Time To Buy A Electric Car?

Geoff . Auto Blog 1255 No Comments

EVFor most experienced drivers, the first time in an electric car is decidedly odd. There is typically no gearbox or transmission, for example. Electric motors differ greatly from internal combustion engines in the way they deliver power and torque, and for the most part, you have maximum performance from the start. No hanging about waiting for revs to build, no waiting for the optimum moment to change to another gear, nothing; it’s just push the pedal and go.

Until a driver has actually tried an electric car it is very difficult to get the sensation across in words. For starters, all is quiet; there is virtually no noise. All that happens is, as the foot goes deeper into the carpet pile, the car continues to gather speed all the way up to the speed limit and, in some cases, beyond. No drama at all. You could drive through a cathedral undiscovered, except perhaps by an eagle-eyed clergyman who would simply nod benignly because, as you know, electric cars are righteous.

An EV goes directly to full torque from zero in one linear power delivery. Another virtue is that most decent petrol engines are puffed out by about 8000rpm at best whereas a decent electric car motor can go all the way up to 15000rpm.

The major drawback to a true EV is that when you run out of fuel, you can’t simply walk with a can to the nearest petrol station. When the battery is dead, it’s dead, and that’s the end of it. You cannot, yet, carry electricity in a bucket. This is the big issue; range is highly dependent on multiple factors. In daylight, on a mild pleasant day, and electric vehicle will almost certainly go to its distance limit without problem. Unfortunately, life is not like that. Driven with a heavy right foot, the range could drop significantly. Weather, too, affects EVs. Cold days mean less of the sparky stuff not only because of the inherent design issues of batteries, but because as a driver you’ll typically want to run the heater and/or the air-con at the same time as driving.

It all depends on need. If you use a car daily but the round trip is less than, say, eighty miles, an EV is the ideal car. If your workplace is pro-active enough to provide charging posts for some of the parking spots, things look even better because you can leave your car charging whilst you work. Sadly, though, an electric car is hopeless on a long trip because public charging points remain few and far between and, even if they were on every street corner, an EV still takes an age to power up. Electric cars are strange and fun, but still, regrettably, flawed.

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