With electric vehicles (EVs) rapidly becoming more widely available, we have some information to help you decide if an EV is right for you.
Electric-powered vehicles aren't a new technology, and in fact, they have been around for more than a century. In the 1890s, electric cars were more popular than gas-powered automobiles because of their simplicity, reliability and low cost of operation. Did you know that Henry Ford's wife drove an electric vehicle? However, for a variety of reasons, electric vehicle technology languished as gas-powered automobiles took precedence. Today though, electric vehicles are making a move to the forefront of auto transportation.
We're most familiar with conventional combustion-engine vehicles, but this list ranges from most to least amount of fossil-fuel used in operation:
1. Conventional vehicles have an internal combustion engine, the most common fuels are gasoline and diesel.
2. Hybrid vehicles have both a gasoline engine and an electric motor and battery; both gas and electricity power the wheels. The electric motor and battery are designed to improve fuel economy, so less gasoline is used to operate the vehicle. The battery is charged solely by operating the vehicle; plug-in is not required or possible.
3. Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) have larger batteries than hybrids and use both gas and electricity to power the wheels of the car. These vehicles vary in their electric range, but shift to gasoline-only operation when battery power is depleted. These vehicles must be plugged in to recharge the battery.
4. Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) are powered solely by electricity and are recharged by plugging in the vehicle.
Charging An Electric Vehicle
There are safety features built into electric vehicles and charging equipment. The charging cable is not live while you handle it, only when the cable is connected to the vehicle. The charger senses that the connection is properly made before the electric current is turned on. Also, the charger has a ground-fault interrupter (GFI). To prevent shocks, charging stops immediately if even a few milli-amps of current leak.