Recently, electric cars (also known as EVs) have gained popularity. The increasing availability of electric cars and Tesla’s history of success as well rising fuel costs have led to a 40% increase in global EV sales. There are 19 EVs available from Tesla and Nissan, Kia and Porsche, and an additional 18 models that could be released before 2021.
The automotive industry is changing rapidly, with new alternative-energy vehicles creating technology that seems far removed from the traditional combustible engine vehicle. The electric-vehicle driver can travel farther thanks to extended ranges and a growing network high-speed chargers. This removes one of the most common objections that consumers have. Bankrate discusses the pros and cons associated with electric cars, and how they work.
Electric cars for 2021
The key takeaways
- In ten years, EV battery prices have fallen $1,000 per kWh. (Bloomberg).
- The U.S. had 25,313 charging points at the end 2020, more than the 7,340 in 2014. (U.S. Department of Transportation).
- California is the leader with 12,389 charging points, followed by New York and Florida with at least 2,000 each. (U.S. Department of Transportation).
- There are more than 10 million EVs. (S&P Global).
- In March 2021, 122,016 electric vehicles were sold setting new sales records. (U.S. Department of Transportation).
EVs are being pushed to the forefront by some significant developments. The cost of producing batteries has fallen as more electric cars are made , making them more affordable . The price of a battery is hovering around $100 per hour (kWh). Ten years ago, batteries were selling for over $1,100/kWh. The battery is the most expensive component of an electric vehicle, so the car has become more affordable.
Additionally, charging stations have tripled since 7,340 in 2014. There were 25,313 charging points in the country by 2020. California is the leader with 12,839. New York, Florida, and Texas are the three states with the most charging stations. Each state has 2,000 or more.
Over 10,000,000 electric vehicles are on the roads. Due to the pandemic, EV sales fell to 296,000 units in 2020 from 331,000 in 2019. Things changed in 2021. According to the Bureau of Transportation March sales were record breaking for all types of electric vehicles. The EV market share grew to 7.6% after the record-breaking 122,016 EVs were sold.
- Hybrid-Electric Vehicles: 75,959
- 33,370 Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs).
- Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs: 12,687)
The key facts about electric cars
The popularity of electric vehicles is not a temporary trend. They are becoming more affordable every year, and consumers are more comfortable plugging in to save fuel. According to a recent survey from Consumer Reports, 71% of U.S. drivers said they would be interested in buying an electric vehicle in the future. A third of respondents stated that an EV was their next purchase. These are just a few of the interesting facts about electric cars:
- In 1832, the first electric vehicle was built. (Energy.gov)
- To travel the same distance as a gallon gas, an EV would only cost $1 in energy. This is $3.04. ( Energy.gov
- The Tesla Roadster accelerates faster than many sports cars with a 0-60 acceleration time of just 1.9 seconds. A Ferrari or Lamborghini can accelerate from 0-60 in 2.8 to 2.92 seconds. ( Tesla, Auto Express).
- China accounts for nearly half of all EVs worldwide. ( Global Electric Vehicle Outlook).
- Nearly 96% of owners of electric vehicles would lease or buy another one. ( AAA
- EVs are more efficient. The battery power can power the vehicle up to 80 percent, as opposed to 14% to 26% for a gasoline-powered car. ( Energie.gov
- EV owners are less likely to run out of battery than 57% of consumers. ( AAA
What is an electric vehicle?
An electric car uses an electric motor to power it instead of a gasoline-powered combustion engine. The EV’s batteries can be charged at home, or at an EV charger station. According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center, the most-popular EV manufacturers were:
- Tesla (Model 3 & Model X).
- Toyota (Prius PHEV)
- Chevrolet (Bolt)
- Nissan (Leaf)
There are many types of electric cars
There are three types of electric cars:
- Hybrid-Electric Vehicles: HEVs combine an electric motor with a gasoline-powered engine. An HEV doesn’t plug in, it uses regenerative brakes to collect energy. One of the most well-known HEVs is the Toyota Prius.
- Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs),: A PHEV can plug in to charge. You can also get a plug-in Prius.
- BEVs: Also known as all-electric cars, they must be plugged in to charge. BEVs are Teslas.
How does an electric car work?
An electric vehicle functions in the same way as a gasoline-powered car. However, electric vehicle drivers might notice some differences to gas-powered cars, such as:
- Quiet operation. Many people are often startled by the EV’s approaching and claim they didn’t hear it. First-time owners sometimes don’t know if their car has turned on.
- Slow acceleration: Hybrid EVs can coast and accelerate slowly, which can be frustrating. But, electric plug-ins such as the Tesla and Porsche EVs are extremely fast.
- Marked acceleration: EVs often use regenerative braking to charge their batteries. The car could be noticeably slower than a regular vehicle if it is not allowed to use the accelerator.
- Additional trunk space or “frunk” space: Pure electric vehicles don’t have any combustible engines. In many models, the front hood can be used as a trunk.
What is the power behind electric cars?
The batteries power EVs. The vehicle’s wheels are driven by a traction battery pack. Some cars have electric motor-generators, which work to drive the vehicle’s wheels and recharge the battery.
Electric cars: The pros and cons
The last few years have seen electric vehicles make great strides. There is still much to be done. These are the benefits and drawbacks of electric vehicles.
- Energy-efficient: Most of the energy produced by gas vehicles is wasted. An electric car can use up to 80 percent of the energy from a battery.
- Lower maintenance costs: Electric vehicles don’t require oil replacement or maintenance. Pure-electric vehicles require very little brake work due to the regenerative brake system that automatically slows down the car when you release the accelerator.
- Lower environmental impact: EVs don’t emit pollutants through tailpipes, and they don’t require as much gasoline (or even any)
- Cost: While the cost of EVs is decreasing, they are still 10% to 40 more costly to purchase than a gasoline-powered car.
- Range: Depending on the model, electric vehicles can travel between 100 and 300 miles per charge.
- Charging: Charging an electric vehicle takes longer than filling it with gasoline. Charging a Tesla at Superchargers could take 45 to one hour . Charging at home can take 11.5hours on average and could lead to a high electric bill.
What is the cost of electric cars?
There are many factors that affect the cost of driving an electric car. You will be able to see the difference between driving a gasoline-powered car and an electric vehicle.
EVs offer a great alternative to gasoline-powered cars thanks to technological and infrastructure advances. You can eliminate your gasoline bill and join the sustainable movement. The best part is that driving an electric vehicle does not compromise performance and enjoyment. Many models can be driven as comfortably as traditional combustion vehicles.