If you’re thinking about switching to an electric car, there’s a lot to learn. You need to know how and where you’ll charge it, when and where you’ll service it, and what tax breaks you might qualify for.
The most popular models are generously sized do-it-all machines that can accommodate a bigger battery for improved range. These EVs are also more affordable than high-end ones such as the Porsche Taycan and Volkswagen ID.4.
An EV’s battery pack supplies the vehicle with power, and this is rated in kilowatt-hours (kWh). The larger the battery, the more range the car can achieve.
EVs can be driven as far as gas cars on a single charge, and the range is increasing all the time thanks to new technology. Most models will display a warning when the battery is low, but if you ignore it your EV will stop working and you’ll need to get it towed to a charger location. Some electric vehicles offer GPS maps of the nearest public charging stations too, so you can plan accordingly for long road trips.
The electricity that powers EVs comes from a variety of sources, including nuclear, hydro- and solar-powered plants. As a result, EVs emit no tailpipe pollutants and are more energy efficient than conventional gasoline vehicles. Plus, their instant-on torque delivers more responsive performance and acceleration.
Some EVs operate exclusively on electricity until the battery pack runs out, at which point they s 운전연수 witch to hybrid mode and use a small gasoline engine for additional power. These are called plug-in hybrids, or PHEVs for short. The slick-looking Porsche Taycan sedan, for example, offers 246 miles of EPA-rated range from its 93.4-kWh battery pack.
The range an EV can offer is one of the biggest concerns of those considering switching to electric mobility. Many drivers worry about running out of battery power before reaching their destination. The best way to alleviate this fear is to ensure you purchase an EV with enough range for your average daily driving needs and plan ahead when going on trips.
How an EV drives can also affect its range. A vehicle traveling up hills uses more energy than when travelling on flat ground as it has to work harder against gravity, so you’ll use up your battery faster on these routes. When you’re driving on a motorway, your range will be lower too because the battery has to work much harder to move the car at speed.
Extreme temperatures can reduce an EV’s range because the battery has to use more power to keep its systems operating. For example, heating an EV’s cabin will drain the battery. Renault estimates this can reduce an EV’s range by as much as 30%.
The good news is, thanks to advances in technology and a growing number of manufacturers offering long-range models, there are plenty of options on the market. To help you find the right EV for you, we’ve compiled a list of all of the new EVs on sale today and ranked them by their EPA-estimated range.
Ease of Charging
If you’re a car buyer considering an electric vehicle, the prospect of being stranded without a quick way to charge can be a big concern. That’s because finding a charger in some areas isn’t easy and charging stations aren’t always as fast as the gas pump.
The federal government is spending $5 billion to build a network of 500,000 chargers across the country. States are encouraged to prioritize bulking up these chargers at rest stops on well-traveled highways. But it’s up to drivers to make sure they have a plan for how to charge their vehicles before heading out on long trips.
A good place to start is by using a map of public charging stations, which can be found on the websites for many automakers. But be aware that most manufacturers don’t share the same data for charging times. Some report the time to full charge, while others simply report how long it takes to reach 80%.
The good news is that the latest EV batteries are engineered to keep you safe from the very real threat of what’s called thermal runaway. In a worst-case scenario, individual lithium ion cells can burn in excess of 1,000 degrees Celsius, melting and scorching nearby components. To prevent this from happening, EVs have special systems that isolate the battery when the car is in a crash. Polestar, for example, designed two deformable aluminum structures located on either side of the front bulkhead of its 2 model that protect the batteries from direct impact. These systems also include pyro-fuses that fire to sever the high voltage cables in the event of a collision.
Electric cars have an intimidating reputation based on their use of flammable batteries and high voltage electrical systems. They also have a lot of cool safety features that help to protect the occupants and other road users.
Automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning are just two of the many advanced driver assistance features that are available on new EVs. These can help to prevent accidents caused by driver errors, such as distracted driving.
Another great way that EVs can improve driver safety is their lower center of gravity. This is because the battery pack is located underneath the car, rather than on top of it like a traditional gasoline-powered engine. This helps to reduce the risk of the car flipping over in a crash or rollover accident.
Despite the safety advantages of these features, some people are still concerned about the safety of electric vehicles. The lack of a noisy internal combustion engine makes it harder for pedestrians and cyclists to hear the car approaching, which can be a problem in urban areas where speeds aren’t high enough for the usual tyre roar to give the vehicle away.
To counter this, most EVs now emit a sound when the vehicle is moving slowly to warn pedestrians and other road users. This is especially important as early EVs showed up to a 20% increase in collisions with pedestrians compared with conventional cars.