Electric vehicles are increasingly visible on roadways around the world. According to BloombergNEF, a strategic research provider covering global commodity markets, in June 2022 there were 20 million plug-in vehicles in use across the globe. That’s an increase from only one million in 2016. As more people are drawn to EVs, drivers can exercise due diligence to learn more about them, particularly if they’re considering buying their first such vehicle.
Different vehicle types
The term “electric vehicle” encompasses a variety of cars and trucks. The following are some common categories.
· Hybrid electric vehicle: These are the most common type of hybrids. They have two power drives, which include a fuel-based engine and an electric motor with a larger battery. A computer determines when electricity or gas should be used. The system utilizes regenerative braking that ensures the electric battery gets a little recharge every time the driver touches the breaks
· Mild hybrid electric vehicle: MHEVs use a battery and electric motor to increase the efficiency of an internal combustion engine (ICE). An MHEV does not run solely on electric power, but the ICE can be turned off and the electric motor used while braking, coasting and stopping.
· Battery electric vehicle: BEVs are powered entirely by electricity and will have no ICE or fuel tank. Users charge the battery using an electrical outlet.
· Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle: Like BEVs, PHEVs have an electric motor that is charged by plugging it in. They also have a fuel-based ICE like HEVs. Where they differ is that PHEVs can travel a considerable distance on electric power alone, while HEVs cannot.
The distance EVs can travel before needing to recharge depends on the type of vehicle. Most EVs have a driving range between 50 and 330 miles. Shoppers should determine the “range-per-charge” for the vehicle to assess if it will fit their driving needs and daily commutes. Drivers who frequently take long road trips may have to assess if a hybrid vehicle is more practical; otherwise, careful planning may be necessary to accommodate charging along the route.
Parking and charging situation
Individuals who live in private homes or rentals with access to outlets may be more inclined to invest in EVs. Charging can be done with a standard 120V outlet, but it will increase charging time considerably. Many people opt to have a 240V charger installed in a garage or driveway, which is known as “Level 2 ESVE equipment.” With this type of setup, a charge can be reached in roughy four to 6 six hours, says Valley Clean Energy. Public charging stations utilize a 480V input and can charge many EV models in about 20 to 30 minutes. Plug-in hybrid vehicles do not typically have fast charging capabilities, however.
BEVs require less maintenance than conventional vehicles because there are fewer fluids like oil and transmission fluid to change, and far fewer moving parts. EVs require minimal scheduled maintenance to electrical systems, including the battery and electrical motor. Hybrid vehicles still require the standard maintenance of gas-powered vehicles.
EVs are growing in popularity, so potential buyers can school themselves on these newer vehicles to determine if they’re the right fit for them