What are the different types of electric vehicles (EVs)?

Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV): HEVs work through the combination of an internal combustion engine, a bank of batteries and an electric motor. There are variations of how the three are utilized within the HEV category. Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV): A vehicle that uses chemical energy stored in rechargeable battery packs to power an electric motor. With no assistance from a back-up generator, BEVs are powered solely by electricity and can go full highway speed (e.g., Nissan LEAF) or they can be small, low-speed vehicles. Low-speed EVs, sometimes referred to as neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs), are designed to drive on roads with speed limits of no more than 35 MPH (e.g., ZENN, ZAP, and GEM). Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV): A variation of a BEV. It is also known as a parallel PHEV.In addition to the electric motor and battery packs, the car includes an internal combustion engine (ICE) to motorize the car when the batteries have been depleted. In turn, the ICE charges the batteries needed for the electric motor. What makes a PHEV different from an HEV is the ability to charge the batteries by plugging the vehicle into the electric grid. Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV): Also known as a series PHEV. The car will operate on electricity and use a gasoline backup generator powered by a small internal combustion engine to extend the range of the vehicle. The ICE is used to charge the batteries while the vehicle is moving. Since the EREV is powered by an electric motor, an owner can plug into the electric grid to charge the vehicle’s batteries. The 2010 Chevy Volt is an EREV with an approximate 40-mile all-electric range.

Are EVs expensive to purchase?

While the $100,000+ price tags on Teslas have left some consumers worried about affordability, electric car manufacturers have developed reasonably priced EVs. Consumers may enjoy tax credits to help with affordability at this stage of EV deployment. In the U.S., the Nissan LEAF has a US$33,720 base price. Federal government tax credits of up to US$7,500 apply, which can bring the price down to US$26,220. Other manufacturers are coming out with EVs priced in the $20,000 range. Further state level incentives, such as a US$5,000 rebate for electric car buyers in California and Georgia, could bring down the price even further.

What will drive down the price of EVs?

Battery Costs: The purchase price of EVs is high, partly due to battery cost. Battery technology is rapidly improving, with substantial investments being put toward research and development of higher capacity models. Battery provider Southern California Edison (SCE) has demonstrated a lithium-ion battery with a lifespan of more than 180,000 miles. Since the average family car travels about 10,000 to 15,000 miles each year, the battery could last a decade before it needs replacing. Even at that time, the average battery will only be depleted to 80% capacity. With this kind of innovation and the economies of scale mass manufacturing brings, prices will come down. Many industry experts expect within the next few years that large capacity batteries will be available at low prices. Aftermarket Opportunity: Currently, there is a growing aftermarket lithium-ion batteries, making it attractive to trade in batteries for new ones and enjoy favorable pricing for older ones, which partly compensates for the current high upfront cost of batteries. Credits: EV owners could earn credit with the battery through V2G (vehicle to grid). Denmark will be the first test market for Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology where EV owners may be able to sell back power from their EV batteries to the grid. Source: Clean Technica No or low-cost servicing: An EV can expect to require less servicing as it has less moving parts and less mechanical complexity than a traditional gasoline-powered car. The motors can be in the wheels, eliminating the need for a differential, axle, or shaft. There is no radiator (no heat/cooling system) or many other parts required by an ICE powered car. There is no starter motor, alternator and the traditional battery of gasoline cars. Additionally, none of the parts associated with emissions need servicing and testing. Economies of scale: Current low volumes of EVs contribute to the higher ticket price, which could change rapidly. With further innovation and the economies of mass production, electric cars can be expected to become cheaper than gasoline cars.

How much does it cost to charge an EV at home?

