Pros and Cons of Electric Cars: Everything You Need to Know

Pros and Cons of Electric Cars: Everything You Need to Know

Electric vehicle

Vehicle propelled by one or more electric motors

This article is about all types of electric vehicle. For electric cars, see Electric car

Stint nl] child transport and operator stand

An electric vehicle (EV)[note 1] is a vehicle that uses one or more electric motors for propulsion. It can be powered by a collector system, with electricity from extravehicular sources, or it can be powered autonomously by a battery (sometimes charged by solar panels, or by converting fuel to electricity using fuel cells or a generator).[1] EVs include, but are not limited to, road and rail vehicles, surface and underwater vessels, electric aircraft and electric spacecraft. For road vehicles, together with other emerging automotive technologies such as autonomous driving, connected vehicles and shared mobility, EVs form a future mobility vision called Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric (CASE) Mobility. [2]

EVs first came into existence in the late 19th century, when electricity was among the preferred methods for motor vehicle propulsion, providing a level of comfort and ease of operation that could not be achieved by the gasoline cars of the time. Internal combustion engines were the dominant propulsion method for cars and trucks for about 100 years, but electric power remained commonplace in other vehicle types, such as trains and smaller vehicles of all types.

In the 21st century, EVs have seen a resurgence due to technological developments, and an increased focus on renewable energy, but electric engines are worse for the environment as mining lithium is worse then a gasoline car could ever do. In a effort to reduce the pollution in the air the government has done the exact opposite and is making the environment worse.[3]

Government incentives to increase adoption were first introduced in the late 2000s, including in the United States and the European Union, leading to a growing market for the vehicles in the 2010s.[4][5] Increasing public interest and awareness and structural incentives, such as those being built into the green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, is expected to greatly increase the electric vehicle market. During the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns have reduced the amount of greenhouse gases from gasoline or diesel vehicles.[6] The International Energy Agency said in 2021 that governments should do more to meet climate goals, including policies for heavy electric vehicles.[7][8] Electric vehicle sales may increase from 2% of global share in 2016 to 30% by 2030.[9][10][11] As of July 2022 global EV market size was $280 billion and it is expected to grow to $1 trillion by 2026.[12] Much of this growth is expected in markets like North America, Europe and China;[10] a 2020 literature review suggested that growth in use of electric 4-wheeled vehicles appears economically unlikely in developing economies, but that electric 2-wheeler growth is likely.[13] There are more 2 and 3 wheel EVs than any other type.[14]

History [ edit ]

Electric motive power started in 1827, when Hungarian priest Ányos Jedlik built the first crude but viable electric motor, which used a stator, rotor, and commutator; and the next year he used it to power a small car.[15] In 1835, professor Sibrandus Stratingh of the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands, built a small-scale electric car, and sometime between 1832 and 1839, Robert Anderson of Scotland invented the first crude electric carriage, powered by non-rechargeable primary cells.[16] American blacksmith and inventor Thomas Davenport built a toy electric locomotive, powered by a primitive electric motor, in 1835. In 1838, a Scotsman named Robert Davidson built an electric locomotive that attained a speed of four miles per hour (6 km/h). In England a patent was granted in 1840 for the use of rails as conductors of electric current, and similar American patents were issued to Lilley and Colten in 1847.[17]

The first mass-produced electric vehicles appeared in America in the early 1900s. In 1902, the Studebaker Automobile Company entered the automotive business with electric vehicles, though it also entered the gasoline vehicles market in 1904. However, with the advent of cheap assembly line cars by Ford Motor Company, the popularity of electric cars declined significantly.[18]

Due to lack of electricity grids[19] and the limitations of storage batteries at that time, electric cars did not gain much popularity; however, electric trains gained immense popularity due to their economies and achievable speeds. By the 20th century, electric rail transport became commonplace due to advances in the development of electric locomotives. Over time their general-purpose commercial use reduced to specialist roles as platform trucks, forklift trucks, ambulances,[20] tow tractors, and urban delivery vehicles, such as the iconic British milk float. For most of the 20th century, the UK was the world's largest user of electric road vehicles.[21]

Electrified trains were used for coal transport, as the motors did not use the valuable oxygen in the mines. Switzerland's lack of natural fossil resources forced the rapid electrification of their rail network. One of the earliest rechargeable batteries – the nickel-iron battery – was favored by Edison for use in electric cars.

EVs were among the earliest automobiles, and before the preeminence of light, powerful internal combustion engines (ICEs), electric automobiles held many vehicle land speed and distance records in the early 1900s. They were produced by Baker Electric, Columbia Electric, Detroit Electric, and others, and at one point in history outsold gasoline-powered vehicles. In 1900, 28 percent of the cars on the road in the US were electric. EVs were so popular that even President Woodrow Wilson and his secret service agents toured Washington, D.C., in their Milburn Electrics, which covered 60–70 miles (100–110 km) per charge.[22]

Most producers of passenger cars opted for gasoline cars in the first decade of the 20th century, but electric trucks were an established niche well into the 1920s.[23][24][19] A number of developments contributed to a decline in the popularity of electric cars.[25] Improved road infrastructure required a greater range than that offered by electric cars, and the discovery of large reserves of petroleum in Texas, Oklahoma, and California led to the wide availability of affordable gasoline/petrol, making internal combustion powered cars cheaper to operate over long distances.[26] Electric vehicles were not seldom marketed as a women's luxury car, which may have been a stigma among male consumers.[27] Also, internal combustion powered cars became ever-easier to operate thanks to the invention of the electric starter by Charles Kettering in 1912,[28] which eliminated the need of a hand crank for starting a gasoline engine, and the noise emitted by ICE cars became more bearable thanks to the use of the muffler, which Hiram Percy Maxim had invented in 1897. As roads were improved outside urban areas, electric vehicle range could not compete with the ICE. Finally, the initiation of mass production of gasoline-powered vehicles by Henry Ford in 1913 reduced significantly the cost of gasoline cars as compared to electric cars.[29]

In the 1930s, National City Lines, which was a partnership of General Motors, Firestone, and Standard Oil of California purchased many electric tram networks across the country to dismantle them and replace them with GM buses. The partnership was convicted of conspiring to monopolize the sale of equipment and supplies to their subsidiary companies, but were acquitted of conspiring to monopolize the provision of transportation services.

