There are some brands that have reduced the tax credits, but this is not the case for all electric vehicles so you will need to check that with the car you are considering buying. Nevertheless, it’s a pretty big incentive to buy one of these vehicles. If you aren’t sure exactly how the electric car tax credits work, you can check out our guide here.
In addition to this, there are also incentives that your state can provide. For instance, in Massachusetts you could get a rebate up to $2,500 if you buy or loan a PHEV so long as you apply for the rebate within three months of the date when you purchased the vehicle.
You can find out what incentives are available in your state here.
The running cost is the next thing to think about. If you’re free from gasoline and other fossil fuels, you may think you’re in the clear and that your car will cost you barely anything now you’re running on electricity.
This is not totally true, as it will cost some money to charge your vehicle. After all, even an electric vehicle can’t run on Fresh Air!
As you may expect, the amount of money that it could cost to run your EV can depend on a number of things from the type of charger that you use to the model of the car. When you charge an electric car it’s measured in kWh.
So for instance, if you’re going to be paying around $0.13 per kWh for your car, and your vehicle requires roughly 33 kWh in order to do a 100 mile journey, then you’re paying around $0.04 per mile.
If you’re trying to charge an EV that can travel for 200 miles then you may be spending around $9 to get it fully charged.
If you’re planning on installing your own EV charging station you may be looking at paying more than $1000 for that alone. If you’re charging in public though, the costs can vary depending on the time of day that you are charging and the location of the charging point.
For instance, if you had the 2020 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus then it could cost you around $5.88 for 50 miles of electricity to charge it during peak hours, seeing as this car is rated at 24 kWh/100 miles.
In comparison, if you were charging it at home it may cost $1.44 for the same amount of power. It can cost a lot less if you were charging the vehicle during quieter times of the day in public.
Regardless of how you look at it, you’re still going to be paying less than you would for a vehicle that runs solely on gasoline, even if you have a HEV.
The only problem is that once your EV runs out of electricity (if you have a PHEV or a HEV), it is going to switch over to your backup fuel source such as gasoline.
So you will still need to purchase the fuel, it’s just going to cost you less money as you won’t be using it so often as long as you can charge your vehicle regularly enough.
As with any other vehicle, you need to think about how much it’s going to cost for you to maintain the vehicle. The biggest thing to consider is the batteries. Yes, they are made to deal with long term use, but eventually they will wear out.
Batteries can be pretty expensive, though many manufacturers will provide you with 8-year/100,000 mile battery warranties despite the fact that many could last you as long as 12 to 15 years so long as they are looked after properly.
Safety of Owning an EV
Manufacturers have worked tirelessly for decades to ensure that the battery of your EV is completely safe.
The cars often have things like smart management systems installed to ensure that the battery doesn’t overheat, and some even come with things like liquid cooling systems to ensure they remain cool.
The biggest concern when it comes to electric vehicles is the fact that the lithium ion battery can sometimes combust and catch fire. This is because they have power cells that on rare occasions can short circuit if they end up getting damaged.
They are less likely to get caught in fire explosions than your standard gasoline vehicle would be. Vehicle explosions are also usually due to car accidents – it’s the same for standard gasoline vehicles.
It should be noted that really, EVs are incredibly safe. They actually tend to have lower centers of gravity than most vehicles do, and this means that the likelihood of them rolling over is much slimmer.
Electric vehicles are generally quite quiet in terms of operation, and this can sometimes make it more dangerous for pedestrians that may not be able to hear the vehicle when they are walking along the road.
Some EVs do come with the ability to play sounds that pedestrians can hear when you’re traveling at slower speeds, however. You just need to be more careful if you are planning on driving your vehicle in highly populated areas.
Common Questions About Electric Cars:
How long do they take to charge?
The answer to this question largely depends on a number of factors. Some vehicles may take as little time as around 30 minutes, whereas others could take as long as 12 hours to charge.
The amount of time that it takes to charge an electric vehicle depends on the size of the battery.
It can also depend on how fast your charger is. To put it short, you can use the following equation to figure out how long the car will take to charge:
Battery size ÷ charging speed = charging time.
For instance, if you have a 40kWh battery size, and a 7kw home charger then it would take around 5 hours to charge the battery.
If you used a 22kW charging point then it would likely take less time to charge your vehicle. It could take around 2 hours.
There are also rapid chargers available that are 43-120kW, and this may mean you can get on the road after a mere 20-40 minutes.