Short answer: home charging cost is $1.50 – $3.50 for a full charge. The cost to charge an EV at home will depend on the size of the car batteries and the rate the utility company charges for home usage. Formulas Cost of Charging: Energy x Price per KWh = Total cost to charge batteries Price = Electricity rate from local utility Energy = Amount of energy the battery charging system uses (also considered to be the size of the battery) in Kilowatt hours Cost Per Mile: Cost to Charge/ Range = Cost per mile Cost = Total Cost of a full charge of the EV’s batteries Range = Total Range of the EV from a full charge, in miles Electric Utility companies charge per Kilowatt Hour (kWh); the average residential rate in the US is about $0.11 per kWh. 1 KWh is equal to 1000 Watts being used for 1 full hour (thus, 1 Kilowatt used for an hour). Drawing 100 Watts for 10 hours = 1 kWh Drawing 500 Watts for 2 hours = 1 kWh Drawing 1000 Watts for 1 hour = 1 kWh Even drawing 4000 Watts for 15 minutes means a total of 1 kWh of electricity. Cost Calculation Example: Battery size: 24kWh, the size of a Nissan LEAF battery Electric rate (utility cost): $0.11 per kWh Cost to charge EV: 24kWh x $0.11 = $2.64 Total miles traveled on full charge: 100 (remember, this is an example) Cost of a full recharge of EV: $2.64 Cost per mile to drive EV: $2.64 / 100 miles = $0.0264 per mile

How much does it cost to charge an EV at a commercial station?

The cost to charge in public places will vary. As kWh markup is typically disallowed by state and local governments, EV charging will mostly be paid for via three options: a network subscription model, RFID system or a credit card swipe where price is determined by the amount of time plugged in. Currently, the cost to charge an EV is free in most areas as a result of government support for EV adoption as well as retailers and hotel properties looking to offer unique amenities to customers.

How much will it cost me to run a commercial station?

The cost to a municipality or facility to run a charging station will depend on several factors that complicate calculation. For example, commercial and industrial electricity rate structures tend to be more complex than residential rates due to average usage, peak demand and often time-of-use. Additionally, usage assumptions will be estimated and will be modified on an ongoing basis as EV adoption rates and battery technology continue to change.

How long does it take to charge an EV?

Charging time will depend upon a number of factors: battery size, measured in kWh, which can be thought of as the amount of fuel your fuel tank can hold; the rate at which your battery can receive energy, measured in KW, which can be thought of as how quickly fuel can get into your tank when its being refueled; and the rate that the electricity is dispensed. The battery size and charging capacity depend on your EV. The electricity dispensing depends on the external EV charging station. The EV charging stations are rated according to how much electricity they can dispense. Charging Stations Level 1 – 120 volt AC / 15-20AMPS Level 2 – 240 volt AC /40AMPS Typically 40A (maximum current 32A) Provides approximately 7.7 kW with a 240 VAC circuit. Level 3-DC Fast Charging/ 3Phase 208, 480 or 600VAC Initially, most installed residential and commercial chargers will be Level 2. An EV will typically take 4-8 hours to fully charge at this rate. Charge Time formula: Battery (kWh)/ Draw (KW) = Charge Time An EV that can draw 3.7 KW for its 24kWh battery charges at about 6 hours from empty to full.

Are EVs slow on the road?

You may be surprised about the acceleration of electric cars. Who do you think won the race below, the Corvette or the 1972 Datsun 1200 equipped with an electric motor and batteries? Clue: The Datsun can do 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds. The Tesla Roadster Sport has faster acceleration than most other cars, from zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. Some electric cars may be slow at times, as they have only a small battery, but this could be improved by adding capacitors. The fact that electric cars make less noise doesn’t mean they are slower. The top speed of many electric vehicles is electronically limited in order to comply with road regulations. In Japan, there’s a 62 mph (100 km/h) speed limit, so that’s the top speed mentioned for cars like the Subaru Stella, however it can go much faster. The Tesla Roadster’s top speed is electronically limited to 125 mph. The Tesla S will have an electronically limited top speed of 130 mph. Acceleration from zero to 60 mph is 5.6 seconds, while sport versions are expected to achieve 0-60 mph acceleration well below five seconds. The car has a 300 mile range, a 45-minute QuickCharge, a single-speed gearbox and seats 7 people (five adults and two children).

How efficient are EVs compared to cars we drive now?

