All You Need to Know about Electric Cars
Why would I want to buy an electric car?
Those who have driven electric cars extol the advantages of never having to stop at a gas station, of driving for pennies per mile, and of no oil changes. With federal and local tax incentives, some electric cars can be comparable in price to a similar conventional car—maybe less.
Many EV drivers will be early adopters who buy an electric car to make a statement about their environmental consciousness, to reduce foreign oil consumption, or to have the latest technology.
How efficient are they?
Electric cars are up to 3 times as efficient as gasoline-powered cars. That’s primarily because electric motors are 90% effective at converting energy into motion, compared to 30 to 40% for conventional cars and hybrids. But considering the energy lost in producing, transmitting, and storing electricity, the real differences are smaller.
What kinds of hybrid electric vehicles are there?
There are 2 types of hybrid electric vehicles on the market: hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Cars are commonly known as Hybrids (HEVs) on the road today have 2 complementary drive systems and generate their own electricity to feed their batteries.
They use a gasoline engine with a fuel tank and an electric motor and battery. Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) work very similar to Hybrids, except they have rechargeable battery packs that provide 20-80 km of all-electric driving before a gasoline engine or generator turns on for longer trips. Because PHEVs recharge by plugging in and provide dedicated all-electric driving distances, they are cheaper to operate than traditional gasoline/diesel Hybrids.
How far can I drive before having to recharge my electric vehicle?
While range is affected by road conditions, weather conditions and driving habits, most electric vehicle models have a rated range between 200-250 km on a full charge with many models capable of 400+ km of driving on a single charge. Drivers of EVs generally adopt habits like coasting to a stop to maximize regenerative braking and using seat and steering wheel heaters to reduce power consumption and stretch out the distance that can be traveled on a full charge.
Are electric vehicles safe?
Yes. Manufacturers of electric vehicles must meet the same federal safety needs as any vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine. Electric cars come standard with all the same safety equipment you would expect in any modern car, including airbags, lane-keep assist warnings, cruise control, and collision alerts.
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