Usually a home charging point has a power rating of around 3.7kW or 7kW. Unfortunately it’s not possible to get 22kW chargers – you need to have three phase power for this. Some cars are also not able to charge at 22kW, though it’s sometimes possible to use them for charging at a lower speed.
It’s also worth remembering that top up charging is an option. Sure you can charge it all in one go, but if you live in an area where there are a lot of charging stations then you can just top up as you go about your day. Just charge the car whenever it’s idle.
For instance, you can sometimes get workplace charging points providing 7kW to 22kW of power, so when you’re at the office you can put your car on charge. A public charging point is also suitable. Alternatively, you can charge the car overnight and then top it up throughout the day.
If you’re still a little confused and want more information about charging times, check out our electric vehicle charging time calculator.
How long does the battery last?
When you first charge your car’s battery, if you charge it using a 3kW slow charger then you will get an additional 10 miles of battery after you’ve charged it for an hour.
This increases when you use a more powerful charger, so if you used a 7kW charger then you may expect to have up to 30 miles after 60 minutes of charging.
The amount of time that the battery lasts will depend on the power of the charger and the amount of time that you are charging.
It’s also important to know that a car battery is a lot like the battery in a smartphone or any other electronic device – it will eventually get weaker as time goes on and will need to be replaced. When the battery degrades, it usually means that the amount of time that the car stays charged is reduced too.
Generally the vast majority of manufacturers will have a warranty of between five and eight years on the battery, however they can usually last anywhere between 10 – 20 years if they are well maintained.
Taking proper care of your car’s battery is key to ensuring that it lasts a long time.
The first thing to keep in mind is that it’s actually a bad idea to constantly keep the car completely charged. This can damage the battery because heat is created when it’s charging.
You don’t often need to worry about this as many car models on the market will automatically stop charging once they are totally charged. With others you can charge the car up to a certain percentage before it automatically stops charging.
It’s also not a good idea to let the car run on a totally empty battery. In fact, the vast majority of car batteries are at their peak performance at around 50% – 80% capacity.
You should also be careful about what weather you are traveling. The battery of the car may not react well to very cold or hot temperatures, and this means that the weather can impact how far you can travel.
If your battery isn’t sufficient to your liking, it’s worth considering your warranty. Some manufacturers such as Nissan can give you a warranty spanning 5 years for the battery.
Can you drive them in the rain – what weather conditions impact an electric car?
If you’re not familiar with electric cars, you may not be sure whether driving one in certain weather conditions is a good idea.
Perhaps one of the biggest questions that people have is whether it’s safe to drive an electric vehicle in the rain.
Thankfully you are not limited by the rain when you have an electric vehicle.
the idea that you can’t drive one in the rain is a complete myth. These cars have been made with covering shields and protective layers on the charging plugs. This means that they don’t spark, lose their current, and water won’t get into the circuits.
If you wish to do so it’s also possible to charge an electric vehicle in the rain. The charging plugs have been protected so that they aren’t impacted by the rain. Vehicles are extensively tested before they’re unleashed onto the market to avoid any issues pertaining to rain. For more information about charging your vehicle in the rain, check out our article.
What about other weather conditions? Well, winter weather can have an effect on electric vehicles as it can influence the range of the vehicle. Unfortunately the cold can impact the batteries in the vehicle in a negative way, as the cold can slow down the chemical reactions inside of the battery.
In addition to this, the cold can also affect the speed at which your vehicle charges. The charging speed is generally lower during the winter.
Other than this there’s no real need to worry about the winter affecting your vehicle. You just need to take precautions when you’re out to ensure that the range is still okay and that the roads are safe to drive on.
On the same note, the range of your vehicle can be affected when it’s extremely hot outside. There are a few things that you can do to maximize the performance of your vehicle when you’re driving in hot weather. These are:
- Don’t charge your battery too fast or at an exceptionally high capacity overnight. This can cause the battery to heat up too much, only for the hot weather to drain it again later on. If you have a large drive ahead of you then charge it to 100%, but generally you don’t need to go much higher than around 60%-80%.
- It’s worth activating the preconditioning setting on your car if you have one. This will help to ensure that the temperature of the battery is cool enough when you are ready to drive.
- Leave your car out of the sun – it’s best to park it in a shaded spot when you stop. It can also help to have tinted windows or sunshades.
- Put the AC on when you’re driving, and activate eco mode. If possible, try to avoid driving at very high speeds.
