Cars can now be powered by gasoline or electricity – or both! In 2017, electric vehicles grew 54% worldwide to more than 3 million. The International Energy Agency forecasts that electric vehicles will grow to more than 124 million by 2030.
There are two types of electric vehicles (EVs):
Battery electric vehicle
- Uses a battery to store electric energy that powers the motor
- Charges battery by plugging into an electric power source
- Can travel more than 200 miles on one charge
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle
- Powered by an internal combustion engine and electric motor that uses energy from an on-board battery
- Plugs into electric power source to charge on-board battery
- Can travel over 50 miles in all-electric mode and up to 400 total miles before refueling
Fun facts about EVs
EVs are better for the environment
Since electric vehicles can run on a rechargeable battery, they produce fewer emissions — the stuff that comes out of a tailpipe.
EVs are high performance and low maintenance
Vehicles powered by electricity are quiet and fast. They don’t need to rev up an engine to get speed – they respond as soon as the driver hits the pedal. And EVs come with the latest in gadgets and digital perks, like an app to control the charging status.
EVs can charge at home
Driving an EV means you can charge your car at home. (No more freezing at the gas pump during the winter.) And, on average, it costs half as much to charge an electric vehicle than it does to fuel up a gas-powered vehicle.
What's next for EVs?
BEVs (electric-only vehicles) average between 60 and 120 miles per charge. Some luxury models can travel up to 300 miles.
PHEVs (gas- and electric-powered vehicles) can travel further. When the battery runs out of charge, they just switch to running on gas instead. PHEVs can run about 50 miles on electricity before switching to gas. They can get as far as 400 miles total before needing to recharge or refuel.
The electric range in EVs is improving and since 2011, it has been increasing at an average of 17% per year and 38 miles with each model update.*
In comparison, a traditional gas-powered vehicle can travel 300 miles or more on one tank of gas.
Most people don’t need to drive over 40 miles on a typical day – and if they have a charging station in their garage at home, they can charge up every night.
Quicker charge times
Right now, charging an electric vehicle takes about eight hours. However, fast charging stations are getting more popular and can charge an electric car to 80% in just 30 minutes.
More places to charge
Gas stations are everywhere, but EV chargers aren’t … yet! That’s starting to change as gas stations, hotels, restaurants, parks and communities are adding EV charging stations for public use. Having an EV charger can make a restaurant, or even a city, a more popular travel destination.
More options and lower prices
Right now, electric vehicles are more expensive to buy than similar gas-powered models. Even with the higher price tag, though, the fuel cost savings, reduced maintenance and other bonuses make it worth it. And more options and styles are on the way, too! There are over 50 styles available today, and there will be over 90 by 2020.
With advancements in technology and increasing benefits, electric vehicles will one day become the norm. Gas-powered vehicles will be a thing of the past.