How Are Electric Vehicles Charged?

Before buying an electric vehicle it is essential to gain familiarity with the necessary on-board equipment to prevent “charging” or, to use a current term, “top-up” problems.

It is important to check that the electric vehicle is fitted with a battery charger with a “standard” connection, i. e. suitable to draw electrical energy directly from ENEL’s grid and therefore from the power outlet in our garage. If it’s not then there is something wrong and you need to contact the seller.

This solution in the standard equipment fitted on an electric vehicle allows to charge the batteries in any place with mains electricity. Indeed electric cars have other various types of battery chargers. However, these do not allow to draw electricity from the mains supply but need special adapters or need to be connected directly to the charging points in service stations now available in large towns. The ideal solution is to have a battery charger on board the car with a high-frequency standard socket without the need to resort to external devices.

When taking into consideration an electric vehicle one needs to examine the costs to bear for the energy required to power the set of batteries. Models that allow to reduce energy costs are definitely the ones that allow to charge the batteries directly from the national domestic mains supply. Usually a full energy charge for a complete set of traction batteries for vehicles that draw energy directly from the mains supply does not cost more than 2 euros.

Vehicles fitted with a standard battery charger allow to optimise the time spent at home to charge the batteries. Indeed on average it takes 8 hours to fully charge a set of traction batteries. We recommend charging the entire set of batteries overnight, after the vehicle has been used during the day, in conjunction with the cheapest electricity tariff. It is also possible to charge the batteries for less time during the day for partial charges.

Partial charges do not result in problems affecting the runtime and/or efficiency of the set of batteries, as they are not subject to the memory effect. Precisely because they do not suffer from the memory effect, the set of batteries of electric vehicles has an average life of about 4 years.

A fully charged set of batteries of an electric vehicle allows for an uptime that varies between 70 and 100 km, depending on the model and set-up selected.

Electric Vehicles – Growing Presence on European Roads

With the cost of fuel skyrocketing around the world, and more consumers becoming conscious of the negative impact cars have on the environment, car manufacturers focus their production efforts on new full-electric vehicles as well as new hybrid models. Ford Motor Company has had development plans in the works for environmentally friendly vehicles to be increasingly prevalent on the roads for years-particularly in North America. As one of the many initiatives Ford is currently taking in the quest to provide the public with more fuel-efficient alternatives for vehicles, the company is promising to introduce five full-electric and hybrid vehicle models in Europe by the year 2013. This plan is part of Ford’s global electric vehicles plan. Electric and hybrid vehicles will greatly reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions as well as reduce fossil fuel consumption.

While protecting the environment should be at the forefront of what people look for in purchasing a new vehicle, the hybrid car movement is still rather new, and the full-electric vehicle is still somewhat of an abstract concept to many consumers. According to a survey done by consumer reports, price, range and overall performance are generally top considerations for most consumers in the market when buying a new vehicle. Another consideration for people who would possibly consider buying an electric vehicle, is the accessibility of electric charging stations-people are more likely to buy, if they know it would be easy to “charge up” the vehicle conveniently. Ford, however, has a vision to bring a wide range of top performing fuel-efficient, “green” vehicles to millions.

John Fleming, Chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe and Executive Vice President of Global Manufacturing and Labour Affairs, stated in a press release, “These new advanced technology models are key to Ford’s commitment to delivering a portfolio of alternative power train vehicles globally and to European customers in the next few years,”

The first full-electric car to be launched as part of Ford’s agenda is the Transit Connect Electric. This vehicle is a compact van, commonly used for workers that need to carry excessive cargo. The idea is that electric charging stations will be housed at the workplace for employees to charge-up before going on their route of daily work tasks. This full-electric vehicle was featured at the New York Auto Show in 2010. It is said to have a 40 KW, 300-volt Siemens electric motor, and a lithium-ion battery to power the vehicle for an estimated 120,000 miles total. With an 80-mile range, the Transit Connect Electric vehicle is said to be a “smooth, quiet ride” by a test driver. When connected to a 240-volt outlet, the vehicle would take six to eight hours to be fully charged.

The next car in Ford’s electric vehicle line up for its global electric vehicles plan will be the Ford Focus Electric, coming out in 2012. This vehicle will be powered 100 percent by lithium-ion batteries. The result of an all-battery powered vehicle is zero emissions. The range reaches 100 miles, and with a 220-volt outlet, takes six to eight hours to reach a full charge. The car will also have a handy interface which tells the driver specific details about the battery charge and range. The Focus is a compact electric vehicle with a modern exterior.

“Ford is committed to help lead the way to find creative solutions and ensure that electrified vehicles can deliver benefits to our customers, the environment and our business around the globe in a sustainable way,” stated Nancy Gioia, Ford Director of Global Electrification.

