Even if the electric car makes little noise and has no smelly tailpipe, it IS powerful, usually even more so than comparable gasoline models.<br/ >
Take the example of the fastest electric sedan, the Tesla Model S, with its phenomenal torque and top speed that propels you to 100 km/h in less than 3 seconds! The Model S certainly helps put an end to the myth of the sluggish electric car.<br/ >
This performance is also found in other models, just more moderately. While a gas engine has to rev up to deliver all its power, the electric motor, develops full power from the very first rotations, literally tearing up the asphalt, and providing a superior acceleration performance. This, with fewer losses related to the transmission, which is generally direct in electric motors.<br/ >
Here are a few acceleration times for some electric vehicles (Data Source : ZEROto60TIMES):
|Vehicle||0 to 100km/h (seconds)|
|Tesla Model S P85D
– Compared to : Audi A1 Quattro
|Chevrolet Volt (2016)
– Compared to : Chevrolet Cruze Eco
|Chevrolet Spark EV
– Compared to : Chevrolet Spark
– Compared to Nissan Versa Note SV Hatchback
See also :
Let’s first look first at a vital aspect: fuel. Beyond the simple emissions resulting from use, what about the required grey energy, which is the energy consumed for the production of fossil fuels?
The thermal car needs gas or gasoline. These fuels require considerable energy expenditure for localizing the deposits, then installation of wells, boreholes, and platforms. The crude is then pumped, stored, transported, then restored and refined, and again restored and transported. The finished product will fill a petrol station, that needed to be built, and ultimately, the car fuel tank will be filled. From the earth to the tank, much energy has already been spent and emissions have already occurred even before getting to the car.
According to an American study, a gas car in the United States emits indirectly more than 200g of CO2 per kilometer from the extraction and distribution process. Added to this are combustion emissions of 130g / km on average. In the end, that added up to a hypothetical total of 330g per km for a mid-range sedan.
On the other hand, an electric car needs electricity which can be produced in several different ways, but in Quebec is produced mainly by hydroelectric (98%) and wind power plants. CO2 emissions for these sources come from infrastructure construction alone but afterwards, zero emissions throughout the operational lifetime of the power plants.
With an average consumption of 100Wh / ton / km, a 1500kg electric sedan emits less than 5g of CO2 per kilometer, excluding the grey energy used to manufacture the batteries. According to the manufacturer Thundersky, the energy needed to manufacture a battery is estimated to be 3500% of its total capacity. So to manufacture a battery of 25 kWh in a Nissan LEAF, it takes a little more than 870kWh, which is, in Chinese kWh (oil-fired and coal), 978g x 870 = 850 860g of CO2, plus transportation from China to Canada: (maximum of 44g / ton / km) 44 x 0,273t x 10 000km = approx. 120 000g. The total energy cost of production and delivery of a battery is thus almost 1 tonne of CO2.
With a lifespan of at least 150 000km, the CO2 emissions of an electric car would be an additional 6,6 g per kilometer. When used, an electric car in Canada therefore rejects approximately 11.6 g CO2 per kilometer, but no particles or other harmful emissions. So, compared with the 330 g of CO2 / km of the thermal vehicle, the electric car pollutes 30 times less, even when taking into account emissions related to the manufacture and transport of its battery.
Furthermore, in an electric vehicle, there are no filters, no oil, no clutch, no gearbox, no fuel tank or pumps. So there is less waste and better mechanical durability. Mechanical parts also have a pollution cost. And on that, the internal combustion engine loses points!
Most of the time charging is done at home during the night or at work during the day. So while charging, the owner of the electric vehicle is occupied with other activities, therefore, charge time is not much of an issue for him or her.
That said, the charging time of an electric vehicle depends on several factors, including the type of charging station and the size of the battery. Sometimes 15 minutes of charging is enough if the battery isn’t empty at the time of charging or if a full 100% recharge is not necessary.
