An electric car is an automobile that runs on electric motors. Instead of a fuel tank, an electric vehicle uses energy stored in rechargeable batteries.
An electric car runs on electric motors. Instead of a fuel tank, an electric vehicle (EV) uses energy stored in rechargeable batteries.
We often think of electric cars are a modern vehicle, but the first electric cars targeted towards the everyday driver were built in the 1880s. They remained popular into the early 20th century but became obsolete with the perfection of the internal combustion engine.
As the concern surrounding the effects of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions rose, the electric car was back on the drawing boards of automakers.
While interest has increased amongst consumers—61,000 EVs were sold in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2019—they still make up less than 2 percent of new car sales in the U.S. and in Europe.
Despite the low sales numbers, automakers are not deterred. Batteries will continue to improve, more charging stations are being provided, and the distance a car can drive before recharging is increasing.
Just how far can you drive? That depends on the vehicle, the battery, how you are using the vehicle, and what it’s powering. The average range is about 100 miles, but automakers expect to get that number up to 200 soon. Just for example, the Tesla Model S is reported to travel about 370 miles on one charge.
Consumers may not be overwhelmingly enamored with the electric car yet, but many governments are. In the U.S., the federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is offering tax credits between $2,500 and $7,500 for new E.V. purchases.
As of 2020, the E.U. mandated that only 5% of each manufacturer’s new cars can exceed a target of 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer. In 2021 all newly registered vehicles must be below that mark. Manufacturers exceeding that target will pay a premium. So far, most gasoline fueled cars are not even close to that number. Going all in on electric vehicles would most definitely allow them to meet the mandate, if they can get consumers on board with the idea.