If you are one of the people concerned with our planet’s future and the health of our environment, then you’re probably familiar with the concept of electric cars. Whether you have one yourself, or you’ve seen them around town, there’s no doubt that they are remarkable pieces of technology that make the future seem less dangerous for the Earth and its inhabitants. Electric cars are getting more and more attention lately. Even the Los Angeles police department is looking into buying more for their employees. Today, we are going to delve into the topic of electric cars and look at how this technology works, what the best electric car models are, and what benefits we can expect from using them.
How Do Electric Cars Work?
An electric car is different from any other car on the market in that it uses electric motors. It is equipped with energy storage devices such as rechargeable batteries that store electric energy for the car to use. Electric cars are usually known as EVs (electric vehicles) or BEVs (battery electric vehicles). When they run out of electricity, you can recharge them by going to a charging unit designed specifically for this purpose, or by using a wall socket.
These cars don’t have a tailpipe, which means that they also don’t pollute the environment as a traditional car would. However, they are not entirely pollution free either. The amount of pollution that comes from the use of electric cars depends a lot on how they make electricity. Some electricity can produce gases that trap heat on the surface of the earth. This contributes to the process of global warming. However, there are cars that rely exclusively on solar or wind power. In that case, they don’t pollute the environment in any way.
Even electric cars that do release a certain amount of harmful gases in the atmosphere don’t pollute the planet as much as traditional cars. Which is why people see them as a better alternative. They are also a cheaper alternative, since they don’t require any gasoline. Some of the technology involved in the making of these electric cars is truly remarkable. For instance, you don’t have to worry about wasting any energy since you can benefit from the idle-off function that turns off your hybrid car’s gasoline engine when you stop the vehicle.
If you are worried about where you can charge your car, since some cities don’t have as many charging units as others, the fact that you can do that at home is a great added benefit. You don’t even need a special socket. You can just use a 240-volt one. Charging the car overnight is the best way to go, since you can drive between 70 and 100 miles if the battery is full.
Not to mention the fact that electric cars are a great driving experience for many people. The instant torque of the electric motor, the smooth and fast acceleration, and the light feel of the car are characteristics that many electric car drivers appreciate.
Electric Cars Vs Hybrid Cars
Now that we’ve provided you with some information on how electric cars work and what their main characteristics are, we thought it would be useful to take a look at what hybrid cars are as well. The main difference between an electric car and a hybrid car is that the latter uses two or more types of power. Usually, the options are an electric motor and a combustion engine. So unlike electric cars, hybrid cars also run partly on diesel or gasoline.
It is already known that all vehicles require a small amount of electricity even if they run entirely on gasoline. In the case of hybrid cars, the electricity is used to push the car into motion. The gasoline is there to allow higher speed and make sure you never run out of energy. It also provides the car with an even smoother acceleration.
If you’re thinking of buying a hybrid car, you should know that you don’t have to plug it in and allow it to recharge. That is because hybrids enjoy a technology called regenerative breaking. That means that when you use the break to stop the car, it will produce electricity. All you have to worry about is filling the tank with gasoline.
Electric Car Models
A lot of car manufacturers have gone into the business of designing electric cars, precisely because a lot of people are asking for more options. Let us now briefly look at some of the best electric car models that you can find on the market.
1. Tesla Model S
Perhaps one of the most popular electric cars ever made, the Tesla Model S both performs like none other and looks extremely luxurious. True, the price can seem quite steep (between $75,000 and $120,000), but if you are willing to invest in a great electric car, this one is definitely the way to go.
2. Nissan Leaf
If you are looking for a more affordable model, the Nissan Leaf could be a good option for you. This car is the best-selling electric car ever made, which definitely says something about its quality and affordability.
3. Fiat 500e
Another affordable electric car option, though more expensive than the Nissan Leaf, this one has a cool look, works like a charm, and has great reviews. Right now, it is only available in the U.S., but one can hope that it will become broadly available in the future.
4. Kia Soul EV
Are you on the lookout for an electric car that looks really modern and stylish? Then you are going to like the Kia Soul EV. It is also quite spacious, more than other electric cars at least, and it is relatively cheap as well.
5. Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric
Admittedly on the pricier side, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric car is Mercedes’ first attempt at an electric car. It is definitely a luxurious option, and it has pretty great reviews. If you need more information to convince you that it’s worth your money, you should know that its drivetrain is made by Tesla.
Hybrid Car Models
If you are a fan of hybrid cars more than electric cars, here are a few of the best options you can find.