What are the Pros and Cons of Having an Electric Vehicle?
There are a lot of reasons to buy an electric vehicle. Likewise, there are also reasons why you shouldn’t. Let’s take a look at both:
- Environmentally friendly – The impact that electric vehicles have on the environment is one of the main reasons why many consumers choose to buy them. These cars usually don’t include an exhaust system like their gasoline alternatives, so they don’t emit any harmful substances out into the atmosphere. It’s an easy way to reduce your eco footprint.
- Long Term Affordability – It costs a lot less money to run an electric car. Gasoline can be expensive, but EVs usually run at less than a third of the cost of a standard car. In addition to this, EVs don’t run on oil so you don’t need to change the oil. The brakes don’t wear as much either, so you’re saving yourself at least a little bit of money on maintenance costs, too.
- Quiet operation – Cars are loud. This may be good for some people, but others may not like the noise pollution. EVs operate very quietly, so you don’t need to worry about the noise that they make.
- Tax Credits – Owners of electric vehicles can sometimes get tax credits as their vehicles are having less of an impact on the environment.
- Charging points – You’re going to need to charge your EV on a regular basis, and unless you live in an urban area or in a city, you may have a hard time finding a charging point.
- Charging Time – It can take a while to charge an electric vehicle, and you need to think about this before you set out on your journey. It’s often best to plan your journeys in advance so you can make sure that the car is charged properly.
- Price – While electric cars are a lot cheaper now than they ever were before, they can still be pretty expensive.
Are All Electric Cars Automatic?
If you’re used to driving a manual car where you have to change gears, it may take you a while to get used to an EV. This is because yes, pretty much all electric cars feature automatic operation. They don’t have clutches.
This has its advantages as it means that you won’t stall nearly as often. You do occasionally see 5 or 6 speed gearboxes but they are hard to come by.
This is because an electric vehicle doesn’t really need to have a gear for it to operate correctly. They have fantastic 100% torque, and this is even the case when you are traveling at lower speeds.
To get more torque then you should try to ensure your revs per minute are under 2000. Your car won’t generate as much torque at higher revs.
There’s no real reason to add gears to an electric car – it overcomplicates the system and adds extra weight to the vehicle. It may even decrease the overall power of the car.
How Do You Charge an Electric Vehicle?
The way that you charge your electric vehicle will largely depend on the type of EV that you have. If you need to charge your vehicle at a charging point, then you will need to think about where the best place to charge it will be.
For instance if you have off street parking then it’s possible to install a home charger in your house. This will allow you to plug your car in overnight, especially handy if your car takes a particularly long time to recharge.
Having a plug in station at home is also handy as they can come with additional features, such as Wi-Fi functionality that allows you to monitor software updates and the energy.
The vast majority of chargers for the home come with a Type 2 socket that is universally recognized. If your car does not use a Type 2 socket then most of them also work with a separate cable that you can plug into the car and charge it right away.
The manufacturer will usually give you the separate cable when you purchase the car.
It’s also possible to plug the car into a normal 3 pin charger, but this isn’t the safest option and it can often take longer to charge. It’s usually better just to invest in a home EV charger instead.
Alternatively you could charge your EV at a public charging station. As we’ve already mentioned, there are thousands of these dotted around the United States, so you shouldn’t have a problem getting to one!
How do you find an EV charging station? Your EV will likely come with a sat-nav system built in, and this should send you to the nearest location where there is a charging point.
If your car does not come with one of these, you can look online for websites that may tell you where the charging points are. You can often even see whether the charging points are currently being used.
Generally though, you will find the vast majority of electric car chargers in cities or any other urban areas – they can be more difficult to come by elsewhere.
Using a public charging station is fairly simple – it usually involves using the swipe card or mobile phone app for your vehicle. Then you can unlock and use the charging point. Then, you connect the charging cable from the charging point to your car.
It is important to note that some different charging providers will work differently than others do. It’s worth checking in advance how the charging station works before you visit it to avoid unnecessary time waiting around.
You should also keep in mind that the charging point usually comes with a lock that will stop it from disconnecting. To remove it you will again need to use your swipe card.
Conclusion: Time To Volt
So now that you know everything that there is to know about electric cars, you’re ready to embark on this new, green way of driving!
Electric cars are a great choice if you want to save on fuel expenses and you want to have a positive impact on the environment. So – what are you waiting for? Time to take all of your new found knowledge out for a test drive!