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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Electric Cars

Updated on September 27, 2016
Jan Saints profile image

Januaris is a webmaster and writer with a great passion for machines. He loves to write articles about cars and other automobiles.

Electric cars (or generally electric vehicles) are automobiles that are propelled by electric motors. These types of motors use electrical energy which is supplied mainly by batteries.

The production of electric cars (ECs) is highly encouraged and is tipped to help reduce climate change and shield people from high oil prices. These types of vehicles use little or no fuel and pollute the environment less compared to the conventional ones. Many of us have been dealing with ECs for a long time, but there are a number of things that we don’t know about them.

Read on to learn about 10 things you didn't know about electric cars.

ford focus electric
ford focus electric | Source

In brief, 10 things you didn't know about electric cars

1. The first EC was built in 1884

2. Were the most popular automobiles in 19th C. & early 20th C.

3. Are more expensive than ICE vehicles

4. Have low maintenance & running costs

5. Tesla Roadster is the EC with the highest range per charge

6. There are significant carbon emissions in the production of ECs

7. Are heavier than gasoline cars, but less noisy

8. There are 6 categories of EVs

9. The leading EV manufacturer is Renault-Nissan Alliance

10. The most successful EC is Nissan Leaf

1. The First Electric Car Was Built in 1884

The vehicle was designed and built by Thomas Parker who was a London innovator in charge of the overhead tramways electrification in the city. His car was fueled by high-capacity rechargeable batteries. He aimed to reduce the number of low fuel-efficient and environment-friendly cars on the roads.

2. Electric Cars Were the Most Popular Automobiles in the 19th C. and early 20th C.

During this period, ECs were more convenient (easier to operate & more comfortable) than the gasoline ones. The internal combustion engine was in its early stages of development and could not propel automobiles more efficiently. Tens of thousands of EVs were sold during this period, but later, their sales dropped significantly as a result of the introduction of more convenient gasoline cars (when IC engine became more advanced).

3. They Are More Expensive than Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles

The high cost of electric-powered cars is attributed to the additional cost of the batteries. Some battery packs cost as high as $800 per kWh. Due to this situation, most people are not ready to buy ECs. Some automakers have started to manufacture cheaper batteries, which is good news to people who want to buy EVs.

4. They Have Low Maintenance and Running Costs

ECs have fewer parts than gasoline cars, which means that they also have fewer parts to maintain. The costly batteries do not last forever, but they have lifetime of many years (so replacement cost is low for a particular period of time). The overall maintenance costs of these types of cars are therefore low. On average, an EC uses 0.18 kWh/mi which translates to 1.75 p/mi. On the other side, a gasoline-powered one uses 10 p/mi.

5. Tesla Roadster is the Electric Car with the Highest Range per Charge (Year 2015)

The car can travel 240 miles per charge which is twice the range travelled by most ECs. It can be fully charged in 4 hours from a 220V, 70A outlet, and it can gain 80% percent of the charge in about 30 minutes.

tesla roadster
tesla roadster | Source

6. There Are Significant Carbon Emissions in the Production of Electric Cars

Reports show that more carbon emissions are generated in the production of ECs compared to conventional cars. Most of the emissions come from the battery production. However, the overall emissions are lower over the lifetime (from production to disposal) for these electric-powered vehicles.

7. They Are Heavier than Gasoline Cars, but Less Noisy

The additional weight comes from the batteries. An EC takes longer to stop during braking due to the heavy weight, but the excess weight has some benefits. Users of these vehicles suffer minimal injuries in collisions, and are free from noise disturbance because the vehicles do not use engines.

8. There Are 6 Categories of Electric Vehicles

Battery EVs (BEVs)

  • Run entirely on electric motors and batteries.
  • Recharged from a power grid.
  • Mileage range is 100-200 per charge.

Plug-in Hybrid EVs (PHEVs)

  • Use rechargeable batteries, electric motors and internal combustion engines.
  • Mileage range on electric mode is 30-40 per charge.

Hybrid EVs (HEVs)

  • Use small electric batteries and internal combustion engines.
  • Batteries are charged by the engines or regenerative breaking.
  • Maximum acceleration is 40mph.

Extended-Range EVs (EREVs)

  • Use rechargeable batteries and internal combustion engines.
  • Batteries are charged by the engines or power grids.
  • Mileage range is 40 per charge.

Neighborhood EVs (NEVs)

  • Use batteries that are recharged from a 120 volt grid.
  • Maximum speed is 30mph.

Non-Road EVs (NREVs)

  • Use rechargeable batteries and electric motors.
  • Designed for manufacturing plants, seaports and airports.

9. The Leading Electric Car Manufacturer Is the Renault-Nissan Alliance (2014)

Renault-Nissan Alliance has sold over 200,000 ECs which represents about 60% of all ECs on the roads. The second and third best performing electric-vehicle companies are Tesla Motors and Mitsubishi Motors respectively.

10. The Most Successful Electric Car Is the Nissan Leaf

Released in the late 2010, Nissan Leaf has recorded global sales of more than 150,000 units. The car has been sold in over 35 countries. It has low maintenance and running costs. It uses 0.34 kWh/mi which is the same as 1.75 p/mi.

nissan leaf
nissan leaf | Source

I've installed this charging station at my home & it feels just awesome. It's safe, easy to use & charges my EC 6 times faster. I recommend it to you.

In Conclusion...

I hope you have learnt something new about EVs.

According to a survey carried out by a leading automobile manufacturer, most people think that EVs are not convenient and reliable. Some fear the battery charge may run out before they reach their destinations.

Some goods news is that scientists and engineers across the world are researching on new innovations to improve the reliability and convenience of these types of cars.

Do you think that electric cars will once again become more popular than conventional cars in the near future?

See results

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    • profile image

      Jacobb9205 2 years ago

      No problem, Jan Saints

    • Jan Saints profile image
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      Januaris Saint Fores 2 years ago from the Midwest

      Thanks Jacobb9205 for your comment.

    • profile image

      Jacobb9205 2 years ago

      Interesting, thank you for posting!