Think an electric car is too expensive and will leave you stranded looking for a place to recharge? Think again.
Elgin Sustainability Commissioner and Illinois Solar Energy Association Ambassador Paige Fitton joined Cool Cities in September to educate us on the different types of electric cars available, new improvements in driving range, and affordability.
Electric vehicles (EVs) use electric motors, and run only on batteries that are charged. Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs) use an electric motor, batteries and can charge, but also have a hybrid internal combustion engine that uses gas. They seamlessly switches to the engine when the battery is drained. Hybrid Vehicles have an internal combustion engine and use gasoline for power which then is converted to electricity to extend range.
Battery electric vehicles (EVs or BEVs) have an electric motor, not an internal combustion engine. EVs have far fewer moving parts than conventional gasoline-powered vehicles. There is no need for tune-ups, transmission repairs or oil changes. Brakes get less wear from regenerative braking. Ultimately, tire rotations are the typical service appointment.
To determine if an EV is in your future, determine how many miles you drive per year or record your mileage daily over the span of a few weeks. Charging an EV from home with a standard charger sends 3-4 miles of charge to a vehicle per hour, giving it a range of 36+ miles overnight … meeting the daily needs of most drivers.
To compare your current vehicle against alternative fuel vehicles in terms of annual fuel usage, fuel and electricity costs, operating costs and emissions, visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center.