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Wednesday 17 October 2018
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Basics of Electric Vehicles

As the world continues to progress towards a greener and sustainable future, the new technologies should focus on renewable energy resources. Introduction of Electric Vehicles(EVs) was a major step towards curbing the use of natural resources like oil and natural gas. Vehicles that use the electricity for the propulsion of their motors are called the Electric Vehicles (EVs).

Electric vehicles have become a popular and major concept in the automotive industry. These EVs are attracting the manufacturers because of the less use of conventional fuels and are less harmful to the environment. The idea of the electric vehicles is not a recent development. It started from the basic remote controlled car that no one thought would become a reality in today’s world. There are different categories of EVs like cars, scooters, trains, trolleybus, trucks and even aircrafts these days. Apart from these EVs, there are vehicles that can use electricity as well as fuels for their propulsion and these type of vehicles are called Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs). There might be a possibility of an astronomer going to space could travel in an electrically powered vehicle. Some of the examples are the Solar Impulse 1 and 2, these vehicles use solar energy to fuel up its engines.

To understand the electric vehicles better, we will go through the advantages and disadvantages of the EVs segment vehicles by comparing them with current IC (Internal Combustion) Engines.

Advantages of EVs (Electric Vehicles)

Emission Levels

Motors that use electricity cause zero emission of harmful gases such as carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide etc. Also, if Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) are used then they will cause very less emission when compared to the Internal Combustion (IC) Engines. Both the categories like the EVs and the HEVs are eco-friendly in nature.

Zero Noise pollution

When electric motors in the electric vehicles move they produce zero levels of noise when compared to the noisy IC engines.

Very Low Maintenance

The engines of the electric vehicles are not as complex as the IC engines. As there is no exhaust system, oil combustion, engine cooling systems, etc. Therefore maintenance of electric vehicles is very less when compared to the IC engines.

The cost of running is low

IC engines have very high cost to run for 1km when compared to the electric vehicles. In the upcoming years, the advanced technologies will reduce the electric power generation and the fuel cost will continue to rise exponentially. So the running cost of electric vehicles will further decrease in future.

Disadvantages (Major Challenges)

Less availability of charging stations

After travelling some fixed number of kilometers these EVs(Electric Vehicles) have to be charged regularly. As this concept is still not adopted by governments of many countries, therefore, there is a very less availability of charging stations.

Charging time is longer

Refiling of petrol, diesel and gas takes a few seconds, but recharging process of batteries of electric vehicles takes hours. Therefore long trips in electric vehicles can be inconvenient.

Range is Short

Distance travelled by an electric vehicle with fully charged battery is much less than that of a conventional vehicle whose fuel tank is fully filled. The average distance that could be travelled by a fully charged battery electric vehicle is around a few 100 km. For long distance transit it would be a problem but for regular use, the range will be sufficient.

Replacement of Battery

Life of battery and replacement cost is a major constraint which detaches people from electric vehicles. Life of electric car battery ranges from 5 to 10 years. Battery technologies are being developed day by day to improve storage capacity, life. Price of the battery shows a constant reduction for last 2 years. It would be expected to continue the same trend of reduction in battery cost in future.

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