July 5, 2014
Electric Cars Are No Longer Just A Vision Of The Future
Whether we want to accept it or not, especially from us muscle car fanatics who want to hear the sound of power as well as the feel it, electric cars are our future.
With technology progressing rapidly in the automotive manufacturing industry, the high cost of fuel, and the concern for the environment, the electric car is being produced more frequently. It is only a matter of time until the internal combustion engine will be a thing of the past. If I am still around when this transpires, they will be missed.
However, I have to give credit where credit is due. The electric cars being built today are just as powerful as the gas-powered ones, in most cases anyway. The only difference is the rumble of the exhaust is absent from the electric vehicle.
There are three kinds of electric vehicles being produced currently.
The Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) is powered by an electric motor and a rechargeable battery or battery pack. The Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) charges the battery by plugging into an electrical outlet, but also utilizes a gasoline engine when the battery loses its charge. The Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV) is similar to the PHEV, but the gasoline engine doesn’t provide power to the drive train, it is used to charge the batteries while driving.
An electric car uses the same 120-volt outlet to plug into as most electric devices. A big difference in the performance between gas and electric powered vehicles is torque. While gas engines take time to meet maximum power, an electric motor has maximum torque immediately.
Depending on the type of electric car you own and the driving conditions, the amount of miles you can travel are as little as 60 miles to well over 1,000, like the Mercedes-Benz E 300 that I wrote about in a recent blog.
Let’s talk about the cost difference. The average compact car uses about $1,500 of fuel every year, while an electric car only uses about $421. Over a lifetime, that means an average savings of $13,000 if you have a fully electric vehicle, or about $8,000 if you drive a hybrid.
It is estimated that worldwide production of electric vehicles will increase by 67 percent this year. California is where 35 percent of all electric vehicles are owned in the United States. By the year 2015, London streets will be flooded with 3,000 new electric rental cars. Since December 2010, there has been a steady increase in the sale of new DEVs, PHEVs and EREVs.
Just a few examples of electric vehicles being offered in 2014 and 2015: BMW i3 $41,350; 95 mpg BMW i8 $136,000; Cadillac ELR $75,000; Kia Soul EV $35,000; Tesla Model X $60,000; Volkswagen e-Up $19,250; and Porsche Panamera Plug-in S E-hybrid $ 99,000.
Some other vehicles that the price hasn’t been released for yet are: Via Motors VTRUX SUV and Van, both claim the same power as a V-8; Via Motors VTRUX Truck; Nissan e-NV200; and Mercedes-Benz B-Class E-Hybrid.
If you consider all aspects of owning an electric, hybrid or gas-powered vehicle, the future will gain positive results from the electric vehicle in any form.
Image Credit: Thinkstock