Electric Vehicles: What, Where, and Why?


Michael Movchin

Photo of an electric car charging at a port in Germany. 2012-09-06T08:37:42Z Mmovchin 3476×2261 (3069620 Bytes)

Kieran Murphy, Sports Editor

Everyday there seems as if there is a new endorsement for electric cars, whether it be a Washington Post article or a Super Bowl advertisement, it seems like the idea of “going green” is consistently being forced down everyone’s throats. But with new technology and new innovations, there’s always a fair share of questions and speculations. So here’s a couple pieces of basic information you may need to know about these “EVs.”

What is an EV?

EV stands for Electric Vehicle. These can range from full, plug-in electric cars to hybrids which can run on both electricity and gasoline.

How much do Electric Vehicles cost?

The average new electric car costs $65,000. This is 37% higher than the price for the average gas powered car. That being said, there are more affordable options out there. For instance, there is the Chevy Bolt which starts at around $27,000.

Are electric cars better for the environment?

While fuel emissions continue to rise, electric cars are looking better and better. That being said, the batteries for EVs take rare metals to create, which can be extremely harmful to the environment. These dangers are made apparent in the case of lithium mines. That being said, some companies such as Volkswagen have announced that they are constructing a recycling plant for these batteries.

Where will the energy come from?

The charging ports are essentially just a big outlet that gets the same energy as your phone charger does when you plug it in a wall. There will be little to no problem supplying electricity to EV buyers as long as most charge their cars overnight. That’s when extra generation capacity goes unused because demand is lowest.

How long does it take to charge an electric car?

There are many variables to the charge length of an electric car. For instance, larger batteries will obviously take longer to charge than smaller ones. EVs will also charge slower and lose battery quicker in cold weather.

How long will the battery last?

It’s estimated that the average electric car battery will last anywhere from 10-20 years. Some companies even have warranties. For instance, Nissan guarantees that their batteries will last at least 8 years or 100,000 miles.