Copenhagen climate conference, which was conducted in the midst of a severe observable climate change brought on by human-made greenhouse gas emissions held in 2009. During the summit, more than 70 countries developed plans to eventually reach net zero. For many countries, adopting more EV will help reduce use of gasoline.[30]

Experimentation [ edit ]

In January 1990, General Motors' President introduced its EV concept two-seater, the "Impact", at the Los Angeles Auto Show. That September, the California Air Resources Board mandated major-automaker sales of EVs, in phases starting in 1998. From 1996 to 1998 GM produced 1117 EV1s, 800 of which were made available through three-year leases.[31]

Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, and Toyota also produced limited numbers of EVs for California drivers during this time period. In 2003, upon the expiration of GM's EV1 leases, GM discontinued them. The discontinuation has variously been attributed to:

the auto industry's successful federal court challenge to California's zero-emissions vehicle mandate,

a federal regulation requiring GM to produce and maintain spare parts for the few thousands EV1s and

the success of the oil and auto industries' media campaign to reduce public acceptance of EVs.

A movie made on the subject in 2005–2006 was titled Who Killed the Electric Car? and released theatrically by Sony Pictures Classics in 2006. The film explores the roles of automobile manufacturers, oil industry, the U.S. government, batteries, hydrogen vehicles, and the general public, and each of their roles in limiting the deployment and adoption of this technology.

Ford released a number of their Ford Ecostar delivery vans into the market. Honda, Nissan and Toyota also repossessed and crushed most of their EVs, which, like the GM EV1s, had been available only by closed-end lease. After public protests, Toyota sold 200 of its RAV4 EVs; they later sold at over their original forty-thousand-dollar price. Later, BMW of Canada sold off a number of Mini EVs when their Canadian testing ended.

The production of the Citroën Berlingo Electrique stopped in September 2005. Zenn started production in 2006 but ended by 2009.[32]

Reintroduction [ edit ]

During the late 20th and early 21st century, the environmental impact of the petroleum-based transportation infrastructure, along with the fear of peak oil, led to renewed interest in an electric transportation infrastructure.[33] EVs differ from fossil fuel-powered vehicles in that the electricity they consume can be generated from a wide range of sources, including fossil fuels, nuclear power, and renewables such solar power and wind power or any combination of those. The carbon footprint and other emissions of electric vehicles varies depending on the fuel and technology used for electricity generation.[34][35] The electricity may be stored in the vehicle using a battery, flywheel, or supercapacitors. Vehicles using internal combustion engines usually only derive their energy from a single or a few sources, usually non-renewable fossil fuels. A key advantage of electric vehicles is regenerative braking, which recovers kinetic energy, typically lost during friction braking as heat, as electricity restored to the on-board battery.

Electricity sources [ edit ]

There are many ways to generate electricity, of varying costs, efficiency and ecological desirability.

Connection to generator plants [ edit ]

Onboard generators and hybrid EVs [ edit ]

It is also possible to have hybrid EVs that derive electricity from multiple sources, such as:

On-board rechargeable electricity storage system (RESS) and a direct continuous connection to land-based generation plants for purposes of on-highway recharging with unrestricted highway range [36]

On-board rechargeable electricity storage system and a fueled propulsion power source (internal combustion engine): plug-in hybrid

For especially large EVs, such as submarines, the chemical energy of the diesel–electric can be replaced by a nuclear reactor. The nuclear reactor usually provides heat, which drives a steam turbine, which drives a generator, which is then fed to the propulsion. See Nuclear marine propulsion.

A few experimental vehicles, such as some cars and a handful of aircraft use solar panels for electricity.

Onboard storage [ edit ]

Fuel use in vehicle designs Vehicle type Fuel used All-petroleum vehicle

(aka all-combustion vehicle) Most use of petroleum or other fuel. Regular hybrid

electric vehicle Less use of petroleum or other fuel,

but unable to be plugged in. Plug-in hybrid vehicle Less use of petroleum or other fuel,

residual use of electricity. All-electric vehicle

(BEV, AEV) Exclusively uses electricity.

These systems are powered from an external generator plant (nearly always when stationary), and then disconnected before motion occurs, and the electricity is stored in the vehicle until needed.

