Facts on Electric Cars

by Frank Girard

According to the Canadian National Campaign for Electric Vehicles, energy and fuel costs of electric cars are 90 percent less than energy and fuel costs of gasoline-powered cars. Electric vehicles also have quieter engines than cars with internal-combustion engines. Unlike gasoline-powered vehicles, electric cars do not emit pollutants. Owning an electric vehicle also eliminates the need for smog inspections, cooling fluid replacement, oil changes and other types of maintenance. Contrary to popular belief, electric vehicles can run just as fast as some gasoline-powered cars.

History

General Motors produced 1,117 EVs in 1996.

Robert Anderson developed the first electric carriage between 1832 and 1839 in Scotland, according to the Canadian National Campaign for Electric Vehicles. In 1835, Professor Stratingh of Groinggen, Holland, designed the first small electric car. Electric cars held several distance and speed records in the early part of the 20th century. On April 29, 1899, Camille Jenatzy broke the 100 km/h speed barrier for the first time in an electric vehicle. As the internal-combustion engine improved, electric car production slowed. However, in 1996, General Motors produced 1,117 GM EVs that could go as fast as 80 mph. Nissan, Toyota and Honda all sell electric vehicles.

Speed

Electric cars reach top speeds of between 60 and 100 mph.

According to the Canadian National Campaign for Electric Vehicles, electric cars such as the French Venturi, Mullen L1x and the Tesla can reach top speeds of between 100 and 130 mph. These electric cars are also capable of going from 0 to 60 mph in 3 to 5 seconds. The Ellica, another electric vehicle, has gone as fast as 230 mph. The majority of electric cars on the market can move at top speeds of between 60 and 100 mph.

Range

Most electric vehicles currently on the market get a 100-mile range per charge.

The Canadian National Campaign for Electric Vehicles states that the type and number of batteries used, driving habits and weight of a car all affect mileage range per charge for electric vehicles. Electric cars with lead-acid batteries can travel up to 80 miles on a single charge. NiMH batteries can deliver up to 120 miles per charge and lithium-ion batteries get between 250 and 300 miles per charge. Most electric cars on the market get at least 100 miles per charge.

Cost

Electric vehicles cost significantly less to drive than gasoline-powered cars.

According to the Canadian National Campaign for Electric Vehicles, electric vehicles usually cost between 2 and 4 cents per mile to drive. Vehicles that have an internal combustion engine cost between four and six times as much. Electric cars have only a few hundred parts while gasoline-powered cars have a few thousand. This makes the maintenance cost of an electric car three times less than that of a gasoline car. Electric cars are not more expensive to purchase than gasoline-powered cars, and they help protect the environment at the same time.

Considerations

Coal power plants often create the electricity needed for electric cars.

Electric cars have zero emissions from their exhaust pipes, but they still require electricity that's often created by burning coal and other types of fossil fuels. However, in comparison to gasoline-powered cars, the total amount of emissions that are released into the environment are much less with an electric car. According to the Canadian National Campaign for Electric Vehicles, burning 1 gallon of gasoline releases 22 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere. However, only 7 pounds of CO2 are released from a power plant to create the equivalent energy that an electric car would need to travel 25 miles. Electric vehicles are not completely emission free, but they're certainly much more environmentally friendly than gasoline-powered vehicles.

About the Author

Frank Girard is a copywriter and marketing consultant who has been working in the field since 1995. He has published ebooks, including "How to Succeed as a Freelance Marketing Consultant" and "101 Questions and Answers About Internet Marketing." Girard provides freelance copywriting work for clients around the country. He has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of North Carolina.

Photo Credits

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