Ford will then launch two versions of the C-MAX-a hybrid-electric version and a plug-in hybrid-electric version-in 2013. The C-MAX will be the first hybrid-electric vehicle model launched in Europe, and the first model to utilize Ford’s new 1.6-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine. The traditional gas-fuelled C-MAX is a seven-seat vehicle that was launched in North America for the 2011 model year. A smaller version will be developed for the hybrid-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric versions releasing in Europe. The Ford plant in Valencia, Spain will be building the vehicles, which will be for the European market only. Fleming said, “The Hybrid-Electric and Plug-In Hybrid-Electric derivatives of the all-new Ford C-MAX are great news for the Valencia plant and region, for Spain, and for Ford customers across Europe.”

The last remaining hybrid-electric vehicle due to launch by 2013 is still yet to be determined. However, the launch of all five hybrid and electric vehicles have caused much hype since Ford originally announced its plan.

Hybrid Vehicles Have Good Combustion

You’d be interested to know that there are different types of hybrid vehicles available in the market. There are even more different types of hybrid cars being worked upon and they are expected to arrive soon. If you are looking to buy such an automobile, you will have to do a lot of research before you purchase one. Because there are lot of different hybrid automobiles having different technology and the prices are different as well. Following are the different types of hybrid cars available in the market.

Full hybrids – These are arguably the best amongst the hybrid vehicles available in the market right now. These are based on two separate systems of propulsion i.e electric motor and internal combustion engine. Both of these work independently of each other. Under different driving conditions the cars are powered just by electric motor. These cars use regenerative braking; they charge the battery through the energy that would have been lost otherwise.

Mild hybrids – These types of hybrid vehicles were created in order to capitalize on the high demand for such cars. Examine these vehicles closely and you will realize that the mild hybrids are just like other hybrids but they have a turbocharger. That is why these cars are not regarded as hybrid cars by many. In such vehicles, the power train is not connected to the electric motor like the full hybrid. Internal combustion is assisted in electric motor but it is not capable of propelling the car on its own. These cars are not bad but they can mislead the buyer. Manufacturing process is quite inexpensive and is not that complex either. They also give you better gas mileage. An excellent example of such a car is the Chevrolet Malibu hybrid which gives 2 mpg more than the standard counterpart.

Plug-In Hybrids – These types of hybrid vehicles are not out in the market right now but you can see them in the near future. These cars use internal combustion engine as a back up to electric motor. These cars can be plugged in to your standard household electric outlet for charging and they also have the same charging mechanism as the hybrid automobile. Full hybrids use internal and electric combustion engine but the plug in cars use only the internal combustion engine as backup when batteries of electric motors are empty. The car will run as full hybrid at this time. These cars give you better fuel efficiency as compared to other hybrids and many people consider this technology as the future of such cars.

Performance Hybrid – Electric motors have the ability to offer instant torque unlike conventional combustion engine. There are few companies which figured out that you can pair a small gasoline motor with electric motor and get the performance of a larger engine along with better fuel efficiency. Lexus GS450h is an excellent example of such hybrid vehicles; it is capable of achieving a top speed of 0-60 miles in 5.2 seconds. However, it also gives 25mpg city / 28mpg freeway which is not too high compared to the fuel-run vehicles. Get more quality information hybrid vehicles here.

Used Cars For Sale – Useful and Affordable

At present times, you will find that a number of used cars which are available for sale are actually just a few months or few years old and are still within the warranty period offered by the manufacturers. Therefore, it is always better to look for a suitable car for your purchase in the second hand car market first rather than directly investing huge amounts of money in a brand new car. This is especially applicable for those with a limited budget.

Finding a used car for sale is not a very big deal. However, you need to proceed with the purchase in a systematic manner. First of all, you need to do your own homework about the car that you are planning to purchase. You need to know the details about the model and the special features which will prove useful for you. While collecting information about a car, don’t just collect information only about its strength, simply because you like the car very much. It is very important for you to know about its weaknesses as well. Perform an unbiased research to know about the actual performance of the car and its reputation in the market.

Secondly, before making a purchase from a car sales company, make sure you have the complete history report of the car with you. It is very important for you to know everything about the car’s past such as, has it ever met with an accident, how many owners owned the car before you, etc. You should also ask the dealer about the insurance and servicing records of the car.

At last but not the least, although there are a number of car dealers present in the market, who are offering used cars for sale at cheap prices, it is very important that you make a genuine and legal purchase from a reliable and reputed dealer only. Ask them about other value added services, such as an extended warranty, free servicing etc, that you can purchase along with your car at a discounted price, and avail extra benefits.