For a full recharge starting from 0%, here are some time indicators*:
Rapid charge station 400V:
30 minutes to reach 80%.
Level 2 charge station 240 V:
2 to 4 hours for a plug-in hybrid
6 to 10 hours for a fully electric vehicle
Standard 120V outlet:
6 to 10 hours for a plug-in hybrid
11 to 18 hours for a fully electric vehicle
*With the exception of Tesla cars which are in a separate category because of the size of their batteries.
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While it is true that electricity and water do not mix, rest assured, your electric vehicle electrical components are protected. Whether in a storm or driving through snow or rain, there is no risk. The vehicle’s security systems block all direct contact with the current. Its electric systems measure at all times the energy transfers from the terminal to the battery and from the battery to the vehicle, and will power off if necessary.
It is said that the electric car is silent. However, it emits a low hiss in addition to the noise of the wheels on the ground. This is often enough to warn pedestrians and cyclists. But like any vehicle driver, the electromobilist must remain attentive to the environment and if necessary, he or she can use the pedestrian horn: electric vehicles are equipped with a “soft” horn for this purpose.
With an increasing number of car brands offering plug-in models, production volumes are on the rise and this has helped to bring on significantly lower prices. In addition to government support and low maintenance and operation costs, an electric model, after 5 years (and sometimes even sooner), will cost less to own and operate than an equivalent gas model. In fact, for 150,000 km of use, a gas vehicle can cost up to $ 15,000 more just to operate it. So when comparing cost, a $ 50,000 electric is basically the same price as a classic gas car at $ 35,000. And this does not take into account the lower maintenance costs of EVs nor government incentives (up to $ 8,000 in Quebec). So, a Chevy Volt, a Nissan LEAF or a Kia Soul selling for $ 35,000 to $ 40,000 actually compare to internal combustion vehicles going for $20,000 to $25,000. Electric vehicles, more expensive? Not really! And you also get the added bonus of better equipment in your car!
Electric vehicles are mechanically simple and largely unbreakable. An electric motor simply won’t die… It just keep going and going! Lithium batteries used in modern EVs have a life expectancy in Quebec estimated at nearly 14 years. Compared to its initial autonomy, the battery will then be at 70%, so the 160 km range of the LEAF for example, after 14 years, would be 110 km. At that time, the dealer will recommend some battery work; the battery could be inexpensively restored to its approximate original level in kWh, or be replaced completely. In 2013, complete replacement of a LEAF’s 25 kWh battery cost $ 5,500 (USD). The cost in 2020 will certainly be lower (it is estimated the cost will go down 75% by 2020, which would bring a 25 kWh battery to about $ 1,400).
The reliability and growing demand for this type of vehicle results in good resale value. Tesla even guarantees the depreciation rate on its cars to be lower or equal to that of an equivalent Mercedes. Furthermore, software updates bring the technical improvements of the new models into the older models.
You have as much chance of running out of battery energy with an EV than of running out of gas with a traditional car; in other words, if you don’t plan your route and if you ignore the many warnings that the vehicle gives you before it’s completely dry, you are looking for trouble.
But, if you do run out, just look around you. Surely there is a house or a shop nearby; you just have to knock on a door and ask to plug into a 120V outlet if you are really in trouble! You do not need to plug into an EV charging station to get fresh electrons. Indeed, all electric cars come with a 120V device. Charging is certainly not fast (about 10 km per hour) but it will do the job.
On the other hand, if you run out of gas, finding the nearest gas station might be more complicated than finding a simple power outlet!
Critics of electric vehicles sometimes use the argument of “dirty electricity”: they say that EVs pollute anyway since the electricity they consume sometimes comes from coal or other fossil fuel (this is not the case in Quebec where electricity is clean). This may be true in some ways, but such an argument ignores a crucial element in the equation: oil production uses much electricity, even before it gets to the gas tank of a car. Thus, when a motorist refuels with gas, the electricity that could have fed an EV has already been consumed to produce the gas that the car will then burn while emitting pollutants.