Driving an EV
At Drive Green we love driving electric cars. There are many differences that make the EV driving experience an improvement on the conventional car. If you want to know how an EV drives the best thing you can do is take one for a test drive:
If you can’t make an appointment right now, read on and we’ll explain some of the basic differences between an electric car and a petrol or diesel vehicle.
Your First Drive in an Electric Car
What You Will Notice Straight Away
EVs are automatic
Most EVs do not have a gearbox. This makes for a very-smooth power delivery and instant power when required.
EVs are very quiet
EVs offer a peaceful driving environment. There are very few conventional vehicles that can compete on noise levels.
EVs feel very smooth
With no clutch, no gears, and no noise an EV will glide along in comparison to a conventional vehicle.
EVs feel surprisingly fast
Contrary to some people’s beliefs EV performance is normally better than the equivalent combustion vehicle. Some of the fastest cars in the world are electric vehicles.
It’s still a car
There’s nothing scary or confusing about driving an EV. If you can drive a conventional car then you can drive an electric car.
If you want to discuss what it’s like to live with an EV then give us a ring and we’ll be happy to chat with you.
A Bit More Technical
The below table shows some of the key differences between electric cars and internal combustion engine vehicles.
|Electric Motor||Combustion Engine|
|Average Efficiency||90% Plus||25-35%|
|Maximum Power||From Standstill||At High Speed|
|Multi-Ratio Gearbox Required?||Rarely||Always|
|Number of Moving Parts||2-3||130 Plus|
The lack of gearbox and immediate power from the electric motor allow for almost instant throttle response. There is no need to rev the engine to pull away, full power is immediately available at any speed. Even electric cars with more modest performance feel more than fast enough for daily use and are always ready to go.
This technology is the reason that car manufacturers such as Tesla are able to build incredibly fast cars without compromising in other areas. The fastest electric cars on sale are now quicker than your average supercar but can still seat five people in comfort and only cost 2p per mile to run!
Most electric cars generate electricity through the motor when the car is decelerating. This technology harnesses the kinetic energy of the vehicle to extend the vehicles range.
What this means for drivers is that the car can be set up to “brake” when you lift off the throttle. Not only does this provide economical energy efficient driving, it also allows for a smoother, one-foot style of driving. Most drivers find they prefer the regenerative braking style and enjoy the benefits of a smoother drive.
A pleasant side-effect of regenerative braking is that electric cars are very light on their brakes. You may find that your brake pads and discs last many times longer than in a conventional vehicle. All the work is being done by the motor.
Heating, Comfort, and Auxiliary Accessories
Many of the systems used in conventional vehicles are in some way powered through the engine. When designing an EV many of the auxiliary functions of a vehicle have been redesigned to use a different source of input.
The Heating System
“Electric cars never need to “warm up” in winter. They provide immediate heat and many can even be programmed from an App to pre-heat the cabin so you never get into a cold car in winter.”
In a combustion vehicle, the waste heat from the engine is used to heat the cabin. In an electric vehicle, there is no waste heat, so the temperature must be generated by other means.
This is typically performed using one of two systems. The first is using an electric heater element powered by the battery. This is familiar technology to anyone who has used a fan heater or electric fire. This is an effective method of heating air however it does use up a small but noticeable amount of range from the battery.
The second system that is becoming the preferred option, due to its greater energy efficiency, is the use of a heat pump. This is similar to the systems used to efficiently heat the modern eco-friendly home, just on a much smaller scale.
A heat pump heats the interior of the car using the temperature difference between the refrigerant inside the system, and the temperature of the atmosphere outside. This creates a heating effect that is not directly linked to energy consumption.
One immediately noticeable benefit of both these systems, is that heat is produced straight away. The car does not need to be left idling to warm up. If you get in the car on a cold day you can immediately receive hot air from the heating system. Not only that, but many vehicles allow you to set the car to be at a certain temperature ready for when you leave for work in the morning.
Radio and Interior Electrics
The cabin of a modern car is full of electrical systems, be those for the radio and entertainments, or the electric windows and seats. All of these systems rely on a power source. The problem for designers is that the voltage of the main (traction) battery that powers the vehicle is too high for use in the cabin. To solve this many electric vehicles still retain a standard 12V battery similar to the one fitted to a combustion engine vehicle. Your EV most likely has two batteries. One for you, and one for the car!
If you have any other questions about the technical side of electric vehicles do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We are sure we can help you out. If there is something we cannot answer straight away, we will get back to you as soon as possible.