What Are The Alternative Fuels for Cars? – Electricity
Nov 20 2018
With the ever-growing concern for our environment, and the damage petrol or diesel cars can do, it’s only natural there’s been a surge in greener vehicles on our roads. In September 2018, there were approximately 178,000 plug-in cars on UK roads – a dramatic increase from just 3,500 registered vehicles in 2013.
Part 1 of our 6-part series focussed on hydrogen-powered vehicles and how they can help to reduce global warming. In this post, we’re going to take a look at the most popular type of alternative fuel – electricity…
How does it work?
An electric vehicle (EV) is powered using electricity rather than petrol or diesel. They work in the same way that you may power your phone, laptop or sound system. You simply plug your car into an outlet, which in turn charges the engine, storing the energy for later use. Electric cars are often hybrids, meaning they can run off either electricity or conventional fuels, dependent on the level of fuel or power in the car at any given time.
EVs are a popular alternative to traditional, petrol-powered vehicles. This is mainly down to their clean nature. We all know the damage carbon emissions can do, and are doing, to our environment. EVs produce no harmful tailpipe emissions and, if used correctly, can be a great alternative for the environment.
As they are fuelled by electricity, all energy is sourced domestically, saving money on petrol or diesel. You can even power your vehicle using renewable energy sources, such as solar panels.
Running off electricity is also more efficient than petrol. EVs typically convert around 60% of energy into powering the vehicle. Petrol-powered cars only covert around 19% of energy, making them less energy efficient.
EVs are also high performance, with quiet and smooth motors. Many drivers enjoy their EV because the motor reacts quickly, making them highly responsive with good torque.
Although an EV is an eco-friendlier, smoother and more enjoyable car to drive, there are a few downsides…
Electric cars can travel less distance, averaging between 60 and 120 miles per charge, compared to 300 miles for petrol-powered vehicles. This can cause issues if you’re planning on travelling long distances or going on a road trip.
Electric cars can also take longer to refuel, with a full charge taking up to 8 hours. Even fast-charging stations with industry-leading technology can take up to 30 minutes for an 80% charge, making them non-ideal for constant travel.
Making the switch
On the whole, EV’s are a great alternative to traditional vehicles. Saving money, reducing emissions and providing a more enjoyable drive are just some of the benefits of an EV.
Not convinced? Maybe biofuel is the alternative fuel for you. Be sure to read part 3 of this series to learn more about fuelling your car with corn or animal fat. Alternatively, for more on conventional fuels, take a look at the article ‘Thermal Imaging Provides Early Leak Detection in Oil and Gas Pipelines’.
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