Batteries, electric double-layer capacitors and flywheel energy storage are forms of rechargeable on-board electricity storage systems. By avoiding an intermediate mechanical step, the energy conversion efficiency can be improved compared to hybrids by avoiding unnecessary energy conversions. Furthermore, electro-chemical batteries conversions are reversible, allowing electrical energy to be stored in chemical form.[38]

Lithium-ion battery [ edit ]

Most electric vehicles use lithium-ion batteries (Li-Ions or LIBs). Lithium ion batteries have higher energy density, longer life span and higher power density than most other practical batteries. Complicating factors include safety, durability, thermal breakdown, its environmental impact and cost. Li-ion batteries should be used within safe temperature and voltage ranges in order to operate safely and efficiently.[41]

Increasing the battery's lifespan decreases effective costs. One technique is to operate a subset of the battery cells at a time and switching these subsets.[42]

In the past, nickel–metal hydride batteries were used in some electric cars, such as those made by General Motors.[43] These battery types are considered outdated due to their tendencies to self-discharge in the heat.[44] Furthermore, a patent for this type of battery was held by Chevron, which created a problem for their widespread development.[45] These factors, coupled with their high cost, has led to lithium-ion batteries leading as the predominant battery for EVs.[46]

The prices of lithium-ion batteries are constantly decreasing, contributing to a reduction in price for electric vehicles.[47]

Electric motor [ edit ]

The power of a vehicle's electric motor, as in other machines, is measured in kilowatts (kW). Electric motors can deliver their maximum torque over a wide RPM range. This means that the performance of a vehicle with a 100 kW electric motor exceeds that of a vehicle with a 100 kW internal combustion engine, which can only deliver its maximum torque within a limited range of engine speed.

Efficiency of charging varies considerably depending on the type of charger,[48] and energy is lost during the process of converting the electrical energy to mechanical energy.

Usually, direct current (DC) electricity is fed into a DC/AC inverter where it is converted to alternating current (AC) electricity and this AC electricity is connected to a 3-phase AC motor.

For electric trains, forklift trucks, and some electric cars, DC motors are often used. In some cases, universal motors are used, and then AC or DC may be employed. In recent production vehicles, various motor types have been implemented; for instance, induction motors within Tesla Motor vehicles and permanent magnet machines in the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt.[49]

Vehicle types [ edit ]

It is generally possible to equip any kind of vehicle with an electric power-train.

Ground vehicles [ edit ]

Pure-electric vehicles [ edit ]

A pure-electric vehicle or all-electric vehicle is powered exclusively through electric motors. The electricity may come from a battery (battery electric vehicle), solar panel (solar vehicle) or fuel cell (fuel cell vehicle).

Hybrid EVs [ edit ]

There are different ways that a hybrid electric vehicle can combine the power from an electric motor and the internal combustion engine. The most common type is a parallel hybrid that connects the engine and the electric motor to the wheels through mechanical coupling. In this scenario, the electric motor and the engine can drive the wheels directly. Series hybrids only use the electric motor to drive the wheels and can often be referred to as extended-range electric vehicles (EREVs) or range-extended electric vehicles (REEVs). There are also series-parallel hybrids where the vehicle can be powered by the engine working alone, the electric motor on its own, or by both working together; this is designed so that the engine can run at its optimum range as often as possible.[51]

Plug-in electric vehicle [ edit ]

A plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) is any motor vehicle that can be recharged from any external source of electricity, such as wall sockets, and the electricity stored in the Rechargeable battery packs drives or contributes to drive the wheels. PEV is a subcategory of electric vehicles that includes battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid vehicles, (PHEVs), and electric vehicle conversions of hybrid electric vehicles and conventional internal combustion engine vehicles.[52][53][54]

Range-extended electric vehicle [ edit ]

A range-extended electric vehicle (REEV) is a vehicle powered by an electric motor and a plug-in battery. An auxiliary combustion engine is used only to supplement battery charging and not as the primary source of power.[55]

On- and off-road EVs [ edit ]

On-road electric vehicles include electric cars, electric trolleybuses, electric buses, battery electric buses, electric trucks, electric bicycles, electric motorcycles and scooters, personal transporters, neighborhood electric vehicles, golf carts, milk floats, and forklifts. Off-road vehicles include electrified all-terrain vehicles and tractors.

Railborne EVs [ edit ]

streetcar (or tram) in Hanover drawing current from a single overhead wire through a pantograph

The fixed nature of a rail line makes it relatively easy to power EVs through permanent overhead lines or electrified third rails, eliminating the need for heavy onboard batteries. Electric locomotives, electric multiple units, electric trams (also called streetcars or trolleys), electric light rail systems, and electric rapid transit are all in common use today, especially in Europe and Asia.

Since electric trains do not need to carry a heavy internal combustion engine or large batteries, they can have very good power-to-weight ratios. This allows high speed trains such as France's double-deck TGVs to operate at speeds of 320 km/h (200 mph) or higher, and electric locomotives to have a much higher power output than diesel locomotives. In addition, they have higher short-term surge power for fast acceleration, and using regenerative brakes can put braking power back into the electrical grid rather than wasting it.

Maglev trains are also nearly always EVs.[57]

There are also battery electric passenger trains operating on non-electrified rail lines.

Space rover vehicles [ edit ]

Manned and unmanned vehicles have been used to explore the Moon and other planets in the Solar System. On the last three missions of the Apollo program in 1971 and 1972, astronauts drove silver-oxide battery-powered Lunar Roving Vehicles distances up to 35.7 kilometers (22.2 mi) on the lunar surface.[58] Unmanned, solar-powered rovers have explored the Moon and Mars.[59][60]

Airborne EVs [ edit ]

Since the beginnings of aviation, electric power for aircraft has received a great deal of experimentation. Currently, flying electric aircraft include manned and unmanned aerial vehicles.

Seaborne EVs [ edit ]

Oceanvolt SD8.6 electric saildrive motor

Electric boats were popular around the turn of the 20th century. Interest in quiet and potentially renewable marine transportation has steadily increased since the late 20th century, as solar cells have given motorboats the infinite range of sailboats. Electric motors can and have also been used in sailboats instead of traditional diesel engines.[61] Electric ferries operate routinely.[62] Submarines use batteries (charged by diesel or gasoline engines at the surface), nuclear power, fuel cells[63] or Stirling engines to run electric motor-driven propellers.

