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is an alternative fuel automobile that uses electric motors and motor

controllers for propulsion, in place of more common propulsion methods such as the internal combustion
engine (ICE). Electric cars are specifically a variety of electric vehicle created or adapted for use on the
road. Electric cars are commonly powered by on-board battery packs, and as such are battery electric
vehicles (BEVs). Other on-board energy storage methods that are expected to come into use in the future
include ultracapacitors, fuel cells, and a spinning flywheel which stores kinetic energy.

Electric cars enjoyed popularity between the mid-19th century and early 20th century, when electricity
was among the preferred methods for automobile propulsion, providing a level of comfort and ease of
operation that could not be achieved by the gasoline cars of the time. Advances in ICE technology soon
rendered this advantage moot; the greater range of gasoline cars, quicker refueling times, and growing
petroleum infrastructure, along with the mass production of gasoline vehicles by companies such as the
Ford Motor Company, which reduced prices of gasoline cars to less than half that of equivalent electric
cars, led to a decline in the use of electric propulsion, effectively removing it from important markets such
as the United States by the 1930s.

In recent years, increased concerns over the environmental impact of gasoline cars, along with reduced
consumer ability to pay for fuel for gasoline cars, has brought about renewed interest in electric cars,
which are perceived to be more environmentally friendly and cheaper to maintain and run, despite high
initial costs. Electric cars currently enjoy relative popularity in countries around the world, though they
are notably absent from the roads of the United States, where electric cars briefly re-appeared in the late
90s as a response to changing government regulations. The hybrid electric car has become the most
common form of electric car, combining a internal combustion engine powertrain with supplementary
electric motors to run the car at idle and low speeds, making use of techniques such as regenerative
braking to improve its efficiency over comparable gasoline cars, while not being hampered by the limited
range inherent to current battery electric cars. Hybrid cars are now sold by most major manufacturers,
with notable models including the Toyota Prius and the forthcoming Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid
which uses a fully electric drivetrain supplemented by a gasoline-powered electric generator to extend its
range. As of 2009, the world's most popular battery electric car is the REVAi, also known as the G-Wiz,
manufactured in Bangalore, India and sold in 24 countries including India and others in Europe, Asia, and
Central America. In late 2009 REVA Electric Car Company, the maker of the REVAi, completed a new
ultra-low carbon vehicle assembly plant in Bangalore, the world’s largest dedicated to building EVs with
a capacity of 30,000 cars annually.

Electric cars are a variety of electric vehicle (EV); the term "electric vehicle" refers to any vehicle that
uses electric motors for propulsion, while "electric car" generally refers to road-going automobiles
powered by electricity. While an electric car's power source is not explicitly an on-board battery, electric
cars with motors powered by other energy sources are generally referred to by a different name: an
electric car powered by sunlight is a solar car, and an electric car powered by a gasoline generator is a
form of hybrid car. Thus, an electric car that derives its power from an on-board battery pack is called a
battery electric vehicle (BEV). Most often, the term "electric car" is used to refer to pure battery electric
vehicles, such as the REVAi and GM EV1.

Electric vehicle model by Ányos Jedlik, the inventor of electric motor (1828, Hungary).

Electricity is one of the oldest automobile propulsion methods still in use today. The invention of the
electric vehicle is attributed to various people, including the Hungarian inventor of the electric motor,
Ányos Jedlik, Vermont blacksmith Thomas Davenport, Professor Sibrandus Stratingh of Groningen, the
Netherlands, and Scotsmen Robert Davidson and Robert Anderson. The invention of improved battery
technology, including efforts by Gaston Plante in France in 1865, as well as his fellow countryman
Camille Faure in 1881, paved the way for electric cars to flourish in Europe. France and the United
Kingdom were the first nations to support the widespread development of electric vehicles, while the lack
of natural fossil resources in Switzerland resulted in the rapid electrification of its railway network to
reduce its dependence on foreign energy. English inventor Thomas Parker, who was responsible for
innovations such as electrifying the London Underground, overhead tramways in Liverpool and
Birmingham, and the smokeless fuel coalite, claimed to have perfected a working electric car as early as
1884. Before the pre-eminence of internal combustion engines, electric automobiles also held many speed
and distance records. Among the most notable of these records was the breaking of the 100 km/h
(62 mph) speed barrier, by Camille Jenatzy on April 29, 1899 in his 'rocket-shaped' vehicle Jamais
Contente, which reached a top speed of 105.88 km/h (65.79 mph). Before the 1920s, electric automobiles
were competing with petroleum-fueled cars for urban use of a quality service car.

