Electric Cars: Increasingly More Available and More Appealing to the Public

Top 10 Things You Didn't Know about Electric Vehicles

| 11/30/2012

EV in field

 It costs only $1 for today’s all-electric vehicles to travel the same distance as a similar-sized gasoline car would on a gallon of fuel.

Photo By Fotolia/Petair

The following press release was provided Nov. 30, 2012 by Energy.gov. 

10. Did you know that the average American’s daily round-trip commute is less than 30 miles? With many electric vehicles having a range of more than 70 miles a charge, they are a reliable and comfortable way for Americans to get from point A to point B. For longer trips, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle with a back-up internal combustion engine may be a good alternative. Both help reduce our dependence on foreign oil and contribute to a cleaner environment. Watch the Energy 101: Electric Vehicles video to learn more.

9. The electric vehicle market is growing faster than you might realize. More than 7,000 plug-in and all-electric vehicles were sold in October 2012 — making it the highest month of electric car sales to date.

8. Currently there are 13 electric vehicle models on the market, and the number continues to rise. For model years 2013 and 2014, manufacturers are expected to debut at least 18 new plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles, including the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV and Fiat 500e — both of which were unveiled this week at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show.

7. Electric vehicles are a highly efficient mode of transportation. Up to 80 percent of the energy in the battery is transferred directly to power the car, compared with only 14-26 percent of the energy from gasoline-powered vehicles.

6. Unlike gasoline-powered vehicles, electric cars emit no tailpipe pollutants when running on electricity — cleaning the air we breathe and helping automakers meet the Obama Administration’s new fuel economy and emissions standards. Read Why Electric Cars Are Cleaner to learn more. 

12/21/2012 8:22:39 PM

Electric power generation is among the dirtiest of heavy industry. Much worse than transportation. Essentially doubling home electric usage would double the carbon footprint and pollution. putting your own solar system would seem great, but I'm not sure the carbon footprint wouldn't negate that also. Eventually we will have to change to the bicycle or something as clean if we are to save our environment.

atlant schmidt
12/21/2012 3:09:09 PM

Irving: All electric cars "regenerate" from the car's momentum when you're decelerating or rolling downhill. But when you're traveling at a constant speed, energy must be expended to overcome wind losses, mechanical friction, and tire rolling losses. That energy is lost forever as heat. The Tesla *DID NOT* arrive home with a full battery; it simply had a much larger battery than most electric vehicles so it usually arrived home with a lot of charge stil left.

atlant schmidt
12/21/2012 3:06:46 PM

The Volt's electric numbers are worse than I described; I forgot to include inefficiencies in the battery charge/discharge cycle. Taking a measured 77% (on the 120 Volt charger) as the round-trip efficiency, that means my Volt costs me 7.5 cents/mile or worse than the Prius running on gasoline (at 6.8 cents/mile).

atlant schmidt
12/21/2012 3:01:59 PM

I'm sorry, but Point #2 is far too optimistic.I own a Chevy Volt and right now, compared to a Toyota Prius, the Volt costs me almost as much to operate on electricity as the Prius would cost on gasoline. If I don't want to freeze in the cold, my Volt will use about 350 WattHours per mile. My electricity costs about $0.165/KWH (with a little bit of that being fixed costs). That means the Volt currently costs me about 5.8 cents/mile when running on electricity. A Prius gets about 50 MPG on regular gas. A gallon of regular gas now costs about $3.40 here. That means the Prius costs 6.8 cents/mile. Putting it into your terms, my Volt can go 59 miles on the price of a gallon of gas whereas the Prius can go 50 miles. And the equation becomes far worse when the Volt switches to gasoline power. Compared to the Prius, it gets *LOUSY* mileage, running somewhere between 35 and 42 MPG. And the Volt burns *PREMIUM* fuel rather than regular! So the Volt, running on $3.70/gallon gasoline, costs between 10.6 and 8.8 cents/mile; this is noticeable worse than the Prius.

abbey bend
12/21/2012 2:15:23 PM

While in the future electric vehicles will have a small place in the transportation market place, we are not even kind of close yet! I think this is being effectively demonstrated by articles like this which have a number of exxagerations and errors. It would take a longer article than this one to list them all, so there is no point is attempting to debunk much of what is being said. :( However, one can do your own research, Volt sales are boosted only because the Federal government purchased a large number of Volts, not a true plug in car, and it cost almost $250,000.00 per unit when all of the taxpayer costs are factored in! Not to mention GM is losing around $20,000.00 to $32,000.00 per car on production, this does not include the taxpayer funded rebate!! Why should vehicles get taxpayer funded rebates in the first place??? Other glaring faults are the cost of operation and efficiency of electrics. Real costs are much higher than quoted and power loss between generation and cosumption at the wheels is also much higher. Why the electric lobby wants to always misquote them is interesting in itself! Much like the "grow your own fuel crowd" does the same. We do not, nor will we anytime in the foreseeable future, have a power grid capable of supporting electric vehicles for large scale mass transportation. Two things have to be looked at now, if we want affordable, sane transportation in the future; cheap power generation, not happening at this time, and mobile fuel cells for autos and the like, not happening at this time. Batteries are not now, nor will they likely be in the future, practical methods of supplying power for transportation, and articles like this one do nothing towards looking for a practical, sane method!

irving hacker
12/21/2012 1:59:09 PM

why don't they recharge the E-cars from the driveshaft........TESLA had developed an electric car recharging from the driveshaft & could travel 350 miles, still arriving home w/a charged battery!!!

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