Cars of The Future:
Electric-powered for a Better Tomorrow
By Mark A. Retana
We are currently engaged in a major transformation of the automobile industry as we know it. Corporate titans are investing billions in order to redefine what an automobile is, and to shape the future of how we get around. The technology for driverless cars is now a reality and we are on track to have our first public exposure to these machines within the next decade, if not sooner. Plans beyond that are for companies like ridesharing giant, Uber, to taxi passengers around large and complex metro areas in what they currently term, “flying cars,” but which resemble something more like a large propeller drone. Small scale experiments are being conducted using airborne drones to deliver packages and even fast food. What has allowed these technologies to propagate and evolve is the introduction of the ever-popular electric car, also known as an electric vehicle (EV).
Electric cars have been widely available to the public since the late nineties, only a few years after Toyota first introduced the Prius hybrid in 1997. The fact that this particular model’s fully electric version is still popular today (although with gradually falling sales), is a testament to the progress that’s been made in EV technology, as well as steadily increasing demand. But how can demand be growing if Prius sales are falling? This is because Toyota, as well as a majority of the top car manufacturers, have released a variety of models (including SUVs, Crossovers, and Sports Cars) that are surpassing the original in sales. With numerous incentives today to purchase an EV, including affordability compared to fuel-powered vehicles, lower maintenance requirements, fewer moving parts (reducing the number of mechanical things that can go wrong), and zero tailpipe emissions, this is a trend that we can expect to continue.
EVs have become a symbol of Environmentalism, and a gut punch to the polluting fossil fuel industry, or “Big Oil.” Our fossil fuels may not deplete within our lifetimes, but it is a well-known that they are finite, severely damaging to our air quality, ozone layer, and one of the main culprits of climate change. As environmental reports continue to indicate, for us to continue to depend on fossil fuels as an energy source, especially transportation, is unsustainable. EV owners can combat and reverse this trend, whether they intend to or not.
Whether you own or are considering purchasing an EV, you likely already have a notion of why they appeal to such a growing demographic of drivers; some of the reasons which we just listed. The bottom line for most economically-minded consumers, is driving range.
EV Driving Range
When EVs were first introduced, they had a fairly limited driving range in the double digits. According to statistics, there are now some EVs whose range exceeds that of petrol vehicles.
“For the 2016 model year (MY) the maximum range for an all-electric vehicle (AEV) is 294 miles while the minimum range for a gasoline model is 240 miles.”
This is a significant leap in advancement. The statistics the driving range of EVs for MY 2016 is between 62 and 294 miles; more than sufficient for a commuter vehicle.
This is where EVs like to set themselves apart from the competition. To give you an idea of how far you can drive on a single charge, let’s take a glance at three popular models:
- Chevrolet Spark EV: 82 miles
- Nissan Leaf: 150 miles
- Renault Zoe: 130 miles
- Tesla Model S : 335 Miles
The Tesla S 75D will do 0-62mph in 4.4 seconds and has a top speed of 140mph. The Model S 100D features a 100kWh battery, with a claimed range of 393 miles, but Tesla expects a lower figure of around 335 miles in the real world
With a fully charged battery, you could commute to the office and back, or run several errands without having to recharge your vehicle. Multiple variables exist in terms of charge quality and duration, and these primarily depend on how you charge your vehicle.
Charging Your EV
As EVs become more prolific, we have seen some standardization and compliance among batteries and charging apparatus. Undoubtedly, you’ve seen EV charging stations at corporate campuses or your local grocery store. Tesla is investing heavily in Superchargers that can charge their particular brand of vehicle in about thirty minutes – perfect for a quick trip to the grocery store. Bear in mind that this type of charger is expensive, but is a growing network offered by the company as an incentive for owners. Since public charging stations typically offer their use free of charge, they are a great perk for drivers looking for value in a brand.
We can’t always charge our EVs in public, however. Before the public charger networks began to spring up around the globe, EV owners had to invest in what started as a costly at-home charging solution: the EVSE.
If you’re an EV owner, you will need an EVSE. EVSE stands for “Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment,” which is a control standard. There is a wide range of EVSE devices on the market that quite simply, carry AC power to your car (using a EV charger cable) and then convert it to DC in order to charge it.
This is one of the “convenience” reasons that so many EV owners love their cars; you don’t need to make that trip to the gas station when you’re running low on fuel. When your car is not in use, you can plug it into your wall and charge it while it sits conveniently in your garage.
A minor inconvenience with most EVSEs is that most types need to be professionally installed. To solve this problem, manufacturers have created standalone portable charging cables. While they generally don’t have the capability to charge your vehicle as quickly (some on the slower end of the spectrum charge at a rate of 4 miles of range per hour), some portable charging cables can be plugged straight into a 240v electrical outlet (given your plug matches the receptacle), giving EV owners a fair trade-off in exchange for convenience. For many owners, this rate is more than sufficient when leaving their EV charging overnight.
Whether you’re looking to become the latest warrior in the fight to reverse climate change, or are a practical-minded individual looking to purchase a quality vehicle that will save you money in fuel and maintenance costs, purchasing an EV will change the way you get around, for the better.
For your electric car charging leads electricvehicleequipment.co.uk has what you need.