Electric vehicles are an idea whose time has come. They have moved out of the niche where the only people who drove them were free loving throw backs to the flower child generation. If you are unfamiliar with electric vehicles (EVs) here is how they work:
EVs do not use any combustion to propel them; instead they use a battery pack. When you lift the hood of an electric car, you donâ€™t see the engine and the radiator and all the stuff of a usual car, you will see batteries.
There is no concept of an ignition in an EV, you simply accelerate and you are off. There is no combustion so there is no tail pipe either and consequently no emissions. You simply plug the vehicle into an ordinary wall socket and when the battery pack of the EV is charged you are ready to go.
Therefore electric vehicles are often touted as zero emission or zero pollution vehicles, which they are, because they actually produce no smoke or any kind of pollution when you run them. But this comes with a caveat you should be aware of: the electricity that you use to charge an EV has to come from a truly clean source if you are to make such a claim of zero emission or zero pollution.
If however the electricity comes from a coal fired plant, then there was a lot of pollution created to produce the electricity in the first place. EV manufacturers do however claim that even when you factor in the pollution created for producing the electricity, running an EV is still a far cleaner option.
No Noise, No Idling
EVs are remarkably silent vehicles and produce none of the noise that you normally associate with automobiles. There is usually a low hum or a whirring of a battery running that is all! Another caveat here, other road users are used to vehicles making a noise and consequently other vehicles users or pedestrians may not â€˜seeâ€™ an EV coming.
Since there is no ignition, there is also no concept of idling. When you are stuck in a traffic jam or waiting at a traffic intersection you donâ€™t have to wonder whether or not to switch off your engine. In a traffic jam this is actually a great vehicle: no noise and no smoke.
The main reasons that have kept these vehicles a niche vehicle are the limited range of most EVs and the fact that the technology is still being developed for mass production and most EVs available are somewhat rudimentary.