An Electric Vehicle as described by the
Oxford dictionary is simply a motor car powered by an electric motor rather
than an internal-combustion engine (Oxford Dictionaries, 2018). There are three types of electric cars,
namely Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles
(PHEVs) and the Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) (Ergon Energy, 2018).
The HEVs use both petrol and electricity to
power, the electric motor starts off the powering, as the speed rises or load
rises the petrol engine takes over (Ergon Energy, 2018).
Figure 1: Hybrid Electric Vehicle
The PHEVs is quite similar to that of the
HEVs, it is also powered by both petrol and electricity, they can recharge the
battery through both regenerative braking and using external electrical
charging outlet as the battery gets low, the petrol engine recharges it (Ergon
Figure 2: Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle
While the BEVs, on the other hand, are
different from the other two in the sense that they are fully electric powered
vehicles, they do not have a petrol engine (Ergon Energy, 2018). An external
charging outlet is needed in other to power up the battery (Ergon Energy, 2018). Just like the PHEVs, they
can recharge their batteries through regenerative braking (Ergon Energy, 2018).
Battery Electric Vehicle
There are quite obvious differences between
the three kinds of electric cars, one is solely powered by electricity, while
the other two are powered by both petrol and electricity (Ergon Energy, 2018).
Figure 4: Differences between types of electric cars
Just like every other car the electric cars
also has its advantages and disadvantages. The Electric Vehicles are mostly
charged by the electricity, which implies little or no gas (petrol) is needed
(Conserve Engine Future, 2018). The Electric Vehicles are 100% eco-friendly,
this is because they have electrically powered engines, therefore they do not
emit any poisonous gas into the environment (Conserve Engine Future, 2018).
They are equally as safe to drive as the fully fuel powered vehicles, they
undergo the series of tests as fuel powered cars (Conserve Engine Future, 2018).
The thought of electric cars being so expensive should be abolished by now, this
is because, with more technological involvements, the costs have gone down
unlike earlier when they first came out (Conserve Engine Future, 2018). The
mass production of batteries and available tax incentives have further brought
the costs down, therefore they are more cost-effective (Conserve Engine Future,
2018). Due to their engines being electrically powered there is, therefore, no
need to lubricate the engines, you also don’t need to send for service as
frequent as the fuel powered vehicles would require (Conserve Engine Future,
2018). The Electric Vehicles also curb noise pollution due to them being much
quieter compared to the fuel powered vehicles (Conserve Engine Future, 2018). But
on the disadvantage side, the electric engines have a limited mileage range
(Blue, 2010). A completely charged battery takes up to eight hours (Blue,
2010). The vehicles are heavy due to the batteries which weigh about 1000
pounds, this isn’t good because the heavier the battery is the faster it tends
to drain (Anon, 2017). The Electric Cars require charging stations, for long
distance journeys there needs to be a place for charging located almost at
every point and also to recharge takes quite a time, it takes about 3 hours to
recharge (Anon, 2017).
The research gotten for the material is from
a secondary source because the information gotten was a piece of work done by
someone else. The research done on the electric vehicles can be termed as being
quantitative because most of the piece of information gotten can actually be
measured. The topic given was analyzed firstly thoroughly to understand exactly
what was required.
Chart 1: The Fluctuation in Crude oil
(2012-2017) (McMahon, 2017).
As seen from the chart above there is a recent decline in the price
of crude oil and also a fluctuation over the years (McMahon, 2017). The crude
oil price is to an extent determined by actual supply, demand and also
expectation (Economist, 2014). The demand is getting low just because of the
weak economic activities and a growing switch away from oil to other fuels
(Economist, 2014). The US Dollar has also been one of the main factors for the
price drop of crude oil (Trever, 2015). There is always a great pressure on the
market when the dollar gets strong because the value of commodities tends to
fall (Trever, 2015). The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting
Countries(OPEC), a big chain of the oil producers’ unwilling attitude to
stabilize the oil market is also a major factor in the sharp decline of crude
oil price (Trever, 2015). A country like the UK which is not an oil producing
country, the decline in oil is coming as a blessing in disguise to the
citizens, this is because the price of fuel would definitely drop as the price
of oil keeps dropping (Bowden, 2016). The pump price had already fallen from
131p a liter when the oil started declining in the summer of 2014 to just below
£1 at some supermarket forecourts (Bowden, 2016). With the huge tax on fuel, analysts are
forecasting a liter to go for as little as 86p if oil declines to as low as $10
(Bowden, 2016). The eco-friendliness of the Electric vehicles shifts every five
minutes, and at this rate, as more zero-emission technologies are added to its
grid we might as well attain the supposed 100% eco-friendliness soon (Gizmodo,
2015). A research was taken out on the first Electric Vehicle in this modern
era in 2013 (Cobb, 2014). The study observed that over 2000 of the modern era
Electric Vehicles have been driven at about over 35 million miles (Cobb, 2014).
Some other researches have been carried out on the Electric Vehicles, but most
of the cars were either one or two years old, they all had covered around
50,000-100,000 miles (Cobb, 2014). Manufactures even go as far as granting a
warranty on the batteries to the costumes for quite a long time, for example,
the Tesla warranties the 60-kwh Model S to 125,000 miles (Cobb, 2014). Most manufacturers
usually warranty the batteries for eight years and the mileage is at least
100,000 (Cobb, 2014). The cost of replacing a battery in an Electric Vehicle
boils down to the make of the car, the year of manufacture of car and also the
model of the car (Baxter, 2016). The replacement of batteries in the modern era
of electric vehicles is quite rare, the battery is now one of the most reliable
parts of the electric vehicle (Baxter, 2016). To replace a battery for the
electric vehicles, you would need to have between $1000-$2000 (Baxter, 2016).
The Battery used by most electric vehicles produce between 100 to 300 volts of
electricity, this voltage is therefore too high (Neiger, 2014). To contain the
voltage, the battery of the electric vehicle is then placed in an insulated
metal box placed behind the rear passenger seats (Neiger, 2014). The cables
used are also insulated with heavy-duty orange plastic casings (Neiger, 2014). The
price of charging your electric vehicles differs between charging at your workplace,
at your home, at a public station or even a rapid charging station (Anon,
2016). Charging at home is the most economical, it costs you about £3.64 for the
battery to fully charge (Anon, 2016). An average overnight electricity runs at
a rate of 13p per kwh (Anon, 2016). If you are charging at work, it depends
solely on the employer, because some employers tend to install charging points
and offer free access to the points throughout the day (Anon, 2016). Public
stations like car parks or restaurants are often free, depending on your time
of stay in premises (Anon, 2016). The rapid charging stations like motorway
service stations are the most expensive running at about £6.50 per 30 mins
charge (Anon, 2016).
Figure 5: A
car getting charged at a charging station
electric vehicles are definitely a part of the future of transportation. Due to
the alarming rate at which countries are diverting away from the fully powered engines
to the hybrid vehicles (Hockenos, 2017). From the running cost, the maintenance
cost, the booming supports from different countries and the greater
environmental advantages (Conserve Energy Future, 2018), the Electric vehicles
have a greater chance of being the future of personal transport. Despite new
efforts to make the electric vehicles 100% eco-friendly, researches need to be
made on how to dispose of the batteries after they wear out.
Baxter, E. (2016). How much does it cost to
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