1. Volvo V60
This Volvo model has great reviews, especially because of its luxurious design and the fact that it only requires 6 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph. It is also spacious, but you should be prepared to pay around $62,000 for it.
2. Ford Fusion Energi
Another comfortable and spacious hybrid car, plus one that looks extremely well, the Ford Fusion Energi is definitely worth the $33,900 you would pay for it.
3. Chevy Volt
With a range of 38 miles, this Chevy model has won some awards that attest to its quality and performance. Even if it reaches 60 mph in 9 seconds, the price ($33,995) and its overall features make it one of the most popular hybrid cars in the U.S.
4. Audi A3 e-tron
Perhaps the most attractive feature of this hybrid car is the fact that it can reach 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. For the price of $40,000, this car is both practical and sporty, and has an electric range of 31 miles.
5. Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid
If you are looking for a more luxurious type of hybrid car, this crossover from Porsche might appeal to you. It is quite expensive ($77,200), as expected, but its performance and design definitely make up for it.
What Are the Benefits of Having an Electric Car?
1. You Save on Energy
If you are wondering how much energy gets converted by electric cars vs gasoline cars, you should know that the difference is considerable. Between 59 and 62 percent of the energy coming from the electric grid is converted to power by an electric car. A traditional car converts to power only between 17 and 21 percent of the energy coming from gasoline. This means that you don’t waste a lot of energy if you use an electric car, as opposed to a gasoline one.
2. You Pay Less
Since you don’t have to buy gasoline for an electric car, and since gasoline prices are quite steep, you will be spending less money if you own an electric car. Furthermore, you won’t have to change the car’s oil or tune it up. Vehicle maintenance is basically non-existent when it comes to electric cars.
3. You Get a Great Ride
Electric cars are not only there to protect the environment, they are also there to make you enjoy a great ride. An electric car is extremely silent, light, and runs smoothly. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about power, since most models have a strong acceleration. The regenerative breaking technology also ensures that the breaks of your car will last longer.
4. You Are Not Dependent on Foreign Energy
One of the main problems with gasoline cars is the fact that they make us fuel-dependent. A lot of countries have to import foreign oil. However, we know that electricity is domestic and we can use it as we like.
5. You Are Helping the Environment
Definitely one of the most important benefits of owning an electric car is the fact that you help preserve the quality of our environment. Electric cars were actually designed with that purpose in mind. Manufacturers are looking to build cars that don’t release as much harmful gases into the atmosphere. It is true that we still rely on power plants where electric energy is produced. However, these power plants release noticeably smaller amounts of toxic gases. Moreover, since electric cars don’t have tailpipes, they also don’t release tailpipe gases.
Are There Any Disadvantages of Owning an Electric Car?
As great as electric cars are for us and the environment, every type of vehicle also comes with certain downsides that we have to take into account. Luckily, the disadvantages of electric cars are not that many. However, there are some things you should keep in mind before purchasing one for yourself.
1. You Get a Limited Driving Range
The driving range of an electric car depends a lot on the model. However, most models don’t have a high driving range. Most of them can go between 60 and 120 miles if you charge them completely. Others can hold up to 300 miles. The driving range is considered to be the biggest disadvantage of electric cars, but it is something that many manufacturers are working on. Consequently, we can expect it to get higher as technology advances.
2. You Will Have to Wait for It to Recharge
Unfortunately, electric cars take a while to recharge. Which is why you should try to recharge them at night in order to get a full battery in the morning. Usually, it takes between 4 and 8 hours for the battery to recharge, depending on the model. You can also choose the fast charge option that only takes 30 minutes. However, this will only charge the battery up to 80 percent. This is useful when you’re in a hurry and you don’t have a long way to drive, but not so useful if you need the car to travel long-distance.
3. You Might Have to Replace the Batteries
Finally, you should also consider the fact that you might need to change the battery packs at some point, which can be quite expensive. However, manufacturers are also working on minimizing the cost associated with battery replacement.
Summing It All Up
Could we consider electric cars the vehicle of the future? Even though we still have a long way to go until we can make that assertion, the amazing technology that they provide drivers with, completed by the benefits they bring to the environment, make electric cars a perfect alternative to traditional gasoline cars. A step in the right direction is the fact that we can see more and more electric cars on the street. So is the car manufacturers’ ambition to provide people with the best possible electric car models on the market. The great news is that technology is constantly improving, and so are the prices. Which makes it much easier to make a case for electric cars in the future.