German electric car, 1904, with the chauffeur on top

It was not until 1895 that Americans began to devote attention to electric vehicles, after A.L. Ryker
introduced the first electric tricycles to the US, many innovations followed, and interest in motor vehicles
increased greatly in the late 1890s and early 1900s. In 1897, electric vehicles found their first commercial
application as a fleet of electrical New York City taxis, built by the Electric Carriage and Wagon
Company of Philadelphia, was established. Electric cars were produced in the US by Anthony Electric,
Baker, Columbia, Anderson, Edison , Studebaker, Riker, and others during the early 20th century. In
1917, the first gasoline-electric hybrid car was released by the Woods Motor Vehicle Company of
Chicago. The hybrid was a commercial failure, proving to be too slow for its price, and too difficult to
1912 Detroit Electric advertisement

Despite their relatively slow speed, electric vehicles had a number of advantages over their early-1900s
competitors. They did not have the vibration, smell, and noise associated with gasoline cars. Changing
gears on gasoline cars was the most difficult part of driving, and electric vehicles did not require gear
changes. Electric cars found popularity among well-heeled customers who used them as city cars, where
their limited range proved to be even less of a disadvantage. The cars were also preferred because they did
not require a manual effort to start, as did gasoline cars which featured a hand crank to start the engine.
Electric cars were often marketed as suitable vehicles for women drivers due to this ease of operation.

Thomas Edison and an electric car in 1913 (courtesy of the National Museum of American History)

Acceptance of electric cars was initially hampered by a lack of power infrastructure, but by 1912, many
homes were wired for electricity, enabling a surge in the popularity of the cars. At the turn of the century,
40 percent of American automobiles were powered by steam, 38 percent by electricity, and 22 percent by
gasoline. 33,842 electric cars were registered in the United States, and America became the country where
electric cars had gained the most acceptance. Sales of electric cars peaked in 1912.

1920s to 1980s: Gasoline dominates

The low range of electric cars meant they could not make use of the new highways to travel between

After enjoying success at the beginning of the century, the electric car began to lose its position in the
automobile market. Factors including improved road infrastructure in the 1920s and the discovery of large
reserves of petroleum in Texas, Oklahoma, and California paved the way for gasoline cars to gain
popularity, with their longer range and newly-affordable fuel. Electric cars were limited to urban use by
their slow speed and low range, and gasoline cars were now able to travel farther and faster than
equivalent electrics. Gasoline cars became ever easier to operate thanks to the invention of the electric
starter by Charles Kettering in 1912, which eliminated the need of a hand crank for starting a gasoline
engine, and the noise emitted by ICE cars became more bearable thanks to the use of the muffler, which
had been invented by Hiram Percy Maxim in 1897. Finally, the initiation of mass production of gas-
powered vehicles by Henry Ford brought prices as low as $440 in 1915 (equivalent to roughly $9,400
today). By contrast, in 1912, an electric roadster sold for $1,750 (roughly $39,000 today). By the 1920s,
the heyday of electric cars had passed, and a decade later, the American electric automobile industry had
effectively disappeared.

The Henney Kilowatt, a 1961 production electric car

Years passed without a major revival in the use of electric cars. While ICE development progressed at a
brisk pace, electric vehicle technology stagnated. In 1947, the invention of the point-contact transistor
brought about the creation of modern semiconductor controls and improved batteries; this led to new
possibilities for electric propulsion. Within a decade of the creation of the transistor, Henney Coachworks
and the National Union Electric Company, makers of Exide batteries, formed a joint venture to produce
the first modern electric car based on transistor technology, the Henney Kilowatt which was basically an
electrically powered Renault Dauphine. Despite the Kilowatt's improved performance with respect to
previous electric cars, consumers found it too expensive compared to equivalent gasoline cars of the time,
and production ended in 1961. Even though the Kilowatt was a commercial failure, its technology paved
the way for the next generation of electric vehicles. On July 31, 1971, an electric car received the unique
distinction of becoming the first manned vehicle to be driven on the Moon; that car was the Lunar rover,
which was first deployed during the Apollo 15 mission. The "moon buggy" was developed by Boeing and
Delco Electronics, and featured a DC drive motor in each wheel, and a pair of 36-volt silver-zinc
potassium hydroxide non-rechargeable batteries. 1990s to present: Revival of mass interest

The General Motors EV1, one of the cars introduced as a result of the California Air Resources Board
(CARB) mandate, had a range of 160 mi (260 km) with NiMH batteries in 1999

After years outside the limelight, the energy crises of the 1970s and 80s brought about renewed interest in
the perceived independence electric cars had from the fluctuations of the hydrocarbon energy market. At
the 1990 Los Angeles Auto Show, General Motors President Roger Smith unveiled the GM Impact
concept electric car, along with the announcement that GM would build electric cars for sale to the public.

