While gasoline-powered vehicles still make up the majority of the market, EV technology is now mature enough that you might consider electric cars for your next vehicle. We can help you understand EVs and guide you to where you can go.
What exactly is an EV?
Electric vehicles (EVs), which are increasing in popularity, have a wide range of models from almost every major manufacturer. An EV simply means a vehicle that uses electricity instead of fossil fuel. An EV is just like a gasoline-powered car that has a fuel tank to power its engine. It also has a battery set that powers the electric motor.
There are many types of EVs. Some use only battery power while others use gasoline and other hybrids. Some electric vehicles use hydrogen-powered fuel cells. However, only pure battery-powered electric cars offer the convenience and ease of charging at home.
How EVs differ from gasoline vehicles
While EVs may look the same as gasoline vehicles from the outside, they are very different inside. An EV is equipped with a number of powerful batteries instead of a gasoline tank. EVs are powered by electric motors, which produce zero emissions.
Instead of filling your EV up at the nearest gas station, plug it into a charging port when it’s not in use. This is just like what you do with your smartphone and other portable electronics.
EVs offer greater performance than gasoline cars, better efficiency, and more interior storage space. They are also more expensive than similar vehicles. However, prices have fallen over the years and many EV models can qualify for federal tax credits or rebates.
How electric vehicles work
The batteries store energy and are used to power an electric vehicle. The battery can be charged by plugging in to a charging station. However, wireless charging is also possible and some EVs even use solar power.
A single electric motor can power an electric vehicle in the same manner as a gasoline engine. Or, there may be separate motors for each wheel. A single motor is more affordable and economical, but EVs with separate motors offer better handling and can pull off tricks such as “tank turning”, which gasoline vehicles can’t do.
Although it’s not practical, a “tank turn” is an interesting manoeuvre that allows a vehicle to rotate in place while moving neither forward nor backward.
An EV can run its motor in reverse to speed up and turn it into a generator. Regenerative braking is a technique that allows an EV to recharge its batteries and recapture any lost energy. It also improves efficiency.
All-wheel drive EVs, which have one motor per wheel, can reclaim even more energy as they slow down.
EVs are typically more spacious than gasoline vehicles because they don’t need big gasoline engines or transmissions. EVs often offer more storage, as some EVs provide both a traditional trunk at the rear and a frunk (or front trunk) in the same space that a gasoline engine would.
EVs also operate much more quietly than gas-powered engines.
How are EVs charged?
Basic hybrid electric vehicles can charge themselves while they drive. However, battery electric vehicles and hybrids must be plugged in to recharge. You can charge your vehicle at either a commercial or municipal charging station or at a residential charger station.
You can find charging stations at gas stations, apartments, businesses and even in your own house.
Should I Charge my EV at Home or at the Public Charger?
Charging an electric car is similar to charging any other vehicle. Instead of a gas cap you need to remove in order to fill up your tank, EVs come with an electrical connector. An EV can be charged by plugging the charging cable from a charger into the car’s charging connector.
Fast chargers deliver more power quickly while home chargers with lower power are intended to charge overnight.
Wireless charging is also possible. It works in the same manner as wireless phone charging. Wireless charging can be used by vehicles that have an underside wireless charging receiver. The wireless charging receiver is installed on the vehicle and it can then be charged by placing it over a wireless charging mat.
EVs can compete with gasoline vehicles in terms both of range and performance, thanks to battery capacity and other significant advances.
Who is an EV designed for?
There are many models for every budget and electric vehicles can be used in any situation. You can find affordable family sedans or hatchbacks as well as supercars with two doors, as well EV trucks and SUVs.
Although EVs can be used by anyone, some EVs may not suit your needs. Charging is the biggest limitation. This can make it difficult for some people to charge their EVs due to their lifestyle.
It can be difficult to charge an EV if you live in an apartment complex or condo that does not offer EV charging. If you live in a home with only street parking, the same applies. While some municipalities offer EV charging infrastructures, it may not be available in your area.
The past has been difficult with range, but it is worth looking at the options now if this was your biggest problem. Long-range EVs can compete with gasoline vehicles, and charging stations exist in many areas.
In the next few years, there will likely be more charging stations near your home and/or travel destination.
Why the Auto Industry is Switching to EVs
Although EVs have existed for more than 100 years, they were nearly entirely outnumbered by gasoline cars for the majority of that time. Although the automotive industry has been exploring this technology for years, battery capacity and other significant advances have made it possible for EVs in recent years to be competitive with gasoline vehicles in terms both of range and performance.
