What You Need To Know
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Benefits of Electric Vehicles
Hybrid cars combine both combustion and electric power in some capacity. This can range from minimal electric motor assist to full EV driving modes. The main benefit of hybrids is their increased fuel efficiency. Using electric motors to assist the car when moving can dramatically increase fuel efficiency. Some hybrids also utilize regenerative braking, which captures energy used to brake, sending that power back to the battery. In a conventional brake setup, every time you brake that energy is wasted.
The downside of hybrids come in a couple of different forms. Hybrids typically have higher maintenance cost because their more complex than conventional vehicles. The batteries in particular can be very expensive to replace or repair as hybrids age. Winter weather can also dampen the benefits of hybrid vehicles. Deducing range and effecting gas mileage when heating is required.
Plug-in hybrids work similarly to conventional hybrids. The key difference is that plug-in hybrids can be charged from an outlet to run entirely on electricity for a short distance. For short trips this means 0 exhaust emissions, and 0 gas usage. For longer trips that can’t be accomplished on electric alone, plug-in hybrids have an engine as well. These engines can work to drive the car directly, or they can be used as a generator to feed power to the electric motors. This system combines the best of both worlds providing the efficiency of an EV with the range of a conventional vehicle. Honda’s Clarity works in this manner, allowing owners to power up the batteries without any need for gas.
Plug-in hybrids don’t require you to plug them in either, they function like a normal hybrid when not charged. This provides the most flexibility on the market for low emissions vehicles.
Electric Vehicles are exactly that, vehicles that run exclusively on electricity. Many using multiple motors that drive wheels independently. This can increase handling and help maintain traction. The beauty of electric vehicles is the lack of moving parts. With an electric vehicle it only requires one moving part to function. This can reduce the need for extended maintenance required by standard vehicles. Charging from the wall or charging station is often less expensive than gasoline.
The largest downside of electric vehicles currently is the lack of range, and time to charge the batteries. Many of the most advanced EVs still have a range around 320 km, which for most people satisfies their day-to-day distances. With charging times taking over 40 minutes for most current EVs, stopping to recharge on a trip is a major time waster. This is where future generations of EVs will have to improve. Reaching longer distances and faster charging time will speed up the adoption of EVs.