If we could imagine a possible scenario for our future life, the protagonists would undoubtedly be electric cars. But what is an electric car? An electric car is a vehicle that uses electric energy instead of internal combustion engines (ICE). On the other hand, cars that use both electric energy and ICE are called hybrids. However, what are the advantages and limitations of electric cars?
They do not produce emissions, and if we consider it in the long term, they cause minimal pollution under the condition that they use electric energy from renewable sources. This helps mitigate global warming caused by the greenhouse effect and reduces dependence on oil.
They are quieter compared to cars with internal combustion engines.
They achieve almost constant torque from standstill to the maximum operating speed.
They have better performance at higher speeds compared to gasoline engines, reaching up to 14,000 revolutions per minute.
They have lower maintenance costs because they are not affected by continuous increases in gasoline prices and do not require frequent servicing like gasoline-powered cars, which need regular oil changes and maintenance of various mechanical parts such as the ignition system, pistons, valves, or camshafts.
Moreover, electric cars can be designed to self-charge during vehicle deceleration (regenerative braking), improving their energy efficiency.
There are currently several issues that electric cars are gradually overcoming, such as the high selling price due to high manufacturing costs and the limited travel distance between each battery recharge. Modern models achieve ranges starting from 100 to 120 kilometers for city cars and reach 250-300 kilometers or more for high-power vehicles.
The long charging time, usually around 6 hours for a full recharge, is also being reduced as several modern models can be charged up to 80% in less than an hour.
Furthermore, there is an expected improvement in the limited battery lifespan, which is typically around 3 to 5 years. In the Greek market, electric cars are available from Volkswagen, BMW, and Mercedes, with the prospect of increasing their numbers as incentives for their acquisition gradually increase.
Finally, an ambitious plan is starting to be implemented, although not in our country, where electric cars will pay us for the electricity! The plan is as follows: An electric car is charged at night using cheap off-peak electricity. In the morning, when the owner doesn’t need the car’s full autonomy, they connect it to a power supply, and the grid draws electricity at a higher price due to increased demand.
In other words, the driver earns money from smart energy management. Such a program started in 2018 in the UK, where electric car owners are paid to allow an energy provider company to use their vehicle’s battery (source: http://www.insider.gr/). However, the latest news comes from Renault and Stockholm, Sweden, where the major car manufacturer opened the first electric car exhibition (source: http://www.zougla.gr/automoto/news/article/anikse-to-proto-katastima-ilektrikon-aftokiniton-tis-renault).