Electrically powered spacecraft [ edit ]

Electric power has a long history of use in spacecraft.[64][65] The power sources used for spacecraft are batteries, solar panels and nuclear power. Current methods of propelling a spacecraft with electricity include the arcjet rocket, the electrostatic ion thruster, the Hall-effect thruster, and Field Emission Electric Propulsion.

Energy and motors [ edit ]

trolleybus uses two overhead wires to provide electric current supply and return to the power source.

Most large electric transport systems are powered by stationary sources of electricity that are directly connected to the vehicles through wires. Electric traction allows the use of regenerative braking, in which the motors are used as brakes and become generators that transform the motion of, usually, a train into electrical power that is then fed back into the lines. This system is particularly advantageous in mountainous operations, as descending vehicles can produce a large portion of the power required for those ascending. This regenerative system is only viable if the system is large enough to utilise the power generated by descending vehicles.

In the systems above, motion is provided by a rotary electric motor. However, it is possible to "unroll" the motor to drive directly against a special matched track. These linear motors are used in maglev trains which float above the rails supported by magnetic levitation. This allows for almost no rolling resistance of the vehicle and no mechanical wear and tear of the train or track. In addition to the high-performance control systems needed, switching and curving of the tracks becomes difficult with linear motors, which to date has restricted their operations to high-speed point to point services.

Records [ edit ]

Electric Land Speed Record 353 mph (568 km/h). [66]

Electric Car Distance Record 1,725 miles (2,776 km) in 24 hours by Bjørn Nyland. [67]

Greatest distance by electric vehicle, single charge 999.5 miles (1,608.5 km). [68]

Electric Motorcycle: 1,070 miles (1,720 km) under 24 hours. Michel von Tell on Harley. [69]

Electric flight: 439.5 miles (707.3 km) without charge.[70]

Properties [ edit ]

Components [ edit ]

The type of battery, the type of traction motor and the motor controller design vary according to the size, power and proposed application, which can be as small as a motorized shopping cart or wheelchair, through pedelecs, electric motorcycles and scooters, neighborhood electric vehicles, industrial fork-lift trucks and including many hybrid vehicles.

Energy sources [ edit ]

EVs are much more efficient than fossil fuel vehicles and have few direct emissions. At the same time, they do rely on electrical energy that is generally provided by a combination of non-fossil fuel plants and fossil fuel plants. Consequently, EVs can be made less polluting overall by modifying the source of electricity. In some areas, persons can ask utilities to provide their electricity from renewable energy.

Fossil fuel vehicle efficiency and pollution standards take years to filter through a nation's fleet of vehicles. New efficiency and pollution standards rely on the purchase of new vehicles, often as the current vehicles already on the road reach their end-of-life. Only a few nations set a retirement age for old vehicles, such as Japan or Singapore, forcing periodic upgrading of all vehicles already on the road.

Batteries [ edit ]

An electric-vehicle battery (EVB) in addition to the traction battery speciality systems used for industrial (or recreational) vehicles, are batteries used to power the propulsion system of a battery electric vehicle (BEVs). These batteries are usually a secondary (rechargeable) battery, and are typically lithium-ion batteries. Traction batteries, specifically designed with a high ampere-hour capacity, are used in forklifts, electric golf carts, riding floor scrubbers, electric motorcycles, electric cars, trucks, vans, and other electric vehicles.[71][72]

Efficiency [ edit ]

EVs convert over 59–62% of grid energy to the wheels. Conventional gasoline vehicles convert around 17–21%.[73]

Charging [ edit ]

Grid capacity [ edit ]

If almost all road vehicles were electric it would increase global demand for electricity by up to 25% by 2050 compared to 2020.[74] However, overall energy consumption and emissions would diminish because of the higher efficiency of EVs over the entire cycle, and the reduction in energy needed to refine fossil fuels.

Charging stations [ edit ]

Battery swapping [ edit ]

Instead of recharging EVs from electric sockets, batteries could be mechanically replaced at special stations in a few minutes (battery swapping).

Batteries with greater energy density such as metal-air fuel cells cannot always be recharged in a purely electric way, so some form of mechanical recharge may be used instead. A zinc–air_battery, technically a fuel cell, is difficult to recharge electrically so may be "refueled" by periodically replacing the anode or electrolyte instead.[75]

Dynamic charging [ edit ]

TRL (formerly Transport Research Laboratory) lists three power delivery types for dynamic charging, or charging while the vehicle is in motion: overhead power lines, and ground level power through rail or induction. TRL lists overhead power as the most technologically mature solution which provides the highest levels of power, but the technology is unsuitable for non-commercial vehicles. Ground-level power is suitable for all vehicles, with rail being a mature solution with high transfer of power and easily accessible and inspected elements. Inductive charging delivers the least power and requires more roadside equipment than the alternatives.[76]: Appendix D

Alstom and other companies have, in 2020, begun drafting a standard for ground-level power supply electric roads.[79][80] The European Commission published in 2021 a request for regulation and standardization of electric road systems.[81] Shortly afterward, a working group of the French Ministry of Ecology recommended adopting a European electric road standard formulated with Sweden, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland, and others.[82] The standard, CENELEC Technical Standard 50717, is scheduled to be approved and published by November 14, 2022.[83]

Other in-development technologies [ edit ]

