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About Electric Cars

Electric cars drive with electricity, which is stored in a battery inside the car. This has advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages

  • Longer life. Electric motors are made of much less parts than combustion engines and these parts are much less subject to wearing. So they last longer and need less maintenance and repair. This increases the resale value.
  • Lower transportation expenses. The electric power needed for a certain distance usually is cheaper than the needed amount of fuel. This of course even more if you have the chance to make your own electricity at home with a photovoltaic system and storage.
  • Much better for environment and climate, if the electricity for the car is from renewable energy. But even with an average electricity mix, electric cars are noticeable better than combustion cars.
  • More space inside the car, because the electric motor is very small and the battery can be installed flat inside the floor. An electric car can be smaller on the outside than a combustion car and have more space inside.
  • Stronger engines and more constant acceleration. It is much easier to build strong electric motors than strong combustion engines. Electric motors don't need a manual transmission, the torque can be transferred without interruption.
  • Charging at home. If the car has access to the power grid, it can be charged relatively cheap at home. If there is also a solar power and storage system installed, then after that initial investment, it can be charged for free.

Disadvantages

  • Battery price: in 2019, batteries are expensive and make the electric car more expensive than a similar car with combustion engine.
  • Model selection: in 2019, there are only a few different electric models available. This should change during that year and in 2020.
  • Charging time: at the moment, charging takes longer than filling the car up with fuel. But fast charging is getting more and more common. At fast charging stations, often half an hour is enough to get the battery filled to 80%. Charging at a plug socket can take many hours.
  • Environmental damages at the extraction of cobalt and lithium. Both elements are needed for the battery. Batteries with very few or no cobalt at all will be available soon, Lithium will stay irreplaceable for a while. For both, a sustainable extraction is possible, but if it is really sustainable depends on the producer.
  • Tire wear: because of the higher torque, an electric car is exposed to a higher acceleration at driveaway. This increases the tire wear and reduces the life span of the tires. Tires with a low rolling resistance are recommended, special tires for electric cars are in development.

Plug-in hybrid

Cars build as plug-in hybrid have a combustion engine and an electric motor with battery. This battery, compared with batteries in full electric cars, mostly is rather small. It can be charged at plug sockets and fast chargers. So the car can drive short distances fully electric, longer distances are commonly done with the combustion engine.

Advantage

  • Often, the car can be driven cheap and environmental friendly electric. If in a hurry on longer distances, or if no electricity is available, it can run on fuel.

Disadvantage

  • Two different technologies are build into the car, which makes it more expensive, heavier and needs more space.

Hybrid

Hybrid electric vehicles have an electric motor and a combustion engine which powers the electric motor. The electric motor can't be charged at a station. In the city, an electric motor is more effective, at long distances not so much. When braking, or rolling downhill, the electric motor can regain energy (recuperation). So hybrid electric cars save fuel, but are more expensive than combustion cars.






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Last change May 25. 2019

No responsibility is taken for the correctness of this information. The articles on this site about electromobility and different electric car models are based on personal experience and on current news. They are not sponsored or supported by the car manufacturers.

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