A simple definition of electric vehicle (EV) is a vehicle that runs on electricity. But there are a lot of things that need to be known if we tend to understand it deeper. It is propelled by either an electric motor or is powered by rechargeable batteries. It uses one or more electric motors or traction for propulsion. Propulsion is the action of pulling or pushing to drive an object forward. In short, any vehicle using electric energy in place of petrol, diesel, or coal is called an electric vehicle. The term EV commonly refers to an electric car.
Furthermore, scientists are now looking forward to finding energy sources that can reduce the usage of non-renewable resources such as petroleum and minerals. EVs first came into existence in the mid-19th century. At that time, electricity was among the preferred methods for motor vehicle propulsion. EVs are not only limited to cars, buses, and trains. There are also electric ships and underwater vessels, electric aircraft, and electric spacecraft. Electric vehicles are expected to share the global market by 22% in 2030.
How does Electric Vehicle Work?
Electric vehicles have an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine. EVs use large traction battery packs to power the electric motor. EVs have charging ports to connect to the charging stations of wall outlets for charging the battery. As the EV runs on electric power it does not emit any smoke exhaust. There is no burning of fuel in EV. The design is different than regular petrol or diesel vehicles because there is no fuel pump, fuel line, or fuel tank.
The traction battery pack stores electricity for running the traction motor. The traction motor part then uses this power to drive the vehicle’s wheels. The transmission part transfers mechanical power from the electric traction motor to drive the wheels. Most EVs use Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. Li-ion batteries have a higher energy density, longer life span, and are considered safe, durable, and cost-efficient.
How is Electric Vehicle Different from Conventional Fuel-Driven Vehicle?
The difference starts right from the engine design. The use of electricity has modified the design of the conventional fuel-driven vehicles. The fuel-driven vehicles have internal combustion engine which runs on the burning of fuels such as petrol or diesel. There is no gaseous exhaust in EV. However, the exterior and interior design is similar to the existing fuel-driven vehicles.
EV is energy efficient. By energy efficient we mean, EV does not depend on non-renewable sources of energy such as petroleum. Other vehicles need to fill in gasoline, EV needs electric charging. The power of the electric motor, as in other vehicles, is measured in kilowatts (kW). 100 kW is roughly equal to 134 horsepower. EV’s motor can deliver maximum torque over a wide range of RPM. Therefore, the performance of an EV with 100 kW electric motor is better than that of a 100 kW internal combustion engine.
The average mileage of an electric car with full charge ranges from 100 miles to 350 miles (Source: buyacar.co.uk). However, the manufacturers claim to have more mileage than this.
EV’s blooming in Global Scale
The future of EV is expected to be bright. The production and sales of EV may cover 22% of global market by 2030. Companies like Tesla (US), BYD (China), Volkswagen (Germany), BMW (Germany), Nissan (Japan) are leading in the manufacture of EVs.
The constant decrease in the price of Li-ion battery is one of the main reasons that EV market is projected to go high. EV is attracting public these days. More varied and improved range of products will surely increase the market demand for EVs.
Luxury and affordability implemented in the production of EVs in the coming days, has maximum chances of bringing a revolution for vehicle manufacturers. We will be able to reduce the usage of petrol and diesel.
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Challenges for EV in Mass Adaptation
The concept of the electric vehicle is not new. It has started its production since the mid-19th century. However, we can see that fuel-driven vehicles have heavily dominated the transportation industry for a long time. The public response for EV ranges from “Nah!” to “Wow!” Big changes require time. There are these major challenges as a barricade for mass adaptation of EVs.
When speaking of EVs, especially cars, there is less variety in design and features. The fuel-driven vehicles provide a wide range of vehicles including regular cars, sports cars, supercars, luxury cars, and many more.
Just like the petrol stations, EVs require charging stations. And this is a big issue than we think. It will require investment from the government as well as private sectors. Also, the EV manufacturers need to work more on the features of EVs.
The syndicate of oil companies and distributor may not accept this change easily. Oil industry is one of the biggest industries in world. Vehicles are the major consumer of petrol and diesel. Therefore, it will take more time for EVs to run around the world.
Many people are concerned with global warming and non-renewable natural resources. EV is eco-friendly in a term that it does not require petrol or diesel and there is no gaseous exhaust. EVs can definitely reduce carbon emissions. Meanwhile, EVs are not proved to be totally environment friendly. There is also a reliance that the production of electricity by using nuclear power or other artificial sources is not good for the environment.
Prospects of Electric Vehicle in Nepal and South Asia
In countries like Nepal, electric vehicles are really beneficial. They will reduce the import of petrol and diesel in a maximum amount. Also, here in Nepal, we generate electricity using hydropower. So, there will be a minimum hamper to climate. Certainly, this will require policy and planning from the government level. The government can reduce the tax for importing EVs, make business agreements with international companies for the purchase of EVs, and construct hydroelectricity projects in potential areas.
It hasn’t been that long, Nepal has been load-shedding free. The government is really working to light up every house in Nepal. Making big hydroelectricity plants can help Nepal to generate income as well as make the country to depend less on imported oil.
Similarly, the other South Asian countries like India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh can control air pollution in their big cities. If the EV manufacturers work on less price and better performance of their EVs, it will be beneficial for not only South Asia but the whole world.
Companies like Tesla, BYD, Volkswagen, BMW, Nissan, Hyundai, Chevrolet are the top manufacturers of EVs.
Some of the top Electric Vehicle models:
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