Conventional electric double-layer capacitors are being worked on to achieve the energy density of lithium-ion batteries, offering almost unlimited lifespans and no environmental issues. High-K electric double-layer capacitors, such as EEStor's EESU, could improve lithium ion energy density several times over if they can be produced. Lithium-sulphur batteries offer 250 Wh/kg.[84] Sodium-ion batteries promise 400 Wh/kg with only minimal expansion/contraction during charge/discharge and a very high surface area.[85]

Safety [ edit ]

The United Nations in Geneva (UNECE) has adopted the first international regulation (Regulation 100) on safety of both fully electric and hybrid electric cars, with the intent of ensuring that cars with a high voltage electric power train, such as hybrid and fully-electric vehicles, are as safe as combustion-powered cars. The EU and Japan have already indicated that they intend to incorporate the new UNECE Regulation in their respective rules on technical standards for vehicles.[86]

Environmental [ edit ]

EVs release no tailpipe air pollutants; however, EVs are charged with electricity that may be generated by means that have health and environmental impacts.[87][88]

The carbon emissions from producing and operating an EV are typically less than those of producing and operating a conventional vehicle.[89] EVs in urban areas almost always pollute less than internal combustion vehicles.[90]

One limitation of the environmental potential of EVs is that simply switching the existing privately owned car fleet from ICEs to EVs will not free up road space for active travel or public transport.[91] Electric micromobility vehicles, such as e-bikes, may contribute to the decarbonisation of transport systems, especially outside of urban areas which are already well-served by public transport.[92]

Internal combustion engined vehicles use far more raw materials over their lifetime than EVs.[93]

Since their first commercial release in 1991, lithium-ion batteries have become an important technology for achieving low-carbon transportation systems. The sustainability of production process of batteries has not been fully assessed in either economic, social or environmental terms.[94]

Business processes of raw material extraction in practice raise issues of transparency and accountability of the management of extractive resources. In the complex supply chain of lithium technology, there are diverse stakeholders representing corporate interests, public interest groups and political elites that are concerned with outcomes from the technology production and use. One possibility to achieve balanced extractive processes would be the establishment of commonly agreed standards on the governance of technology worldwide.[94]

The compliance of these standards can be assessed by the Assessment of Sustainability in Supply Chains Frameworks (ASSC). Hereby, the qualitative assessment consists of examining governance and social and environmental commitment. Indicators for the quantitative assessment are management systems and standards, compliance and social and environmental indicators.[95]

One source estimates that over a fifth of the lithium and about 65% of the cobalt needed for electric cars will be from recycled sources by 2035.[96] Thus, much of the raw materials involved in EV production will rely on the extraction of scarce metallic ores.[improper synthesis?] On the other hand, when counting the large quantities of fossil fuel non-electric cars consume over their lifetime, electric cars can be considered to dramatically reduce raw-material needs.[96]

A 2003 study in the United Kingdom found that "[p]ollution is most concentrated in areas where young children and their parents are more likely to live and least concentrated in areas to which the elderly tend to migrate," and that "those communities that are most polluted and which also emit the least pollution tend to be amongst the poorest in Britain."[97] A 2019 UK study found that "households in the poorest areas emit the least NOx and PM, whilst the least poor areas emitted the highest, per km, vehicle emissions per household through having higher vehicle ownership, owning more diesel vehicles and driving further."[98]

Mechanical [ edit ]

Electric motors are mechanically very simple and often achieve 90% energy conversion efficiency[99] over the full range of speeds and power output and can be precisely controlled. They can also be combined with regenerative braking systems that have the ability to convert movement energy back into stored electricity. This can be used to reduce the wear on brake systems (and consequent brake pad dust) and reduce the total energy requirement of a trip. Regenerative braking is especially effective for start-and-stop city use.

They can be finely controlled and provide high torque from stationary-to-moving, unlike internal combustion engines, and do not need multiple gears to match power curves. This removes the need for gearboxes and torque converters.

EVs provide quiet and smooth operation and consequently have less noise and vibration than internal combustion engines.[100] While this is a desirable attribute, it has also evoked concern that the absence of the usual sounds of an approaching vehicle poses a danger to blind, elderly and very young pedestrians. To mitigate this situation, many countries mandate warning sounds when EVs are moving slowly, up to a speed when normal motion and rotation (road, suspension, electric motor, etc.) noises become audible.[101]

Electric motors do not require oxygen, unlike internal combustion engines; this is useful for submarines and for space rovers.

Energy resilience [ edit ]

Electricity can be produced from a variety of sources; therefore, it gives the greatest degree of energy resilience.[102]

Energy efficiency [ edit ]

EV 'tank-to-wheels' efficiency is about a factor of three higher than internal combustion engine vehicles.[100] Energy is not consumed while the vehicle is stationary, unlike internal combustion engines which consume fuel while idling. However, looking at the well-to-wheel efficiency of EVs, their total emissions, while still lower,[clarification needed] are closer[clarification needed] to an efficient gasoline or diesel in most countries where electricity generation relies on fossil fuels.[103][104]

Well-to-wheel efficiency of an EV has less to do with the vehicle itself and more to do with the method of electricity production. A particular EV would instantly become twice as efficient if electricity production were switched from fossil fuels to renewable energy, such as wind power, tidal power, solar power, and nuclear power. Thus, when "well-to-wheels" is cited, the discussion is no longer about the vehicle, but rather about the entire energy supply infrastructure – in the case of fossil fuels this should also include energy spent on exploration, mining, refining, and distribution.

