Electric cars, also generally referred to as electric vehicles (EVs), are automobiles that are propelled by electric motors, instead of a carbon fuel engine. The electric motors are supplied with electricity from batteries. Instead of a petrol engine, an EV has an electric motor, and instead of a fuel tank, it has a battery.
Because electric motors are quieter than carbon fuel engines, EVs are quieter to drive. Driving one for the first time, you might be thrown off by how quiet it is. There is no vrooom when you hit the accelerator pedal!
5 Facts About Electric Cars
- Electric cars do not have gearboxes. Unlike petrol and diesel engines which are highly inefficient and require gears to deliver the needed torque to the vehicle’s wheels, electric motors generate enough torque and so do not require a gearbox. Surprise. It is for this reason that EVs can deliver instant acceleration, whereas petrol-powered cars need you to switch through gears from 1 to 4 or 5 to accelerate.
- Electric vehicles have low maintenance and running costs. Why? For one, the engine has less moving parts and no combustion. This translates to much less wear and tear in the engine when compared to fossil fuel cars. The lack of a gearbox is part of this equation. What of running costs? Generally, it costs far less to charge up the batteries of an EV than to fill the tank of a fuel-powered car to travel over the same distance.
- Electric vehicles cost more than their petrol engine counterparts. While the maintenance and running costs of an EV are low, you will spend a small fortune to acquire one. This is because, generally, EVs are more expensive to buy than carbon fuel cars. Why? The batteries. Batteries are still expensive, and till we find more affordable means of building batteries, this situation will remain that way.
- The first electric car was built in 1884, and electric cars were the most popular kind of cars for about 100 years after that. Shocking; right? A Londoner by the name Thomas Parker is on record as having built the first EV. Internal combustion engines (ICEs) were not quite usable back then in 1884 and EVs ruled the roads till the early 20th century when ICEs became technologically advanced enough to power road vehicles.
- Tesla is not the only company making electric cars: Other auto makers manufacturing and selling EVs include: BYD, GM, Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, Audi, and Hyundai.
Frequently asked Questions About Electric Cars
Here are some of the questions you have about EVs, along with the answers.
Which companies are making electric vehicles?
Companies already manufacturing EVs include: Tesla, BYD, SAIC / GM / Wuling, Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, Audi, and Hyundai.
Which car company is selling the most electric cars?
In 2022, Tesla is the leading EV company in the world.
When was the first electric car built?
The first-ever electric car was built in 1884 in the UK.
Do electric cars charge while driving?
As at this time, electric vehicles are unable to charge while driving. That ability may appear in the future. However, certain types of hybrid electric vehicles are able to charge while driving.
Do electric car have keys?
Most of them do, though it is possible to operate own without a key.
How does an electric car transmission work?
Unlike regular cars with an internal combustion engine, an EV transmits driving power directly from the electric motor to the wheels of the vehicle, without the need for a gearbox. A very few high-performance EVs have a two-speed gearbox. But regular EVs do not have a gearbox at all.
Do electric cars have clutch?
The clutch is needed in a car for the purpose of changing gears. As the average EV does not have a gearbox, the clutch is not needed, so it doesn’t have one.
How fast can electric cars go?
Electric vehicles have been known to have top speeds of between 100 mph (160 kilometres per hour) and 258 mph (415 kilometres per hour).
How far can an electric car go?
It depends. We do have on record EVs that can only cover 60 miles (96 kilometres) on a single charge, at the lower end, and models that can do 290 miles (466 kilometres), at the upper end.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.