Electric Cars - (Electric Vehicles, EV)
An electric car is a plug-in rechargeable battery powered vehicle that is propelled by electric motors. The range of these cars seems to increase with every new model, as does the top speed. A List of Electric Cars available in the UK is below.
How are Electric Cars powered
They are powered by an electric motor(s) that operates on direct or alternating current, which draws its power from an on-board battery pack that acts as an energy storehouse. The battery system of the modern electric car is actually a collection of smaller batteries combined and arranged as one big battery. To read more about which cars are electric vehicles, visit our Green Car List page.
Electric Car Battery
The batteries, generally Nickel metal-hydride or Lithium-ion, are charged by simply connecting the vehicle to a mains power supply. A feature of most modern electric cars is the regenerative braking system that allows the battery to receive a short charge when the brakes are applied.
Electric Car List
Here is a list of all UK Electric Cars that are either on the market at the moment or expected to be for sale in the near future:-
- BMW ActivE - BMW Electric Vehicle (Series 1)
- Chevrolet Volt - Hybrid Electric Car - £5k Gov Grant - Early 2012
- Citreon C Zero - Electric Car - No Emissions + 5K Gov Grant
- Nissan Leaf - Electric Car + £5K Gov Grant - Expected March 2011
- Reva - G-Whizz - Electric Car by Indian Manufacturer Reva - Popular in London
- Mitsubhishi i-Miev - Electric Car available from Jan 2011 + £5k Grant
- Peugeot iON - Electric Green Car + £5K Gov Grant Jan 2011
- Renault Fluence ZE - Family Saloon Electric Car
- Renault Kangoo ZE - Electric Van
- Renault Twizy ZE - Small but perfectly formed 2-Seater Electric Vehicle
- Renault Zoe ZE - Small City Electric Car
- Smart ForTwo - Electric - Electric Car + £5k Gov Grant - From Jan 2011
- Tata Vista - Electric Car + 5K Gov Grant - March 2011
- Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid - Electric Plug In Version + 5K Uk Grant - Early 2012
- Vauxhall Ambera - Electric/Petrol Hybrid Zero Emissions Coming in 2012 + £5K Gov Grant
Charging an Electric Car Battery
The battery system of any electric car has units that generally charge at a slow pace. It must be able to balance the charging rate so that no matter what the current power level is in any of the batteries, the system must be able to balance out and accommodate it. It must therefore be able to recharge the batteries holding a higher charge slowly, while recharging the batteries with a lower charge quickly, until they reach the equilibrium for a normal charge.
Battery powered electric vehicles can be charged at home or by using a street or a shop charging station. Higher voltage electrical power to the car of course reduces the required charging time. It is envisaged that in time most electric cars will be charged either at home, work or at council charging stations. Charging electric vehicles may come at a cost.
Electric Cars Charging Network
To fully support the development of electric cars there must be some sort of electric vehicle network that can be freely accessed. In much the same way that Fuelling Stations currently supply diesel or petrol, there will need to be a suitable “Electric” alternative. Perhaps existing fuel suppliers will also begin to have charging stations or even battery swap stations.
Electric Cars Co2 Emissions
Electric Cars emit Zero c02 emissions. The electric required to power these vehicles however does emit Co2 emissions and there is no current research in this area to quantify any claims that it is more beneficial to the environment.