Do you want to buy an electric car? Let’s see together how electric vehicles work and the answers to the most common questions of how to charge an electric car.
In short, electric cars are conquering more and more market segments and, within a few years, it is highly likely that the majority of newly registered vehicles will be electric.
But is this push towards the electric justified by a solid technological platform or are the limits of electric cars still very evident, especially when compared with internal combustion engines?
If you too have asked yourself questions about electric cars, you have come to the right guide: with questions and answers we will provide you with all the information you need before buying an electric car so that you are well aware of the advantages and disadvantages of having a car driven “by electricity”.
How Does An Electric Car Work?
In these cars, the wheel drive is impressed by a high-power electric motor.
This engine works perfectly well and thanks to the electrical energy taken from a lithium battery, usually placed in the place of the petrol tank or positioned immediately under the floor of the car.
The engine can be present on one axle only (front or rear) or on both axles (all-wheel drive) and is definitely more performing (with the same weight and maximum power) compared to the corresponding internal combustion engines.
In electric cars, it is not necessary to change the speed, since the engine immediately provides maximum torque even with stationary wheels, and the power is supplied constantly: in fact, it is never necessary to change gears or press a clutch since the gears do not exist!
In electric cars, therefore, we always find the single-speed automatic gearbox, with the possibility of moving forward in the direction of travel (letter D), changing the direction of travel (reverse or letter R), locking the gearbox in the parking position (P) or set the gearbox to neutral (N).
There is no oil anywhere, there are no spark plugs or pistons and the classic mechanical moving parts are missing (with the exception of the internal blades of the electric motor): in fact, the car is much quieter and more efficient than a vehicle with a heat engine.
How Many Kilometers Do I Travel With A Full Charge?
The range of the electric car is determined by the size of the battery pack and the driving conditions in which we take the vehicle.
The larger the battery in the car, the greater the autonomy we can cover with a full tank (corresponding to 100% of the battery charge).
For electric vehicles, the parameter kilometers or miles per kilowatt-hour (kWh) is used to indicate how far we can go with a kWh of electricity, i.e. the smallest unit of measurement for the stored current (corresponding to the liter of old gasoline).
The more expensive models have over 300 kilometers of autonomy and quickly approach 500-600 kilometers with a full tank, i.e values in line with the results obtainable with a full tank of diesel (on Euro-6 diesel cars).
The cheapest electric cars or “city cars” have smaller batteries and hardly exceed 150 kilometers of range, but they are designed for the city not for traveling on the highway.
The speed at which we go obviously also affects the autonomy: at higher speeds, there will be greater electricity consumption, while at low speeds the autonomy increases (exactly the opposite of thermal cars, which consume a lot in the city).
One thing not to be underestimated with electric cars is the outside temperature: the hot/cold changes can also significantly change the autonomy of the car, as well as quickly deteriorate the battery cells.
For this reason (on high-end electric cars) we find the liquid-cooled battery pack, so as to keep the temperature constant both in summer and winter.
Do Electric Car Batteries Degrade?
Just like the batteries of our smartphones, the batteries of the electric car also deteriorate with the passage of time and with the succession of discharge and charge cycles.
After a certain amount of time, it is necessary to replace them in order to maintain constant autonomy and be able to recharge with maximum efficiency.
On many electric vehicles the value of the remaining battery charge is indicated, a very important value when we buy an electric car.
This value is certified by the manufacturer and makes it clear how efficient the chosen battery pack is.
In any case, all manufacturers now certify their batteries for a duration of about 5/8 years or 180,000 kilometers and usually, the first battery replacement is offered by the house.
The tips for increasing battery life are the same as for smartphones, namely:
- Never charge to 100%, but do a recharge close to 80/90%
- Avoid bringing the battery to 0% or values below 20%
- Do multiple small refills instead of one large refill
- Do not leave the car stationary with less than 30% remaining charge
- Use the car at least once a week
This could put a driver of thermal cars in trouble, but for the new generation nerds, these tips are known, therefore can easily be applicable to electric cars as well.
How Long Does It Take To Charge An Electric Car?
So here we are with the most interesting question about electric cars: the duration of refueling.
At the moment it is not possible to fully recharge an electric car at the same times required for a full tank of petrol or diesel.
Just think that an electric car with a 60 kWh battery will take about 8 hours to charge from a 7 kW column, but luckily there are also much faster-charging columns (from 22 kW, 40 kW, 50 kW, and beyond), which in fact reduce charging times to half an hour or so.
A separate discussion for Tesla cars: American cars produced by Elon Musk can charge at maximum speed directly from dedicated columns ( Tesla Supercharger ), which always offer charging currents of above 50 kW.
Does An Electric Car Pollute Less?
We must also not underestimate the environmental aspect of electric cars.
These vehicles have no muffler and do not emit any type of exhaust gases, so we can say that an electric car is much more ecological than the old and new generation thermal cars.
But to say that the electric car does not pollute is wrong.
The ecological impact of electricity is still substantial, given that most of the energy is produced with coal plants (highly polluting) and gas turbine plants (less polluting).
Only by using electricity that comes exclusively from renewable sources (sun, wind, water) will it give electric cars the opportunity to pin the ecological and clean car label to their chest.
How To Charge An Electric Car – Conclusion
What we have shown you is just a general smattering of electric cars and the technological features that they bring with them.
In fact, these cars will delight those who love smart, modern, and super-connected things, without forgetting the people who particularly care about the environment.
Probably the time to convince traditional drivers is not yet ripe, given the autonomy and average charging times.
To plan the routes of the stops to be made for recharging we can use, the classic satellite navigators for smartphones, by installing the navigation apps for Android or the navigation and maps apps for iPhone, so always find the nearest charging station.
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