Real Electric Vehicles

Some of the most important Electric Vehicle features

Jul 18, 2015

What options should you check on a new or used Electric Vehicle before you buy it? Choosing the right vehicle for the job is KEY

Some of the most important Electric Vehicle features

Battery life. Some Electric vehicles and even hybrids have poor battery life. It can be directly traced to the battery thermal management. One example was the early Nissan LEAF. It does great in cool areas but the battery degrades in hot areas. They have since changed the chemistry in 2015 and we will see how that does.

Some of the Early prius hybrds and Honda hybrids have also had a high battery failure rates. The prius added a cooling fan that pulls are from the rear passenger area and now have a very long life. Honda switched to Lithium batteries and we will see how they do. The longest life batteries seem to have good chemistry and active cooling. This can be air cooling or liquid cooling.

Climate Control-Another items is the cooling and heating system. If it is not designed to be super-efficient that can affect your range. The best systems seem to be heat pumps. Both the Nissan LEAF and KIA SOUL EV seem to have very good and efficient systems. These can also be used to cool the battery for longer life. My FORD Focus EV is 3 years old and still has the full capacity. It is expected to have over 80% capacity after 20 years. That is worth a lot to the owners and environment.

Range- The last item is range. The needs of each person can vary a lot. So as long as the vehicle range is double what you normally use in a day it will be perfect for you. This can also vary depending on how you drive. If you are even and steady using mostly city roads and no highways you will get 20-50% more range that other drivers. Just like it affects all vehicles on any fuel type the loose nut behind the wheel can make a big difference.

One of our friends went 188.6 miles in a Nissan LEAF by driving slow and steady. A Tesla owner and his son went 423 miles on 1 charge in Florida by driving steady and slow.

FAST or Super CHARGING- If your vehicle has Fast Charging it can be very handy and make it better for you. The problem is there are not a lot of Fast Chargers around and many seem to be out of service with no backups.

If you own a Tesla and have the Super Charge option you have a really great option. Tesla has over 200 Tesla Super Charges about every 100 miles all across the USA. They are always adding more. Each site has 4 to 12 Super Charger ports. They average 15 minutes for most drivers.

REGENERATIVE BRAKING- All electric vehicles now seem to have REGEN braking. I feel this can save your life since as soon as you lift your foot off the accelerator the vehicle starts to slow. By the time your foot reached the brake you have already slowed down and improved your reaction time.

REGEN braking also put energy back into the battery, reduced brake pad wear AND reduced brake heat and dust pollution. This can increase range and save you money. Comparing all the Electric vehicles and Tesla seems to have the most adjustments and amount of REGEN. They have 3 levels that go up to 80%. Most vehicles have 2 or 4 settings and are about 20% to 40% REGEN. Not bad but more adjustments would be nice.

What other features are important to you?

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