Electric Cars: A Definitive Guide

What Is An Electric Car?

An electric car is powered by an electric motor instead of a gasoline engine. The electric motor gets energy from a controller, which regulates the amount of power—based on the driver’s use of an accelerator pedal. The electric car (also known as electric vehicle or EV) uses energy stored in its rechargeable batteries, which are recharged by common household electricity.

Take a quick tour of electric cars you can buy today (or very soon)!

With the all-electric Leaf, Nissan is taking the lead in pure electric cars in the United States. The Nissan Leaf is a medium-size all-electric hatchback that seats five adults and has a range of 100 miles. The purchase price is around $25,000, after federal government incentives. It started to roll out in select cities in late 2010.

Unlike a hybrid car—which is fueled by gasoline and uses a battery and motor to improve efficiency—an electric car is powered exclusively by electricity. Historically, EVs have not been widely adopted because of limited driving range before needing to be recharged, long recharging times, and a lack of commitment by automakers to produce and market electric cars that have all the creature comforts of gas-powered cars. That’s changing. As battery technology improves—simultaneously increasing energy storage and reducing cost—major automakers are expected to begin introducing a new generation of electric cars.

Electric cars produce no tailpipe emissions, reduce our dependency on oil, and are cheaper to operate. Of course, the process of producing the electricity moves the emissions further upstream to the utility company’s smokestack—but even dirty electricity used in electric cars usually reduces our collective carbon footprint.

A Comparative Figure between Electric & Gasoline Car

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