If you really want to be part of the green living society and are serious about every aspect of your life being environmentally friendly, consider the advantages of the electric car. Since this car runs on an electric motor as opposed to a gasoline engine, the best news about it is that it is 100 percent emission-free. While gasoline-operated cars pollute the air each time they are driven, driving an electric car or EV (electric vehicle) promotes clean air. With rising gas prices at the pump, even those not as concerned about the environment are considering the purchase of a vehicle that costs less to fuel.
Other Advantages of the Electric Car
Although the hybrid car is popular these days due to its many green features, the advantages this battery-electric vehicle (BEV) has over it and over gasoline-fueled cars include:
- Higher efficiency by as much as 400 to 600 percent over an internal combustion engine
- No polluting byproducts because this car gets its power from batteries, the wind or the sun
- Three times as efficient as gas engines
- Is extremely safe
- Gets better mileage than any other car on the road
- Quiet to drive
How an EV Runs
The electric motor of an EV is the size of a five-gallon water bottle. This motor is connected to the stock transmission. There are a number of batteries, each about the same size and shape as a traditional car's battery. The accelerator pedal is connected to a box which operates the electronic controller. When the driver presses the accelerator with ease, this action delivers the power needed. The car runs faster the harder the pedal is pushed.
Disadvantages of the Electric Car
What are the disadvantages of electric cars?
Some of the disadvantages include:
- They have their limited range; some need to re-fuel after only 100 miles
- The time it takes to recharge the battery or re-fuel can take over an hour
- They can be expensive to buy, some costing $50,000
The Cost of Owning an Electric Car
If you want to convert your current vehicle to an electric one, the cost of conversion is between $5,000 and $7,500. This is due to the cost of components and batteries.
An electric car costs about three to five cents per mile for electricity. It also does not need engine maintenance like a gas-run car.
Charging Your Battery
The average range an EV can go is up to 60 miles per hour. However, there are some electric vehicles which can exceed 100 miles after charging on a lead or acid battery.
If you are in the market for an EV take note of how many miles you drive a day. The average person drives only 30 miles a day, so by charging your vehicle overnight, you would be completely fueled for the next day of driving.
The amount of time it takes to charge your battery depends on the charger and power available. Most EV owners charge overnight. If the EV has an on board charger it can be charged during the day while you are at work. On board chargers weigh between ten and thirty pounds. They plug into either a 110V AC or 220V AC. The majority of electric cars charging at 220V AC will reach 80 percent of the charging levels between one and three hours.
Not Good for the Electric Car
While Toyota's RAV-4EV was discontinued in 2003 due to lack of sales (it sold only 300 vehicles a year), it claims its new hybrid cars are part of the company's energy conservation solution.
General Motors' EV1 also ceased -- the remaining cars were crushed-- and from that, the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? was released in 2006. This documentary film charts the birth, frail attempt at commercialization, and the death of the battery electric vehicle in the United States.
EVs Available Today
To view pictures of the electric cars on the market today, visit the following manufactures' web sites:
You will see that an electric car can be sporty and sleek. In addition, its earth-friendly advantages make it an efficient vehicle to drive. However, it may be some time before everyone is sold on this potential eco-friendly industry.