Technology

Everything you need to know before buying an electric car

Written by Nuel

As more automakers chase Tesla’s success and ditch internal combustion engines for lithium-ion batteries, it’s a great time to learn more about electric vehicles.

 

As of late, the UK reported its arrangement to boycott the offer of new vehicles fueled exclusively by gas or diesel by 2035. California needs to deliberately transition away from internal combustion vehicles in the following 15 years. Also, the Biden organization vowed to burn through $7.5 billion on the charging foundation.

 

What’s an EV?

Forget everything you know about internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. They take fuel like gasoline and combine it with air. Then a spark ignites the compressed mixture, which causes a (small) explosion. The heat and expanding gas push down on the engine’s pistons which gets the car wheels moving. And repeat.

 

An electric vehicle, or EV, has two major components: an electric motor (or two for all-wheel drive) and a battery pack that powers it. You won’t find an internal combustion engine in a true EV, or a fuel pump, gas tank, or oil pan. No oil or smog checks are necessary!

 

While Tesla overwhelms the EV conversation, there are various sorts of zero-discharge vehicles, or ZEVs, and other eco-friendly (yet not gas-free) vehicles.

 

There’s the exemplary EV, known as a “battery electric vehicle” (or BEV) that you’ll perceive when a Tesla Model 3, Nissan Leaf, or Jaguar I-Pace drives by. There are 70 kinds of EVs ready to move right now in California alone. These depend exclusively on power, which they get by connecting to a power source.

A module crossbreed electric vehicle, or PHEV, actually should be, indeed, connected to charge. Yet, when the battery runs out, the vehicle burns fuel.

The vast majority of us were acquainted with electric vehicles with the Toyota Prius, which a great many people call a mixture. However, it’s a mixture of electricity since it needn’t bother with to be connected yet needs gas. There’s no charge port on a Prius, simply a gas tank for gas. The battery is charged through the energy from driving and slowing down.

 

While Teslas are ubiquitous, fuel cell electric vehicles, or FCEVs, are a rare find. There are only a few carmakers that use hydrogen, which is mixed with oxygen in fuel cells to produce electricity.

The Toyota Mirai and Honda Clarity are the most well-known hydrogen vehicles in the U.S. Be that as it may, observing a hydrogen fuel station can be a test.

Battery basics

Whether you have an Audi E-Tron, Chevy Bolt, or Tesla Model Y, the lithium-ion battery works the same way.

 

Batteries ordinarily contain lithium, cobalt, nickel, and aluminum, said William Crockett, VP of holding wire deals at Japanese semiconductor organization Tanaka.

Frequently called li-particle batteries, they’re utilized to store energy. There are two terminals on the closures: the anode and cathode. In the middle is a fluid called the electrolyte. When associated with a circuit, lithium is put away in the anode and cathode streams as particles, either energizing or utilizing the battery energy. Various batteries have different voltage levels, meaning how much current they can take in. The Tesla Model 3 battery utilizes 300 volts.

 

A Tesla Model S battery pack holds 516 cells in each of its 16 modules for a total of 8,256 cells that weigh over 1,200 pounds, or about a quarter of the car’s total weight. All those cells combined hold 100 kWh of energy which translates to about 300 miles of driving range.

When braking or going downhill you can recharge the battery with regeneration, which is when energy from the friction of braking or accelerating is put back into the battery. That’s how you can go from 78 percent battery back up to 79 percent throughout a hilly drive.

Like a cellphone, your car battery only has so many charging cycles before it needs to be charged more often. The range also drops as time goes on.

 

The more you utilize your electric vehicle, the more rapidly the battery will wear out. Somebody who drives ordinary should supplant their battery sooner than a retired person who just takes their vehicle out incidentally.

In any event, for a weighty client, it will require a great deal of investment and miles before you want to supplant your battery. For reference, Tesla’s standard Model 3 battery guarantee goes on for a very long time, or 100,000 miles. Assuming you in all actuality do need to supplant it, ordinarily following 10 years, it’ll cost about $10,000 for the actual battery – excluding administration and work costs.

 

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To prepare you for this new world, here are the basics of electric vehicles.

What’s an EV?

Forget everything you know about internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. They take fuel like gasoline and combine it with air. Then a spark ignites the compressed mixture, which causes a (small) explosion. The heat and expanding gas push down on the engine’s pistons which gets the car wheels moving. And repeat.

An electric vehicle, or EV, has two major components: an electric motor (or two for all-wheel drive) and a battery pack that powers it. You won’t find an internal combustion engine in a true EV, or a fuel pump, gas tank, or oil pan. No oil or smog checks are necessary!

While Tesla dominates the EV discussion, there are different types of zero-emission vehicles, or ZEVs, and other fuel-efficient (but not completely gasoline-free) vehicles.

There’s the classic EV, known as a “battery electric vehicle” (or BEV) that you’ll recognize when a Tesla Model 3, Nissan Leaf, or Jaguar I-Pace drives by. There are 70 types of EVs available for sale right now in California alone. These rely solely on electricity, which they get by plugging into a power source.

A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, or PHEV, still needs to be, well, plugged in to charge. But when the battery runs out, the car runs on gasoline.

Most of us were introduced to electric cars with the Toyota Prius, which most people call a hybrid. But technically it’s a hybrid-electrisince it doesn’t need to be plugged in and still needs gasoline. There’s no charge port on a Prius, just a fuel tank for gas. The battery is charged through the energy from driving and braking.