When evaluating the efficiency of a vehicle consider both energy efficiency and emissions. An EV has a huge advantage over an internal combustion engine (ICE ) vehicle: ICE vehicles generally run at about 20% efficiency, meaning that 80% of the fuel’s energy content of is wasted EVs put about 80% of their input energy into turning the wheels and are therefore, extremely efficient According to the EPA energy efficiency sticker shipping with early production models of the Tesla Roadster, the car is rated at 32 kilowatt hours (kWh) per 100 miles for city driving and 33 for highway. If you burn gasoline completely under perfect conditions, it generates energy in the form of heat equivalent to about 36.4 kWh per gallon. So an EV requires the energy equivalent of about 0.89 gallons of gas to go 100 miles, or is equal to traveling about 112 miles per gallon.

Does generating the electricity needed to run EVs create the same pollution as gasoline- powered vehicles?

The conversion of our transportation system from its current fossil fuel base to one based on electricity is an integral part of United States’ plan to both reduce the emission of green house gases and decrease dependency on foreign oil. While fully electric vehicles do not emit tailpipe emissions, the point has been made that there will be an increase in electricity consumption in the charging process. Generating electricity contributes to emissions via its use of coal fired plants as well as petroleum, however there is an anticipated trade-off in the equation, yielding a net reduction in emissions with the switch from gasoline to electric powered vehicles.

How much pollution is created by electricity production in the US?

-There is enough excess off-peak capacity in today’s electrical grid to power the conversion of “up to 84% of U.S. cars, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles (SUVs)” to plug-in hybrids with a 33-mile pure electric range. That translates to about 200 million vehicles. Consequently, we don’t need to build any new power plants to handle many years of EV production. -Under this scenario overall greenhouse emissions would decrease by up to 27%. Emissions of volatile organic gases and carbon monoxide would drop over 90%. Without improving generation technology however, particulate and SOx (sulfur oxide) emissions would increase, yet there would be time to solve that problem. It’s much easier to solve a pollution problem at a few hundred power plants than it is to address hundreds of millions of tailpipes. -Since 2000, renewable electricity installations in the United States (excluding hydropower) have more than tripled, and in 2009 represent 53 GW of installed capacity. -Renewable electricity (excluding hydropower) has grown at a compounded annual average of 14% per year from 2000–2009. -Although it is a growing part of the U.S. energy supply, renewable electricity (excluding hydropower) in 2009 still represents a small percentage of overall installed electricity capacity (4.7%) and generation (3.6%) in the United States. -Wind and solar PV are the fastest growing renewable energy sectors. In 2009, wind capacity installations increased by 39% and solar PV grew nearly 52% from the previous year.

Is driving a car powered by renewable biofuel just as clean as electric?

Ethanol is not the best way to power cars. Farms that grow corn for ethanol use pesticides, fertilizers, energy, water and land, which drives up food prices and puts extra burdens on the environment. A study published by Carnegie Institution for Science points out that it would make more sense to convert biomass to electricity, rather than to ethanol. But of course, there are better ways to produce electricity, such as with solar or wind power, rather than by burning biomass. Biofuels such as ethanol offer an alternative to petroleum for powering our cars, but growing energy crops can compete with food crops for farmland, while clearing forests to expand farmland can aggravate the climate change problem. How can we maximize our “miles per acre” from biomass? A better alternative is to convert the biomass to electricity, rather than ethanol. Compared to ethanol used for internal combustion engines, bioelectricity used for battery-powered vehicles would deliver an average of 80% more miles of transportation per acre of crops, while also providing double the greenhouse gas offsets to mitigate climate change.

Will dead batteries simply create more garbage?

The lithium-ion batteries being produced for electric cars will not last forever. While they can be recharged many times over a span of several years, they eventually will have to be replaced. This has created some concern that electric cars will not be as environmentally friendly as initially touted. One way this concern is being addressed is by looking at battery recycling. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has taken on the “PHEV/EV Li-ion Battery Second Use Project”, funded by the Department of Energy (DOE) Vehicles Technologies Program. This project is focused solely on an efficient answer to EV battery recycling. The private sector is also addressing the issue. For example, automaker Nissan is under agreement with 4R Energy Corp to give them the used batteries for disposing, processing for reuse or refurbishing for commercial purposes. Agreements like these will keep lithium-ion batteries in use and out of garbage dumps, provide electric car buyers with peace of mind, and will also improve EV affordability at retail. Using recycled materials for the production of new batteries will mean less expensive batteries and therefore, cheaper electric cars.