The lifecycle analysis of EVs shows that even when powered by the most carbon-intensive electricity in Europe, they emit less greenhouse gases than a conventional diesel vehicle.[105]

Total cost [ edit ]

As of 2021 the purchase price of an EV is often more, but the total cost of ownership of an EV varies wildly depending on location[106] and distance travelled per year:[107] in parts of the world where fossil fuels are subsidized, lifecycle costs of diesel or gas-powered vehicle are sometimes less than a comparable EV.[108]

Range [ edit ]

Electric vehicles may have shorter range compared to vehicles with internal combustion engines,[109][110] which is why large electric ships generally cannot cross oceans as of 2021 .[111] A new range of EV safari vehicles is slated to come out in 2023 which will have a range of 500km, roughly 310 miles, which will be a bigger range compared to fuel safari vehicles.[112]

Heating of EVs [ edit ]

In cold climates, considerable energy is needed to heat the interior of a vehicle and to defrost the windows. With internal combustion engines, this heat already exists as waste combustion heat diverted from the engine cooling circuit. This process offsets the greenhouse gases' external costs. If this is done with battery EVs, the interior heating requires extra energy from the vehicles' batteries. Although some heat could be harvested from the motor or motors and battery, their greater efficiency means there is not as much waste heat available as from a combustion engine.

However, for vehicles which are connected to the grid, battery EVs can be preheated, or cooled, with little or no need for battery energy, especially for short trips.

Newer designs are focused on using super-insulated cabins which can heat the vehicle using the body heat of the passengers. This is not enough, however, in colder climates as a driver delivers only about 100 W of heating power. A heat pump system, capable of cooling the cabin during summer and heating it during winter, is a more efficient way of heating and cooling EVs.[113]

Electric public transit efficiency [ edit ]

Shifts from private to public transport (train, trolleybus, personal rapid transit or tram) have the potential for large gains in efficiency in terms of an individual's distance traveled per kWh.

Research shows people prefer trams to buses,[114] because they are quieter and more comfortable and perceived as having higher status.[115] Therefore, it may be possible to cut liquid fossil fuel consumption in cities through the use of electric trams. Trams may be the most energy-efficient form of public transportation, with rubber-wheeled vehicles using two-thirds more energy than the equivalent tram,[citation needed] and run on electricity rather than fossil fuels.

In terms of net present value, they are also the cheapest – Blackpool trams are still running after 100 years,[116] but combustion buses only last about 15 years.

Polluter pays principle [ edit ]

The IEA suggests that taxing inefficient internal combustion engine vehicles could eventually become a means to finance subsidies for EVs.[8] Government procurement is sometimes used to encourage national EV manufacturers.[117][118] Many countries will ban sales of fossil fuel vehicles between 2025 and 2040.[119]

Many governments offer incentives to promote the use of electric vehicles, with the goals of reducing air pollution and oil consumption. Some incentives intend to increase purchases of electric vehicles by offsetting the purchase price with a grant. Other incentives include lower tax rates or exemption from certain taxes, and investment in charging infrastructure.

Companies selling EVs have partnered with local electric utilities in order to provide large incentives on some electric vehicles.[120]

Future [ edit ]

Rimac Concept One , electric supercar, since 2013. 0 to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds, with a total output of 800 kW (1,073 hp).

The COVID-19 pandemic gave birth to proposals for radical change in the organisation of the city, such as the Manifesto for the Reorganisation of the City after COVID-19, published in Barcelona and signed by 160 academics and 300 architects, highly critical towards a transportation based on the private electric vehicle considered as a false solution.[121][122][123]

Public perception [ edit ]

A European survey based on climate found that as of 2022, 39% of European citizens tend to prefer hybrid vehicles, while 33% prefer petrol or diesel vehicles. The least preferred type of vehicles are electric cars, preferred by 28% of Europeans.[124] 44% Chinese car buyers are the most likely to buy an electric car, while 38% of Americans would opt for a hybrid car, 33% would prefer petrol or diesel, while only 29% would go for an electric car.[124]

Environmental considerations [ edit ]

Vehicle batteries rely heavily on the mining industry of rare earth metals such as cobalt, nickel, and copper.[125][126] According to a 2018 study, the supplies of mined metals would need to increase 87,000% by 2060 globally for transition to battery-powered EVs. Rare-earth metals (neodymium, dysprosium) and other mined metals (copper, nickel, iron) are used by EV motors, while lithium, cobalt, manganese are used by the batteries.[127][126]

An alternative method of sourcing essential battery materials being deliberated by the International Seabed Authority is deep sea mining of these metals.[128]

Improved batteries [ edit ]

Advances in lithium-ion batteries, driven at first by the personal-use electronics industry, allow full-sized, highway-capable EVs to travel nearly as far on a single charge as conventional cars go on a single tank of gasoline. Lithium batteries have been made safe, can be recharged in minutes instead of hours (see recharging time), and now last longer than the typical vehicle (see lifespan). The production cost of these lighter, higher-capacity lithium-ion batteries is gradually decreasing as the technology matures and production volumes increase.[129][130]

Many companies and researchers are also working on newer battery technologies, including solid state batteries[131] and alternate technologies.[132]

Battery management and intermediate storage [ edit ]

Another improvement is to decouple the electric motor from the battery through electronic control, using supercapacitors to buffer large but short power demands and regenerative braking energy.[133] The development of new cell types combined with intelligent cell management improved both weak points mentioned above. The cell management involves not only monitoring the health of the cells but also a redundant cell configuration (one more cell than needed). With sophisticated switched wiring, it is possible to condition one cell while the rest are on duty.[citation needed]

Electric trucks [ edit ]

Hydrogen trains [ edit ]

