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A Must-Read Guide Before Buying An Electric Vehicle

The technological advancements and environmental concerns over the past few years have seen the development of electric vehicles reach new heights. They have become the new vehicle goal for many people, but there are things you must know before jumping on the wagon.

Environmental Impact Of Electric Vehicles

While electric vehicles have ‘zero emissions’ badges, they do not necessarily have zero emissions. While they might not emit greenhouse gases like gas vehicles from their tailpipes, they impact the environment in other ways.

Manufacturing Process

Making the lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles requires a lot of minerals like cobalt, nickel, and lithium. Mining these minerals requires using fossil fuels and high temperatures to heat them.

That results in the emissions of high carbon dioxide volumes, which can sometimes be approximately 80% more than those emitted in making gas-powered vehicles.

Charging

The environmental impacts of charging electric vehicles depend on the energy source used. Electricity from renewable sources like wind, hydropower, and solar have significantly lower carbon footprints.

However, those that rely on fossil fuels, like burning coal, produce a lot of emissions. However, these are the same or lower than the emissions from burning gasoline.

Even with these emissions, electric vehicles have overall lower emissions than gasoline and hybrid cars. A 2019 study by MIT showed that gasoline-powered cars emitted over 350 grams of carbon dioxide for every mile driven, hybrid vehicle emitted around 260 grams, while fully electric cars emitted around 200 grams.

Therefore, electric vehicles play a significant role in achieving a sustainable and eco-friendly future.

Charging Solutions In Home And Public Charging Station

Charging stations are essential with the increasing demand for electric vehicles. The two primary solutions are public charging infrastructure and home charging stations.

Home Charging Stations

  • Level 1 charging– Electric cars have a level one charging cord to plug into standard 120v home electrical outlets. While it offers the most convenience, it is the slowest and only suitable for overnight charging or low daily driving needs.
  • Level 2 charging– This is done in a 240V home charging station faster than level 1. Some of these charging stations have smart features, letting users remotely control and monitor the charging process.
  • Solar-powered charging– This is for clean EV charging and can apply to levels 1 and 2.

Public Charging Infrastructure

  • Level 2 public charging– These are commercial charging stations, mostly in parking garages, shopping centers, and workplaces.
  • DC fast charging– Some charging networks, like Tesla Superchargers, have fast charging for the fastest charging times but are not compatible with all vehicles.
  • Charging hubs and corridors– These are charging networks found strategically on travel corridors and major highways.

What To Consider When Buying Electric Vehicles

  • Range considerations– The driving range is the approximate distance a car can drive using a given battery charge.
  • Charging time– Different electric cars have different charging times that can differ based on battery size, charging station power, temperature, and charging rate.
  • Speed– The appropriate electric vehicle speed depends on a driver’s preferences and driving style.

Maintenance And Repair Tips

  • Avoid exposing the battery to extreme temperatures
  • Avoid using fast chargers all the time
  • Do not fully charge or deplete the battery
  • Check the wiper fluid and cooling system
  • Observe the brake pads and fluid
  • Replace tires as soon as you spot wear and tear
  • Conduct regular software updates

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