What Are Electric Vehicles? A Must-Read Guide
EVs or electric vehicles are all the rage nowadays. Don’t get us wrong. Nothing about the technology is new — motor companies have been developing their versions of electric cars even as far back as the 19th century.
But what exactly are electric vehicles? What makes them tick? Electric vehicles are at the forefront of the charge as industries slowly transition towards renewable energy sources.
Everyone wants a slice of the pie — from communities implementing green initiatives through electric motor-powered buses to EV manufacturers looking to dominate the market. The electric vehicle industry is lucrative and poised to become the future of green transport.
Without further ado, here’s the lowdown on all things electric vehicles. Let’s get right to it.
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Table of Contents
What Are Electric Vehicles And How Do They Work?
Electric vehicles or electric cars are automatic vehicles powered by an electric motor. Fully electric cars don’t need to run on a petrol or diesel engine.
Unlike the traditional internal combustion engine, electric cars don’t rely on fossil fuels. Instead, the electric vehicle relies on energy stored in battery packs. This propels the wheels and sets the entire vehicle in motion.
When the driver brakes the car, the vehicle decelerates. This causes the electric motor to become an alternator, which generates power. Power circulates back into the battery pack, and the cycle begins.
Since electric motors can provide maximum torque even at slow speeds, the driver doesn’t need to change into multiple gears. The electric car uses a one-speed transmission, whereas traditional fuel engines have to produce power at narrow bands of engine speed.
Types Of Electric Vehicles
Electric vehicles are further subdivided into different types, depending on the extent by which the car runs on battery alone.
Some EVs can run entirely on electricity, known as pure electric vehicles. Other EVs use a mix of fuel and electric motors and are called hybrid electric vehicles.
We cover other types of electric vehicles below:
Battery-Electric Vehicles (BEVs)
Battery electric vehicles or BEVs run only on electricity. They’re more popularly known as pure or 100% electric cars.
A pure electric vehicle does not need to run via an internal combustion engine. This creates lower levels of tailpipe emissions and gets their power solely from EVSEs (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment), which sustainably draw energy from the electricity grid.
Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)
Contrary to popular belief, only some electric vehicles run totally on electric motors. Such is the case with hybrid cars that run via a combination of an internal combustion engine plus one or more motors.
Unlike pure EVs, hybrid car drivers cannot recharge their vehicles through EVSEs or a charging station. Instead, the car charges through regenerative braking and its combustion engine.
Regenerative braking converts kinetic energy derived from the braking motion into electrical energy. This process effectively charges the car’s high-voltage battery.
Two energy sources work for a hybrid electric car since it leads to a potentially smaller engine. The electric battery can also minimise engine idling when the vehicle is slowing down to a stop.
Overall, this results in better fuel economy without hampering driving performance. The car uses up only a little fuel while idle, making trips to the station less and less frequent.
Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs)
Plug-in hybrids combine the best of three worlds by running on a battery, an internal combustion engine, and an electric drive motor. Like a hybrid car, it can be recharged from an external power source.
Most PHEVs can comfortably run up to 80 km before depleting the electric battery. Once it’s exhausted, the driver can still resume the drive by activating the hybrid mode (which does not limit the range).
One downside is that owning PHEVs can be much more expensive than driving conventional vehicles. This is because they need to be regularly charged to maximise efficiency.
Extended Range Electric Vehicles (E-REVs)
Although E-REVs are considered “all-electric”, they are also powered by a small combustion engine which provides additional electricity.
As the name suggests, E-REVs have a much larger battery in the 10-20 kWh capacity. When the battery has been exhausted or discharged, this triggers the small combustion engine to operate a generator. In turn, it powers the electric motor and/or recharges the depleted battery.
E-REVs offer solutions to the range limits facing BEVs. In moderate distances, for example, E-REVs can run fully electric. These electric cars are also much cleaner and energy-efficient than BEVs as they use less fuel than conventional vehicles.
Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs)
Fuel cells use chemical energy from hydrogen and a mix of other fuels to produce electricity cleanly and more energy-efficiently.
When integrated into electric cars, fuel cells allow FCEVs to be powered solely by hydrogen. This reduces tailpipe emissions and produces cleaner energy. Vapour and warm air are the only by-products left after energy is used up.
FCEVs work similarly to electric vehicles, where the stored energy is converted into electricity via the fuel cell. These cars can also be fuelled up by hydrogen in as fast as four minutes, with a driving range comparable to cars with traditional fuel engines.
Reasons To Drive Electric Vehicles
Lower Fuel And Maintenance Costs
Charging an electric car can save about 50% more than fuelling a standard gasoline engine (at the same distance). Most drivers can leave their vehicles charging overnight and drive on a full charge the next day.
Maintenance costs are also far lower for electric vehicles. This is because they have far fewer moving parts and fluids to top up compared to the average car.
When you lease an electric vehicle in Singapore, you’ll reap more savings than renting a traditional car. It’s an excellent option for drivers who want to reduce their carbon footprint while having a constant mode of transport to rely on.
Experience High-Performance Driving
There’s a misconception that electric vehicles are far less powerful than their combustion engine counterparts. This couldn’t be further from the truth. An electric car with the same horsepower rating can maximise its power better than a traditional car with more moving parts.
In addition, there’s nothing quite like the experience of driving electric cars. The motor is responsive, not to mention a powerful acceleration that will make anyone feel like the king of the fast lane.
If you’re renting an electric vehicle for commercial purposes, your passengers will experience the same enjoyment as the ride is relatively smooth.
Perfect For Green-Conscious Drivers
Electric vehicles certainly don’t lag behind in the green race. Their gradual adoption into commercial spaces worldwide, not just in Singapore, indicates their increasing popularity.
Drivers are now becoming more conscious of their vehicle emissions. In addition, the government also provides incentives to EV drivers through its carbon tax scheme and government-subsidised EV purchases.
Electric vehicles are here to stay in Singapore, whether you’re looking to lease or buy one.
Accessible Charging Points
If you’re planning to buy or lease an electric vehicle in Singapore, you’ll find charging points are located island-wide in strategic locations.
This is because EV charging stations are conveniently situated in commercial infrastructures, such as car parks, gas stations, city hubs, and the like. If your vehicle runs out of battery, there’s bound to be a station nearby to recharge it.
Conclusion About Electric Vehicles In Singapore
Electric vehicles are ushering in a new age of green transport in Singapore. As the government continues rolling out initiatives supporting electric vehicles, there’s no doubting the industry’s bright future.
Need to lease an electric car in Singapore? Hong Seh Leasing offers flexible car leasing plans that match your transport needs.
Frequently Asked Questions About Electric Vehicles
Yes. Recent statistics show that electric cars make up more than 8% of car registrations in Singapore, and more EV charging stations are popping up island-wide.
Yes. Electric car leasing is currently the most popular way of financing an electric car. Inquire at Hong Seh Leasing to know more about our EV leasing packages.
Zero tailpipe emissions currently make electric cars preferable over gas-powered cars (emissions-wise). This helps the environment by reducing greenhouse gases and air pollution levels. EVs also have quieter engines, leading to less noise pollution.
Currently, leasing an EV in Singapore is more popular than buying one. This is because new EV models with state-of-the-art features are introduced daily. Car leasing companies in Singapore allow drivers to get behind the wheels of the newest EVs by leasing them out to them for a monthly fee.