Particularly in Europe, fuel-cell electric trains are gaining in popularity to replace diesel-electric units. In Germany, several Länder have ordered Alstom Coradia iLINT trainsets, in service since 2018,[142] with France also planning to order trainsets.[143] The United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Canada[142] and Mexico[144] are equally interested. In France, the SNCF plans to replace all its remaining diesel-electric trains with hydrogen trains by 2035.[145] In the United Kingdom, Alstom announced in 2018 their plan to retrofit British Rail Class 321 trainsets with fuel cells.[146]

Infrastructure management [ edit ]

With the increase in number of electric vehicles, it is necessary to create an appropriate number of charging stations to supply the increasing demand,[147] and a proper management system that coordinates the charging turn of each vehicle to avoid having some charging stations overloaded with vehicles and others empty.[148]

Stabilization of the grid [ edit ]

Since EVs can be plugged into the electric grid when not in use, there is a potential for battery-powered vehicles to cut the demand for electricity by feeding electricity into the grid from their batteries during peak use periods (such as mid-afternoon air conditioning use) while doing most of their charging at night, when there is unused generating capacity.[149][150] This vehicle-to-grid (V2G) connection has the potential to reduce the need for new power plants, as long as vehicle owners do not mind reducing the life of their batteries, by being drained by the power company during peak demand. Electric vehicle parking lots can provide demand response.[151]

Furthermore, current electricity infrastructure may need to cope with increasing shares of variable-output power sources such as wind and solar. This variability could be addressed by adjusting the speed at which EV batteries are charged, or possibly even discharged.

Some concepts see battery exchanges and battery charging stations, much like gas/petrol stations today. These will require enormous storage and charging potentials, which could be manipulated to vary the rate of charging, and to output power during shortage periods, much as diesel generators are used for short periods to stabilize some national grids.[152][153]

See also [ edit ]

Notes [ edit ]

^ Commonly, the term EV is used to refer to an electric car but in this article it means "electric vehicle".

References [ edit ]

Tesla helps boost EV market share in California’s crashing auto market

Tesla is showing some strong resilience in California’s crashing car market and is helping boost EV market share to a new record.

With the slowdown that came with the pandemic and the more recent supply chain issues, the auto industry has yet to go back to pre-2020 levels of deliveries.

California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA) released its latest report based on new car registrations in the state and confirmed that the market is down 16% year-to-date as of September.

But there are some silver linings in the results.

The biggest one is that the EV market share in California is at a new high of 16%, and it is gaining momentum:

It looks like without electric vehicles, California’s auto market would be crashing even more.

Tesla vehicles still represent most electric vehicles delivered in the state, and brand registration stats highlight just how important the Tesla brand has become in California.

So far in 2022, Tesla is one of only two car brands, along with Genesis, to be growing in the state:

This decline from other brands has enabled Tesla to gain a 10% overall market share in the state with only four models available. It is even catching up to Toyota.

Tesla now has the top-selling passenger car, Model 3, and the top-selling overall vehicle in the state, including light trucks, Model Y:

As you can see in the chart above, Tesla Model 3 is even beating the Toyota Camry in sales – a feat it first achieved earlier this year.

Other electric vehicles are also contributing to the growing EV market share in California, like the Ford Mustang Mach-E, but the CNCDA doesn’t break down the sales of Mustangs per model.

Electrek’s Take

EV market shares in California already jumped from under 14% to 16% in 2022, but I think it could end the year near 20% with a strong Q4.

Tesla is likely going to increase deliveries thanks to the production ramp at Gigafactory Texas.

But next year is when things could truly go wild for EVs, and I could see market shares doubling to 40%.

The renewed federal incentive is going to help, but the biggest thing is going to be higher volumes of vehicles like the F150 Lightning and new model launches like the Equinox EV, Silverado EV, and many more.

Pros and Cons of Electric Cars: Everything You Need to Know

If the forecasts by regulators and automakers are correct, the future of the automobile is going to be heavily reliant on battery-electric propulsion. But we don't live in the future, we live in the present. It's a time of great transition for the industry, but there are a few kinks that still need working out.

Electric cars are efficient, quiet, and torque-rich. They can also be expensive, tend to be heavy, and are plagued by a limited public charging infrastructure—something we expect will get better in the coming years. There are a number of benefits to choosing some level of electrification in your next vehicle, but some tradeoffs do apply.

What Defines an Electric Car?

In today's automotive landscape, an electric car is defined as a passenger vehicle that uses an electric drive motor for propulsion. This broad definition, which technically encompasses a number of powertrain setups, includes hybrid vehicles.


A hybrid, such as the Toyota Prius, burns fossil fuel to power the vehicle's internal-combustion engine, which subsequently plays a part in generating the electricity needed to power the car's electric drive motor (an onboard battery pack stores this energy). Plug-in-hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) take this same concept and add the option to pull power from an external source, such as the energy grid itself, courtesy of an external charge port. PHEVs allow for short-range operation on battery power alone. Once enough of the battery's energy is drained, PHEVs rely on the gasoline engine to serve as a generator and/or power source for the drive wheels.

Those in search of emission-free electric driving currently have two options to choose from: hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles (HFCVs or FCEVs) and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs). The former setup uses onboard fuel cells to react with hydrogen fuel (stored in an onboard tank) with oxygen to produce electricity to power such a vehicle's electric drive motor. The combination of these two chemicals (hydrogen and oxygen) results in HFCVs exhausting water vapor.

Alas, the limited hydrogen infrastructure in the U.S. makes it difficult to refuel HFCVs. As such, the two HFCVs currently offered in the U.S., the Toyota Mirai sedan and the Hyundai Nexo SUV, are strictly sold in California, a state with an existing—but still subpar—hydrogen fueling infrastructure.

