Six things you didn't know about electric cars
Did you know that the range and price of a plug-in vehicle will be the same as for petrol cars in a few years’ time? Or that a Tesla can accelerate faster than a 1000 HP Bugatti Veyron? These are just two examples of incredible things you never imagined about electric cars. We are going to tell you six things you (probably) didn’t know about the electric car
1.- It accelerates faster than a petrol car
Electric cars have earned themselves an unfair reputation as being less sporty and exciting than petrol cars. But as they gain popularity, the driving experience is beginning to reverse this perception. It is still true that, in terms of horsepower, a motor vehicle reaches a higher maximum speed, but this is of little importance if we take into account that it is limited by law to 120 km/h almost everywhere in the world, which is easily reached (and exceeded) by any battery-operated vehicle. Meanwhile, an electric car of the same horsepower accelerates much faster than a vehicle with a combustion engine. One only has to do the test at a traffic light. In most cases, accelerating from a stop in an electric car will leave most other cars behind.
Thomas Müller, a German journalist specialising in motor vehicles who works for the German news agency DPA, explains this: “One thing is horsepower and another torque, which is, so to speak, the force with which the engine spins. In a petrol car, maximum torque is only reached at a specific number of revolutions, while in an electric car it is available at all times. That’s why the minute you press the accelerator, the car applies its maximum torque from the first second and moves forward with much greater thrust.” Müller gives an example: “I have driven a Tesla Model S and a Bugatti Veyron, the fastest car in the world, which has a massive petrol engine with more than a thousand horsepower. And I can assure you that the Tesla left the Bugatti behind in the first few metres.”
2.- The first car in history was electric
The Chairman of Avele (Spanish Association for the Promotion of Electric Mobility), Ángel Aghili, has repeated this in many public appearances: “Cars should have been electric.” He bases his affirmation on a proven fact: the first electric car considered as such and manufactured in series was powered by a battery, not by a combustion engine. Scottish entrepreneur Robert Anderson invented it in 1832 and, a few years later, French engineers Gaston Plante and Camille Faure improved the design of the accumulators, which led to an increase in the number of this type of vehicle in France, Great Britain and the United States. “In the mid-19th century, there were more than 30,000 electric cars on the roads,” insists Aghili. The speed record of 1899 was set by an electric car: the La Jamais Contente, a bullet-shaped convertible, driven by Camille Jenatzy.
3.- The range will equal that of petrol engines
If we review the plans for the immediate future announced by the major brands with respect to their electric models, it is clear that range will soon no longer be the Achilles’ heel of this type of vehicle. Volkswagen has just announced that, in 2020, its electric cars will be capable of covering a distance of 600 kilometres on a single charge. The Development Manager of Audi publicly declared to the press that, in 2018, they will have an SUV with a minimum range of 500 kilometres using 90 kWh batteries. Hyundai announced that it is developing various models with a range of 400 kilometres and the electric cars of the PSA Group (Citroën and Peugeot) will achieve a range of 450 kilometres in less than five years, according to a press release issued by the company. “Today, a petrol car has an average on-the-road range that rarely exceeds 600 kilometres,” says Müller. “It is logical to assume that electric cars will exceed that distance in just a few years’ time, while combustion engine cars will have increasingly less importance in the market.”
4.- Electric cars also pollute… But they will do so less and less
A battery powered vehicle does not pollute while circulating, but the electricity consumed during its manufacture and related to the materials used, in addition to electricity production, can be sources of pollution. The good news is that the impact on the environment will decrease progressively. According to European legislation, by 2020 at least 40% of electricity production will come from renewable energy sources, as a result of which the indirect emissions of an electric car will be just over 3 kilogrammes of CO2 on average for every 100 kilometres, a fifth of the emissions of a current petrol vehicle. In Spain, the renewable energy branch of Endesa Green Power promotes green energy sources, such as wind power. It recently announced the construction of wind turbine facilities with a budget of €600 million. The commitment to renewable energy sources is unstoppable.
5.- Electric cars will be cheaper than petrol cars
According to a study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, by 2040 one-third of all the cars in the world will be charged through power sockets. According to the agency, the reduction in battery prices will be unstoppable and will lead us, by that year, to a scenario in which electric cars will be cheaper than many petrol cars: their average price will be below €20,000. But there’s no need to go so far ahead in time. Another study, in this case by the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), predicts that by 2024 the price of an electric car will be the same as its petrol equivalent.
The study points to a current difference of around €4,000-5,000, but advances in technology, economies of scale and the above-mentioned reduction in battery prices will eliminate this gap in less than ten years.
6.- You can charge it at home
Endesa will install a charging point wherever you want (if you live in a detached house) or in your parking space (if you live in a flat). You will have a 16 ampere connector in a maximum of three days. It is the ideal solution for getting around in an electric car: you leave it charging at night in order for the batteries to be fully charged in the morning so you can cover the planned distance with complete confidence.