Although EVs represent only a small portion of the automotive industry, the industry has begun to shift towards battery power and away from fossil fuels. The industry is betting that consumers will be more comfortable using EVs. However, there are also regulatory aspects.
Some states have already established deadlines for the eventual end of sales of new gasoline cars. It’s possible that other states will follow their lead. The federal mandate could eventually stop the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles in the United States. It’s unlikely that this will happen in the near future. However, the automotive industry wants it to be possible.
When will all new cars be electric?
EV Ownership and Operating costs
For a variety of reasons, EV ownership and operation costs are generally lower than that of a comparable gasoline vehicle. In some areas, licence and tag fees are lower, EVs are easier to charge than gasoline vehicles, and they require less maintenance.
A federal EV tax credit, which applies to all EVs, may make it more affordable than you think. There are also state incentives that can lower the cost.
EV Rebates & Tax Credits Explained
The cost of owning an EV and running it depends on where you live. Some states offer credit or do not charge sales tax for EVs purchased in their state. Some states have lower fees for licensing or tags, or offer other programs. A federal tax credit is available to lower the cost of purchasing an EV. It applies to all EVs.
The greatest savings are due to the efficiency of EVs. You’ll typically pay less for electricity than for gasoline to drive the same distance in an equivalent gasoline vehicle. Although electricity prices can vary greatly from one location to the next, some states offer lower electricity prices for vehicles that are charged at certain times of day.
EVs require less maintenance than gasoline vehicles. An EV’s main components, including the battery, motor and electronics, need little to no maintenance. This is a marked departure from gasoline vehicles.
There are no fluids to change, such as transmission fluid or engine oil, and brakes can last longer thanks to regenerative braking systems.
The Nissan Leaf can accelerate from 0-60 MPH in less than nine seconds, as opposed to the more powerful, lighter-gas-powered Chevy Spark, which takes 10+ seconds.
The EV range is far greater than you think
The greatest advantage that gasoline vehicles have over EVs has been their range, but this gap is closing.
While there are many EVs with a short range that can be used for driving in cities, you will also find EVs capable of covering 300-miles or more on a single charge.
Driving an electric vehicle on long roads requires more planning than driving a gasoline-powered car, but that’s far better than in the past.
Performance: Just as good as a gasoline vehicle?
Contrary to popular belief, EVs offer superior performance than gasoline vehicles in many aspects. Although EV performance varies among models and makes, all EVs have similar drivetrains to gasoline vehicles.
The ability of the tires on an EV to grip the road will limit the range of motion between stationary and moving when you press down on the accelerator pedal. An EV can not accelerate like a gasoline-powered vehicle. The electric motor is capable of applying all its torque as soon as the accelerator is depressed.
Some EVs can actually go from 0-60 MPH in under two seconds. A modest hatchback such as the Nissan Leaf can reach 0-60 MPH in less than nine seconds, which is a significant improvement on the 10-plus seconds required by the lighter, more powerful Chevy Spark.
Costs of EV insurance
An EV policy is the same as any other vehicle. Insurers base insurance costs primarily on the cost of replacing or repairing your vehicle in an accident. EVs are typically more expensive than vehicles that use gasoline. However, this is not a general rule and some EVs can be insured for less than the national average.
Bottom line: If you purchase an expensive EV that is expensive to repair or replace, your insurance costs will reflect that. However, there are discounts for electric vehicle owners offered by some insurance companies so make sure to compare different providers instead of sticking with your current one.
How do I buy an electric vehicle?
The buying process for an EV is similar to buying a gas vehicle. There are some exceptions. Tesla and other EV manufacturers sell directly to consumers. This is a departure of the traditional dealership system. Some manufacturers sell through dealers, so you might see EVs next to gasoline cars if you go to a dealership to test drive one.
A few EVs can only be ordered as pre-orders. This is another problem you won’t encounter when purchasing a gasoline car. These vehicles may not be available yet or have exceeded demand. You can pay a fee to reserve a vehicle in pre-order and choose to buy it when it becomes available.
You can also order a customised vehicle to your specifications and sign a purchase contract. Then you will receive the vehicle as soon as it becomes available. It will vary depending on the manufacturer and vehicle, so be sure to verify for specific details if you are interested in a vehicle that is currently in pre-order status.
Another thing to remember when purchasing an electric vehicle is that you might be eligible for tax credits or rebates. Most EVs are eligible for a federal tax rebate. You can apply for this rebate when you file your taxes. You may also be eligible for a rebate, a credit on state taxes, or reduced or waived sales tax. Make sure you check the programs available in your area before you purchase an EV.