Thus BEVs are the sole option for those looking to switch to an emissions-free car. Like PHEVs, BEVs feature an external charge port that allows owners to charge their car's onboard battery pack using energy from an external source, such as the local energy grid. Unlike PHEVs, BEVs have no internal-combustion engine (ICE) onboard to serve as a generator or propulsion source. Without an ICE to lug around, BEVs feature larger-capacity battery packs that allow them to drive farther between charges.

Pros and Cons of Partial Electrification

PRO: Hybrids deliver better fuel economy without lifestyle changes.

Hybrids don't require you to change your driving habits in order to change your impact. These vehicles are not dependent on electricity, as both have internal combustion engines onboard that burn gasoline (or diesel in other markets), which is easy to find at any gas station. PHEVs are just the same, however, they offer owners the opportunity to dip their toe into the proverbial EV pool. Want to limit your emissions? Then plug in and charge the battery pack to enjoy a limited range of strictly battery-electric power.

PRO: PHEVs suit the average commute.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the average one-way commute for American drivers is up to about 28 minutes each way per day. PHEVs, such as the Toyota RAV4 Prime or Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid, are capable of driving between 30–40 miles on battery power alone. In PHEVs like these, it's possible you may only find yourself burning gas when you go on an extended drive.

PRO: Charging is less of a concern.

It's not possible to buy a jerrycan's worth of extra electrons (yet) for an EV that runs out of juice. However, all it takes is a couple of gallons of gas to get a hybrid or plug-in hybrid vehicle back on the move. Plus, unlike our charging infrastructure (which, admittedly, continues to improve and grow by the day), there are gas stations everywhere.

CON: Combustion engine maintenance.

Because there's an ICE on board, hybrid and plug-in-hybrid vehicles still require the typical maintenance you expect of any gas-powered car. Electric motors, meanwhile, need comparatively little maintenance. Still, it's not all bad news. Thanks to the use of regenerative braking from the electric motor, an electrified vehicle's brakes often last longer and require less service than those of strictly ICE-powered vehicles.

CON: Still burning fossil fuels.

Gasoline-electric hybrids still burn fossil fuels, which means these vehicles still produce harmful emissions. A PHEVs ability to putter about on battery power alone means it's possible for consumers to largely avoid firing up the gas engine. Still, it will inevitably turn on and begin combusting fuel.


Pros and Cons of Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Electric Vehicles

PRO: The technology works.

The California-only Toyota Mirai has a range of up to 402 miles and can be refueled nearly as quickly as a gasoline-powered car. It's as smooth and refined as an EV, and less complex than a PHEV.

CON: Good luck finding a fuel station.

If the infrastructure for electrical charging is still young, then hydrogen infrastructure is embryonic. Currently, HFCVs really only make sense in limited applications (mostly in California), or perhaps for fleet use.

Pros and Cons of Battery-Electric Vehicles

PRO: Performance and power delivery.

BEVs have the potential to be insanely quick. Just look at the Rivian R1T, a more than 7000-pound electric pickup truck that shot to 60 mph in 3.0 seconds under our watch. But the benefits of an electric motor are not limited strictly to straight-line acceleration. Thanks to the near-instant torque production of an electric motor, even more modestly powered BEVs tend to feel pretty peppy in typical driving situations.

PRO: Clean motoring.

With no exhaust (and thus no tailpipe emissions), electric motors are far cleaner than gas engines. Of course, just how much cleaner electric cars are compared to their gas-powered kin is dependent on a number of factors. For instance, if your local power plant produces electricity by burning fossil fuels, then the net environmental benefits of your EV lessen. That said, not all is lost. While many of America's power plants do burn fossil fuels, solar and wind farms can supplement the grid, further countering any emissions indirectly produced by EVs.

PRO: Less maintenance.

Due to the fact electric motors have fewer moving parts than combustion engines, electric vehicles require less maintenance relative to their gas- and diesel-powered counterparts. Even better, the fact EVs use regenerative braking to slow down, means these vehicles use their mechanical brakes less frequently. As such, the braking components on EVs tend to wear at a much slower rate than those of cars with combustion engines.

CON: Battery blues.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the expected life of an EV's battery pack is between 10 and 12 years. That said, battery packs can last longer than their estimate. Once a battery pack bites the dust, though, replacing it is rather pricey. As of this writing, new battery packs cost thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars to replace. These prices will likely come down as more battery-electric vehicles enter service. Likewise, consumers can save some money by purchasing a refurbished battery pack for their EV.

CON: Charging hassles.

America's EV charging infrastructure is still rather weak, which means it can be difficult to find an available charger, let alone a functioning one, in public places. On the plus side, the most cost-effective and efficient way to charge an EV is via an at-home charger. Specifically, when hooked up to a 240-volt Level 2 charger, which ought to ensure your EV gets a sufficient charge overnight. Depending on the specific EV you own, the range added overnight should be more than enough to cover your daily driving needs.

CON: Towing troubles.

The hassles of America's charging infrastructure are exacerbated when towing, too. With the likes of the Ford F-150 Lightning and Rivian R1T capable of towing up to 10,000 and 11,000 pounds, respectively, the era of towing with an EV is upon us. Unfortunately, doing so takes a toll on range. We discovered both the Lightning and R1T's EPA-rated ranges were cut by nearly two-thirds when towing a 6100-pound camper. Unless the campsite or boat ramp is close by, then you may still be better off relying on a vehicle with an internal combustion engine to do your towing duties, as, in today's environment, it's far easier to find a reliable gas station over a charging station.

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