Electric Vehicles are vehicles that use electric or traction motors to generate horsepower. They may be powered by plugging it in a charging point,  batteries, or by a combination of electricity and petrol.

There are various types of electric vehicles available nowadays. Familiarising yourself with it will be advantageous on your end as it will help you make an informed decision.

Battery Powered Electric Vehicles

These vehicles use batteries as the only source of power to create propulsion. They don’t use petrol or generators.

Hybrid Electric Vehicles

These vehicles combine two sources of power to make the engine work: electricity and petrol. They are available in ‘plug-in’ and ‘non plug-in’ options.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

These vehicles use electric motors and internal combustion engines. You can charge them by plugging it to an electricity source or by recharging the batteries through wheel motion, internal combustion engine or plugging it to a charging point.

Are electric vehicles really green?

A lot of people are wondering if electric vehicles are the greener option against traditional vehicles. To create the comparison, taken into account are production emissions and electricity generation.

According to studies, electric vehicles instantly improve air quality by reducing the amount of harmful emissions emitted into the atmosphere. So owning one means you are helping in creating a better climate for you and the future generation.

Are all electric vehicle chargers the same?

Electric vehicles rely on three types of chargers or charging speeds; slow, fast and rapid. The power that is produced through these vehicles are measured in kilowatts.

Slow chargers use between 3 kilowatts to 6 kilowatts of energy and are best when you prefer overnight charging. It usually takes around 8 to 12 hours for a pure electric vehicle to charge and around 2 to 4 hours for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle to charge. They use a cable which connects to a type 2 or three-pin .

Fast chargers use between 7 kilowatts to 22 kilowatts of energy and take around 3 to 4 hours to complete. In the UK, the 7 kilowatt untethered Type 2 inlet is the commonly used public charge point. Tethered connectors are also available for Type 1 and Type 2 connectors.

Rapid chargers offer the fastest way to charge electric vehicles by way of DC charging. There are two categories of rapid chargers; rapid and ultra rapid. Rapid charging points account for the majority of the UK’s infrastructure for rapid charging, offering 43 or 50 kilowatts DC. Ultra-rapid chargers, on the other hand, use between more than a hundred 50 kilowatts to 350 50 kilowatts.

Electric Vehicle Plugs

A standard connector and receptacle is now commonly used in modern chargers and vehicles, and is supported by charging system manufacturers and vehicle manufacturers alike. It’s called the SAE J1772. Any electric vehicle with this plug can use a Level 1 or Level 2 electric vehicle supply equipment or EVSE.

Do electric vehicles pay road tax?

In the UK, electric vehicles are exempt from vehicle tax. In order for your electric vehicle to be exempt, the electricity must be supplied from an electric storage battery or an external source that is not connected to any source of energy when the vehicle is moving.

What batteries are used in electric vehicles?

Electric vehicles use rechargeable batteries. These batteries supply the necessary power by allowing a reversible charging and discharging process to happen. The leading types of rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles are lead acid, nickel-metal hydride and lithium-ion.

Lead Acid Batteries

Lead acid batteries are reliable but are already considered as obsolete technology for modern electric vehicles. They are now commonly used in golf carts and fork lifts. They require regular electrolyte level inspection and last for about 3 years.

These batteries are heavy and are considered to have a negative impact on the environment because they generate toxic or harmful gases and concentrated amounts of sulfuric acid. They were used in early models of electric vehicles.

Modern electric vehicles no longer use lead acid batteries due to developments in battery technology.

Nickel-Metal Hydride Batteries

These batteries offer double the value of energy generated compared to lead acid batteries, making it a far superior choice. They are considerably lighter and use lesser storage space.

Nickel-metal hydride batteries are still considered inferior to lithium-ion, which offers 40% more energy. However, nickel-metal hydride batteries are durable and long-lasting; in some instances, the batteries have been running successfully for more than 7 years and have been functioning for over 100,000 miles.

The downside to these batteries are their low charging efficiency, self discharge, and heat generation during discharging and fast charging. To counteract with the heating effect, a cooling system has to be added, which consequently increases the overall cost and weight of the battery.

Lithium-Ion Batteries

Nowadays, lithium-ion batteries reign supreme in electric vehicles. The Financial Times even predicted that these batteries will capture 90% of the market share by 2025.

How do lithium-ion batteries work? They make use of a lithium cobalt oxide cathode and graphite anode. This technology enables the lithium-ion to overcome the shortcomings of lead acid and nickel-metal hydride batteries.

They are lightweight, capable of producing a good charge cycle rate, higher in energy density, higher in cell voltage and much better with self-discharging.

Lithium-ion batteries are only one-third the weight  and three times more powerful than lead-acid batteries.

There are a number of types of lithium-ion batteries available.

  • lithium-nickel-cobalt-aluminum oxide (NCA)
  • lithium-manganese oxide (LMO)
  • lithium-nickel manganese cobalt (NMC)
  • lithium-titanate (LTO)
  • lithium-iron phosphate (LFP)

Due to the increasing popularity of electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries are pushed in the spotlight. Electric vehicle battery designers are now thinking of ways to improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries by enhancing its lifespan, charging speed, fire resistance and its overall impact to the environment.

To put it all together, electric vehicles are here to stay and the battery system attached to it plays an important and significant role as well.

If you are looking for a reliable company that can support and install all the required technology for your electric vehicle at your home or business premises, contact MW Smart Homes today!