Let’s talk about battery electric vehicles.
These vehicles are relatively new to the roads of Canada, and they are becoming more and more popular as automakers respond to more stringent greenhouse gas regulations… and as people ask for cleaner, quieter, technology when they’re behind the wheel.
Quite simply, a battery electric vehicle uses electricity – and only electricity - to make the vehicle go.
Let’s get under the hood.
There are three main components – a zero-emission electric motor or motors; a battery or series of batteries (there are a number of different types and configurations)…
… and a non-conventional transmission that transfers the motor’s power to the wheels.
In fact, some battery electric vehicles place their motors right at the wheel hubs!
Electric drives are substantially more efficient than combustion engines and drive trains.
It’s a lot easier to convert electricity to mechanical energy. Internal combustion engines are relatively inefficient since they lose available energy to heat loss in the cooling system and in the exhaust.
Electric motors provide almost all their available torque right from the instant you put your foot on the accelerator, so there is little need for the series of “steps” that most transmissions provide to get the vehicle up to speed. As a consequence, transmissions are much simpler, too.
While you are driving, you are using battery power, and depleting its supply.
Instrumentation on your dashboard will give you an accurate reading on how much reserve power you have, and let you know when it is time for a charge.
In addition, the battery electric vehicle has a charging coupling – a place you plug into when you are charging the vehicle.
Some vehicles even come with a cable that allows you to plug the car into different kinds of charging stations.
The batteries in battery electric vehicles need to be charged regularly – most of the time, that means plugging the vehicle in either at home, or at work. … and as these types of vehicles become more popular, public and commercial charging stations will begin to appear that can “top up” these vehicles.
Annual fuel costs for battery electric vehicles available in Canada will be about one fifth as much as a conventional vehicle, based on 20,000 kilometres a year.
Battery electric vehicles offer about 100 kilometres of driving range before needing to be recharged. – but actual range depends on speed driven, driving style, cargo, topography, climate control usage, and weather.
Battery electric vehicles are quiet, use low-drag aerodynamic shapes, have reduced weight, use highly advanced technology, and they are a strong choice for people who want to dramatically improve fuel efficiency, reduce fuel costs, and reduce emissions.
And whenever you brake or coast, power gained by the regenerative braking process helps to charge the batteries.
So if you are looking to cut your energy costs and reduce the amount of greenhouse gas you’re producing, consider a battery electric vehicle.