With more talk turning to the environmental impact of cars on the planet, people are making the switch from standard to electric or hybrid. But what is the fuss all about? Is it just a normal car? And is it worth buying one? For the uninitiated, electric cars use electric as its main fuel source and to power all of the internal processes and can be charged either at home or at specific fueling points. Hybrid cars are charged using the combustion engine, and there are cars that are a combination of this and EV (electric vehicle), known as a plug-in hybrid. The difference between a plug-in hybrid and a standard hybrid is the battery, which is larger, but it also has the support of a diesel or petrol engine.
The drivability of electric cars is a big selling point. They handle very well at low speeds, which make it an ideal choice if you drive around towns and cities a lot. The electric motor means that the rev range is big, and you can get to high speeds surprisingly quickly, especially as the motor makes no noise. In fact, the cars are so quiet, some manufacturers are installing noise synthesizers to warn walkers! And as the cars usually have no gears it means a smoother acceleration over gear changes in a petrol or diesel. Likewise, with the braking, it can slow to a stop very quickly if you take your foot off the accelerator.
When it comes to the cost, these cars are notoriously more expensive than standard cars, but the payment upfront means fewer maintenance costs further down the line. Fueling an electric car is much cheaper, and can cost 95% less to fully charge your battery when you compare it to filling your tank, but this depends on the cost of your electricity. Electric cars are also a lot less complicated than standard ones, which means the cost to get it fixed is also reduced. It is the dream for a car dealership and vehicle transporters because the electric car is much lighter than the normal one, so transporting them is a lot cheaper, and now, as most electric cars are designed for the purposes of space and luxury, it means they are proving very popular. In fact, as the battery is in the floor, the hood is now an extra space for storing items.
As with many pros, there are certain cons, and these relate to the concern over the life of the battery. If you buy a used car with a battery that’s on its last legs, replacing it can be very expensive, possibly more than what the car is worth! And there are concerns about how long a battery can last for. A general electric car can last between 100 and 200 miles, so you are best using it for short journeys. If you need to use it for long trips, then you need to research which places you can charge the car.
The environmental benefits speak for themselves, and the technology is still in its infancy, but it is likely to get much better as time goes on.