Written by Alma Causey
Electric cars are the talk of the town as they are undoubtedly the future of automotive industry. Governments across the world are in favor of these low-emission vehicles to save their environments while brands from Maserati to Mazda are either planning to get their electric cars built or have already built them.
But these cars that seem like they belong to the future are also a part of the past. In fact, their legacy goes all the way back to the 1800s. The first electric car was built in Aberdeen, Scotland, in the year 1837. Even back then, the technology was such a hit amongst users that electric-powered vehicles were introduced as taxis in the streets of New York and London during the 19th century.
Unfortunately, the hype around the electric cars and their popularity was only short lived. The rapid decrease in the prices of oil, the regular diesel, and petrol cars started dominating the roads again, and the trend remained constant to date.
Electric cars were introduced again but with a different motive this time. The purpose of this drive is not only saving on petrol or diesel but to enjoy an overall efficiency a vehicle can offer. These electric cars usually come with added features that make the drive more comfortable and desirable.
So if you want to know what the rage behind the electric car is all about and why it is considered the car of future, keep reading!
Electric cars – what makes them different?
When Tesla Roadster crossed the 350km range a decade ago, it became the ultimate inspiration for all car manufacturers to adopt the technology. Even Volvo recently announced how every model they will launch in 2019 and onwards will either be entirely or partially battery-powered. In fact, a report released by ING revealed that almost every new car launched in Europe by 2035 will be a smart, electric vehicle.
So what features make electric cars different?
Just as the name suggests, an electric car is one that operates on electricity with the battery installed onboard. The car is not refueled but recharged to give it the energy to power up the electric car’s motor.
An electric car does not include a gearbox or a clutch or an exhaust pipe. It’s a greener option for the planet as driving these vehicles do not cause pollution. The cars are smoother and much quieter to drive.
When fully charged, a standard electric car can drive as much as 400 km. This could be significantly less than what a full fuel tank can offer you, but this is still quite a journey one can cover before the car is put back on charge. A statistic report revealed how more than 90% of all car journeys in the UK are below 40 km.
Types of electric cars
And right when you thought your options were limited or there was just a standard type of car, you learn about the different types of electric vehicles.
Since different types are catering to various category of uses, this becomes another factor why electric cars are all the rage.
- Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)
This type offers the user the most flexibility. HEVs run by both electricity and power. The cars do not have recharging plug-in systems. In fact, the electric power is generated by the car’s braking system. This is more commonly known as ‘regenerative braking.’
When the car is slow, the vehicle uses the heat-converted energy to operate. The generic Hybrid versions of Toyota and Honda are great examples of this type.
- Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)
BEVs do not have a petrol engine, exhaust pipe, or a fuel tank. It completely relies on electricity to power the engine. The battery of the vehicle is charged using the charging outlet. Nissan Leaf and BMW i3 are BEVs version of electric cars.
- Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)
This third variation combines both the options mentioned above. These vehicles are powered by both electricity and petrol. The battery is charged through regenerative braking but can also be recharged through a charging outlet.
Check out Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV to see a real example of an Extended-Range Electric vehicle.
Why everyone wants an electric car in their life?
The benefits associated with electric cars makes them a really desirable option. While low-cost of operation is the most significant benefit, there are many others benefits, which creates the rage around electric cars.
- Does not require gas
Regardless of the variation you pick, electric cars definitely lower your cost as it does not need gasoline. With the increase in the price of fuel, it can surely burn a hole in the pocket of the user. On average, an American spends between $2,000 and $4,000 US dollars on gas every year. However, it is essential to remember electric cars will put a load on your electricity consumption, but it is still going to be cheaper than gas cars.
- Going pure
By opting for an EV, you are contributing towards a greener, safer planet. You are playing your role in reducing harmful air pollution, which results from exhaust emission.
Furthermore, you can reduce gas emission by using renewable energy to recharge your car. For instance, using Solar PV systems to recharge your EV can be a highly efficient way to save the environment.
Since the entire purpose is to offer a better driving experience without compromising on the environment, most EVs also use eco-friendly material and production process. Both Nissan and Ford are focusing on recycled and bio-based materials for the interior, padding, and bodywork.
Electric cars go through intensive testing and fitness procedures as other fuel-powered cars. Just because they are smarter regarding energy generation and consumption, no compromise has been made to other important features, especially safety.
In case of an emergency or accident, you can expect supply halt to the battery as well as airbags.
If you are a car enthusiast, an EV is definitely going to satisfy you. Electric cars are unique and give you an immense amount of efficiency while on the go. You already know the worth of your car without even going for a free car valuation process.
- Cost Effective
A few years ago, buying an electric car could cost an arm and a leg. But with more auto industry giants entering the competition, both maintenance and cost of an EV have reduced. The technological advancements in this area and mass production of batteries have significantly brought down the prices.
While an EV is still much costlier than regular fuel-powered cars, they tend to be much more cost-effective in the long run.
We are definitely entering a new era of electric vehicles. And we can only expect amazing improvements in the years to come. Infrastructure, charging speeds, mileage and cost required to build these vehicles, are all expected to improve drastically in a few years.
What seems like a future for motorists today will become a norm for the vast majority of people around the world in no time. Thankfully, the auto industry, energy-efficient industries, and even the governments are all supporting this goal!
About the Author:
Alma Causey is a Freelance writer by day and sports fan by night. She writes about tech education and health-related issues. Live simply, give generously, watch football and a technology lover.