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EV Info

Charging an Electric Car

The charging system in an electric car has two goals which consist of pumping electricity into the batteries as quickly as the batteries will allow and to monitor the batteries and avoid damaging them during the charging process.

The most sophisticated charging systems monitor battery voltage, current flow and battery temperature to minimize charging time.  The charger sends as much current as it can without raising battery temperature too much.  Less sophisticated chargers might monitor voltage or amperage only and make certain assumptions about average battery characteristics.  A charger like this might apply maximum current to the batteries up through 80 percent of their capacity, and then cut the current back to some preset level for the final 20 percent to avoid overheating batteries.

Many electric cars actually have two different charging systems.  One system accepts 120-volt or 240-volt power from a normal electrical outlet.  The other is the Magna-Charge inductive charging system popularized by the GM/Saturn EV-1 vehicle.

The normal household charging system has the advantage of convenience because anywhere you can find an outlet, you can recharge.  A normal household 120-volt outlet typically has a 15-amp circuit breaker, meaning that the maximum amount of energy that the car can consume is approximately 1,500 watts, or 1.5 kilowatt-hours per hour.  It can take 10 to 12 hours to fully charge the vehicle using this technique.

By using a 240-volt circuit, the car will be able to receive 240 volts at 30 amps, or 6.6 kilowatt-hours per hour. This arrangement allows significantly faster charging, and can fully recharge the battery pack in much less time.  In an electric car simply plugging into the wall with a heavy-duty extension cord or using an inductive charging system will start the charging process.

What is the driving distance of an electric car?

An electric car is not limited and is quickly catching up to gasoline engines.  The average distance on cars today is about 300 miles on a full tank of gasoline.  Most electric cars start at about 50 miles on a full charge but for larger budgets electric vehicles can run over 200 miles per charge.

What is the purpose of an electric car?

An electric car is generally used as a commuter vehicle.  Even though most will purchase an electric car as a commuter vehicle most electric car owners end up using the electric car more than ninety percent of the time to get around and leave the expensive internal combustion engine in the garage.  The gasoline or hybrid vehicle is a second car used for driving long distances and in between charging cycles.

How much does it cost to charge an electric vehicle?

An electric car will show up on your electric bill and costs between $1.25 and $3.00 per charge.  Each charge averages 50-200 miles depending on the batteries.  So if the electric car ran on gasoline the equivalent cost in gasoline would be about $0.01 to $0.02 pennies per gallon of gasoline.  Electric is a very efficient vehicle and even though we are using electricity to charge the car it still produces far less pollution than any gasoline or hybrid engine and always have the option of charging free using solar power.

How do I charge an electric car?

Do you have a cell phone?  You charge an electric car the same way you charge your cell phone.  Electric cars can also be charged at your friends house or anywhere there is a regular 120 volt outlet.  For faster charging rates special charging devices are installed.

How can it be completely free to run an electric vehicle, is this really possible?

Yes it is.  Electric vehicles can be charged with several alternative forms of energy.

Conversions vs. buying a new car what is the difference?

Conversion vehicles give the ability to customize vehicles and are easily expandable to allow faster charge rates and a longer driving ranges.  They are generally more popular for racing applications.  When customizing a conversion car a client can choose performance, driving range and several other features which are not available in production electric cars.

What is the difference between AC and DC motors?

Depending on budgets their are many advantages to an AC motor which include the ability to program the motor, smoother driving, longer lasting and smaller wire sizing.  Although almost double the cost of DC motor systems, AC motors are beginning to be the motor of choice for conversions and production electric vehicles.

Custom electric vehicles?

In ICE otherwise known as an internal combustion engine or gasoline engine we drive today does not have nearly as many options as an electric vehicle.  Electric vehicles will come with different performance options, range capabilities, road handling, new body materials, several different types of motors and hundreds of vehicle styles.  Custom work involves higher performance parts, higher quality engineering and a reliable well trained maintenance teams.  Custom built vehicles also allow for quick and easy upgrades as EV technology advances.  Custom cars can be built using both a shell or donor car or even a brand new vehicle.  Keep in mind using a donor car is recycling cars that otherwise may have ended up in the junk yard.

Can we build performance vehicles or sports cars?

Yes.  Performance vehicles are designed for racing and very fast acceleration.  Sport model body styles will be more elaborate and unique and perform much more efficiently than internal combustion engines.  Typical electric vehicles have max speeds of 80-100MPH and cruise along at 65MPH without a problem.

Electric vehicles will lead to a more independent nation?

Electric cars provide an opportunity for Americans to become completely independent, eliminate dependence on foreign unstable nations and provide us with a form of transportation that will be more reliable than fossil fuels during a major crisis.  Electric vehicles contain the intelligence of computers which provides options such as storing and redistributing energy and bringing energy to natural disaster areas.

Electric vehicles are much further ahead and more cost effective than fuel cell vehicles and could eliminate all fuel dependency.  The benefits are endless and the changes will drastically improve living conditions.  The US economy is primarily based on war torn unstable nations who make many of the major decisions and control much of our lifestyles.  These nations provide us with unethical business practices and mirror our economic state.  Americans can reduce this control by turning from decades of consumption and back to innovative production.

Updated: 07/29/2015 — 4:59 pm

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