Electric cars are a hot topic at the moment. The advances in modern technology make streets filled with battery powered, rechargeable cars less a science fiction image, and more a realistic event that could take place as soon as the next decade. But apart from the obvious, what is the difference between your regular petrol guzzler and the eco-friendly motor of the future?
Well firstly, there’s the biggest plus point to electric (and hybrid, for that matter) cars – lower emissions. Cars that run on electricity don’t emit Co2 – it’s as simple as that. We’re all well aware of the effect Co2 is having on our planet, so the fact that electric cars don’t do this is the major deciding factor, and also one of the reasons they are being championed so heavily by environmental groups and some government bodies.
The second major difference is in cost of fuel, or ‘fuel economy’. The cost of the electricity required to power an electric car is significantly cheaper than that of regular fuel such as petrol or diesel. However, some people have remarked that when the time comes that more people are using electric than regular cars, the cost of electricity (for this purpose at least), will rise steeply. Citing the laws of supply and demand, these detractors oppose the idea of electric cars as a cost effective option.
Another difference between regular cars and electric cars is the amount of maintenance and upkeep they require. Through necessity, fuel led cars are complicated – the mechanics and science behind making a car move via petrol or diesel is significantly more complicated than with electricity. Here, value for money is a true benefit, as maintenance costs will be lower through easier to maintain engines.
Finally, the amount of miles that the two cars can respectively cover is massively different. Petrol and other fuel based cars can run for considerably longer than their electric counterpart. This is mainly due to the electric battery needing to be recharged after about 150km, whereas a fuel based cares can do hundreds of km on a full tank. Supporters of the electric car have highlighted, however, that with more people viewing the electric car as a realistic option instead of used cars, manufacturers will invest more time and money in producing long life batteries that can match the might of fuel based engines.