 

 

Types of EVs.
Types of EVs. / Mashable

Battery basics

Whether you have an Audi E-Tron, Chevy Bolt, or Tesla Model Y, the lithium-ion battery works the same way.

Batteries usually contain lithium, cobalt, nickel, and aluminum, said William Crockett, vice president of bonding wire sales at Japanese semiconductor company Tanaka.

Often called li-ion batteries, they’re used to store energy. There are two terminals on the ends: the anode and cathode. In between is a liquid called the electrolyte. When connected to a circuit, lithium is stored in the anode and the cathode flows as ions, either charging or using up the battery energy. Different batteries have different voltage levels, meaning how much current they can take in. The Tesla Model 3 battery uses 300 volts.

 

Crockett calls li-ion the “mainstream” battery that we see in most EVs. But lithium isn’t the only metal used. He noted there are many cathode materials. Nissan Leaf uses the mineral manganese, while Tesla has a mixture of cobalt, aluminum, and nickel. It’s working to go cobalt-free, since, as Crockett put it, “cobalt is nasty stuff,” and not just because of its environmental impact. It’s often mined using child labor in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Tesla says it’s committed to using “conflict-free” cobalt until there’s a better substitute.

Hybrid EVs still have an engine, but work with a battery.
Hybrid EVs still have an engine, but work with a battery. Mashable

A Tesla Model S battery pack holds 516 cells in each of its 16 modules for a total of 8,256 cells that weigh over 1,200 pounds, or about a quarter of the car’s total weight. All those cells combined hold 100 kWh of energy which translates to about 300 miles of driving range.

When braking or going downhill you can recharge the battery with regeneration, which is when energy from the friction of braking or accelerating is put back into the battery. That’s how you can go from 78 percent battery back up to 79 percent throughout a hilly drive.

Like a cellphone, your car battery only has so many charging cycles before it needs to be charged more often. The range also drops as time goes on.

 

The more you use your electric car, the more quickly the battery will wear down. Someone who commutes every day will need to replace their battery sooner than a retiree who only takes their car out occasionally.

Even for a heavy user, it will take a lot of time and miles before you need to replace your battery. For reference, Tesla’s standard Model 3 battery warranty lasts for eight years or 100,000 miles. If you do have to replace it, usually after 10 years, it’ll cost about $10,000 for the battery itself — not including service and labor costs.

 

 

Charging

Gas stations are useless for fully electric vehicles. Instead, you’ll need to find a public charging station or plugin at home.

Most people, however, don’t need to charge their vehicle every day, explained Hannon Rasool, deputy director of the California Energy Commission’s fuels and transportation division.

These days, EVs can travel 200 to even 500 miles before needing a charge.

The reality is most of us don’t drive more than 25 miles in a day,” Rasool said in a recent call. Still, some drivers have “range anxiety,” the fear that they’ll run out of juice far from a charging station.

Around 75% of charging happens at home, assessed Jeffrey Lu, an air contamination expert who additionally works at the California Energy Commission.

There’s Level 1 accusing of a 120-volt plug that you’ll find around your home for regular machines. With this low-level charger, an EV can take somewhere in the range of eight to over 16 hours to arrive at a full charge.

Level 2 arrives at 240 volts and is what your dryer outlet utilizes. With this quicker charging level, you can expect up to 20 to 30 miles of reach added to the battery for each hour of charging. It requires as long as eight hours to charge completely. You can have Level 2 charging introduced at home.

Then, “when you’re out and about, there are public chargers,” Lu said.

 

Most chargers openly charging networks in the U.S., like EVgo, ChargePoint, Blink, and others, utilize Level 2 charging. PlugShare is a decent asset to find charging stations any place you’re going. Google Maps likewise incorporates charging data. Most open charging is accessible in parking garages before supermarkets and shopping centers, or in segments of parking structures. A few urban communities have public parking spaces committed to EV charging.

 

Both Level 1 and 2 chargers use AC power, which stands for alternating current. Plugging in at home is cheaper than using a charging network, which can charge based on time plugged in or how many kilowatt-hours, or kWh, are used. That’s the amount of energy delivered to your vehicle. The rate is usually about $0.13 per kWh. For an EV with a 75 kWh battery, that’s about $10 to fill up. For faster charging that rate is closer to $0.40 per kWh, so that adds up to $30.

 

For a typical sedan — say, a new Honda Accord — to fill up with today’s gas prices (the national average is $3.18 per gallon), that would cost over $47.

“When people think about charging up quickly, they’re thinking of DC (direct current) fast charging,” Lu said.

 

Also known as Level 3 charging, it usually takes about 40 minutes to get most cars to 80 percent. Electrify America mostly provides access to public fast chargers.

But not all EVs can accept that level of power. Tesla has ultra-fast “superchargers” on its network, which cost more than Level 2 charging.

Once at a charging station, you need to be able to the plugin. Different cars have different types of connectors, from the common J1772 to the fast-charging CHAdeMO.

Tesla’s Supercharger network is exclusive to Tesla, but CEO Elon Musk announced plans in July to open up the network to any EV driver with the right adapter. Rivian and Jeep are also building their fast-charging networks.

Read more on electric cars: Click here

 

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