Will Electric Vehicles Go the Distance?
Gasoline, as a primary energy source, is on its way out. We don’t know when the shift will happen completely, but the limited amount of existing fossil fuel makes the transition from oil to an alternative fuel inevitable. Electric vehicles will play a large role in decreasing dependence on fossil fuel because automobiles currently consume so much oil; however, in their present state, electric vehicles can’t compete with the greater distance gasoline vehicles can travel before refueling. But that should change as technology improves. Read on to find out how electric vehicles work now, and when they will be in a position to replace gasoline vehicles as the dominant mode of transportation.
Range of motion: How far can electric vehicles go?
Current battery technology limits electric vehicles to around 100 to 200 miles on a full battery in “optimal conditions.” Once you add in hills, traffic jams and unpredictable driving conditions, that distance can be much lower. In contrast, many gasoline vehicles can travel more than 300 miles per tank of gas. So how can electric vehicle range be improved?
Better electric car battery life: Current electric car batteries are large, heavy and expensive. As technology progresses, electric car batteries will get smaller, cheaper and more efficient. This will allow for longer distances to be traveled per charge, and will lower the cost of electric vehicles.
Shorter charging time: Fully charging an electric car battery can take four to eight hours. Some vehicles can run after a “quick charge,” which charges the battery to 80 percent capacity, but even a quick charge takes about 30 minutes. The limited range of an electric vehicle with a full battery would be less of an issue if the car could be recharged quickly en route, just as gasoline vehicles are refueled. But as of now, an electric vehicle owner can’t comfortably travel more than about 50 miles from home, since anything more could deplete the electric car battery and leave the driver stranded.
More charging stations: The availability of electric vehicle charging stations is also a concern. If electric vehicle owners wish to travel far from home, a network of charging stations will have to be in place. This infrastructure will encourage the adoption of electric vehicles and make them a viable alternative to traditional gasoline vehicles.
Most of these issues should be resolved as electric vehicle technology improves. In the meantime, if you’re planning on buying a new electric-, hybrid- or gasoline-powered vehicle, be sure to read online auto insurance reviews and get more than one insurance quote before selecting a provider.
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