Electric vehicles or EVs are vehicles that support an electric motor. Like fuel refilling, the electric vehicles’ motor requires charging through a number of rechargeable battery sets. Gaining their popularity during the mid-19th century and the early 20th century, these vehicles are efficient in not producing any air pollution. The batteries of an electric car can be charged at a charging station or any charging outlet.
The Technology Used
Electric vehicles come in a variety of motors and batteries. The most basic motor type is AC motor which is used by all the hybrids and electric vehicles. DC motor is the second type which is more favourable for DIYers to convert a gas powered vehicle to an EV.
There are three major types of batteries in electric vehicles. Lead acid battery is the oldest kind of rechargeable battery. Lithium ion battery or Li-ion is considered to be the best for the mass market electric vehicles. Nikel metal hydride or NiMH has a fine energy density but it does not hold on to the charge well.
Electric cars rely on electricity which is an abundant energy source. It is being produced from hydropower, solar power, wind power and nuclear power. EVs have the following advantages:
Do not emit tailpipe pollutants
A silent and smooth operational system
Like every technology, electric cars also come with a baggage. The following are some drawbacks:
Need approximately four to eight hours to fully charge
More expensive due to high battery cost
Have a range of one hundred to two hundred miles before recharging
Batteries are heavy
Regardless of the pros and cons of the EVs, they prove to be a long term benefit for everyone with the rising fuel costs and their unavailability. As EVs have just begun to spread around, major car companies have already taken the initiative to produce successful EV models like: Honda Fit Electric, Chevy Volt, Coda, Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus Electric and Wheego LiFe.
Image: Uwe Annas – Fotolia