What You Need to Know About Electric Vehicles

Cars lined up

As environmental concerns continue to plague the planet and fuel prices continue to rise, the automotive industry is no stranger to the need for sustainable and eco-friendly transport solutions. Hence, the rise of electric vehicles. Recognizing the potential demand for electric vehicles, car manufacturers are coming up with their own models in order to keep up with competitors in the industry.

What are Electric Vehicles?

An electric vehicle looks like a typical automobile, but instead of running on fuel, an electric vehicle is powered by electricity. Since electric vehicles don’t use fuel, they produce less tailpipe emission which causes pollution. Electric vehicles also require less maintenance costs such as expenses due to oil changes or transmission failure.

How Do Electric Vehicles Run?

An electric vehicle is usually built with a rechargeable battery that can quickly charge and store a significant amount of energy. While there are many types of electric car battery packs, lithium-ion battery is the most common battery type used due to its longevity. Lithium-ion batteries are made up of four main components: the cathode, anode, electrolyte and separator. Each component is important for a lithium-ion to operate, but the cathode determines the battery’s voltage and capacity. Experts at Benchmark Minerals say cathodes are made up several base minerals, including cobalt, which is more reliable and stable than other minerals.

All Electric Vehicles (AEVs)

Inside of a car

AEVs, also known as plug-in electric vehicles, are fully electric vehicles and they can only be powered by electricity. They are built with one or more electric motors. AEVs are charged using an external outlet and can run up to 200 miles on full charge. AEV battery chargers are classified into 3 types, Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3, which is according to the speed that the battery is charged. BEVs don’t have fuel tanks or exhaust pipes so they don’t produce any tailpipe emissions.

A Fuel-Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEVs) is a type of electric vehicle which uses hydrogen gas to power its electric motor. FCEVs produce no emissions especially if the hydrogen is sourced from renewable energy sources.

Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)

A PHEV is powered by both fuel and electricity. PHEVs are built with an electric motor and a conventional fuel engine. Once the battery range of a plug-in hybrid is depleted, the vehicles then run on fuel. PHEVs can recharge the battery by plugging into an electric source.

Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREVs), a version of the plug-in hybrid, extends the battery range of the car by using the fuel engine to recharge the car in case the battery runs low.

Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)

HEVs, like plug-in hybrids, are also powered by both fuel and electricity. However, HEVs cannot be recharged using an external power source. A hybrid’s electric energy is generated through “regenerative braking”. This process uses the car’s own braking system to generate electrical energy, which is used by the electric motor to run the vehicle. HEVs are run first using the electric motor, and then assisted by the fuel engine, when load or speed increases.

The types of electric vehicles mentioned above are just some of the options available on the market today. However, it is still possible that new models and versions may surface, as car manufacturers and industry experts continue to introduce innovations in the automotive industry.

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