In the early 1990s, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the government of California's "clean air
agency", began a push for more fuel-efficient, lower-emissions vehicles, with the ultimate goal being a
move to zero-emissions vehicles such as electric vehicles. Impressed by concept vehicles such as the
Impact, CARB set guidelines that would require carmakers to make 10% of their fleets emission-free by
2003. In response, automakers soon developed electric models to comply with the new regulations;
however, the automakers were widely accused of deliberate self-sabotage, failing to adequately promote
their electric vehicles in order to create the false impression that consumers were not interested in electric
cars, while fighting against the CARB mandate using lobbyists and lawsuits. Electric cars were expensive
to develop and cost two or three times as much as equivalent gasoline cars to produce; as such, they were
not a profitable enterprise for the car companies. In 2001, CARB removed its ZEV mandate, resulting in
almost all production electric cars being withdrawn from the market, and in many cases destroyed by their

In response to a lack of major-automaker participation in the electric car industry, a number of small
companies cropped up in their place, designing and marketing electric cars for the public. In 1994, the
REVA Electric Car Company was established in Bangalore, India, as a joint venture between the Maini
Group India and AEV of California. After seven years of research and development, it launched the
REVAi, known as the G-Wiz i in the United Kingdom, in 2001. In 2007, Miles Electric Vehicles
announced that it would bring the XS500, a highway-capable all-electric sedan to the US by early 2009.
California company Tesla Motors, hoping to gain a foothold in the electric sports car market, released the
Lotus Elise-based Tesla Roadster in 2008.

The Think City is a popular electric car in Europe.

Throughout the 1990s, interest in fuel-efficient or environmentally friendly cars declined among
Americans, who instead favored sport utility vehicles, which were affordable despite their poor fuel
efficiency thanks to lower gasoline prices. American automakers chose to focus their product lines around
the truck-based vehicles, which enjoyed larger profit margins than the smaller cars which were preferred
in places like Europe or Japan. In 1999, the Honda Insight hybrid car became the first hybrid to be sold in
North America since the little-known Woods hybrid of 1917. Hybrids, which featured a combined
gasoline and electric powertrain, were seen as a balance, offering an environmentally friendly image and
improved fuel economy, without being hindered by the low range of electric vehicles, albeit at an
increased price over comparable gasoline cars. Sales were poor due to the lack of interest attributed to the
car's small size and the lack of necessity for a fuel-efficient car at the time.

The Nissan LEAF is an electric car that is expected to be marketed in the North America, Europe, and
Japan, beginning in autumn 2010.

The 2000s energy crisis brought renewed interest in hybrid and electric cars. In America, sales of the
Toyota Prius (which had been on sale since 1999 in some markets) jumped, and a variety of automakers
followed suit, releasing hybrid models of their own. Several began to produce new electric car prototypes,
as consumers called for cars that would free them from the fluctuations of oil prices.
The global economic recession in the late 2000s led to increased calls for automakers to abandon fuel-
inefficient SUVs, which were seen as a symbol of the excess that caused the recession, in favor of small
cars, hybrid cars, and electric cars. The most immediate result of this was the announcement of the 2010
release of the Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid car that represents the evolution of technologies pioneered
by the EV1 of the 90s. The Volt will be able to travel for up to 40 mi (60 km) on battery power alone
before activating an ICE to run a generator which then powers the electric motor. The batteries are
recharged by plugging it into the grid.

The Nissan LEAF, due to be launched in 2010,is the first all electric, zero emission five door family
hatchback to be produced for the mass market. Lithium-ion battery technology, smooth body shell and
advanced regenerative braking give the LEAF performance comparable to an ICE, a range of around
160 km and the capability to reach 80% recharge levels in under 30 minutes.In June 2009 BMW began
field testing in the U.S. of its all-electric Mini E,through the leasing of 500 cars to private users in Los
Angeles and the New York/New Jersey area. A similar field test was launched in the U.K. in December
2009 with a fleet of more than forty Mini E cars.

Acceptance of electric cars

The REVAi, also known as the G-Wiz, is the top-selling electric car in the world

Electric vehicles which store electrical energy in a capacitor or battery would not be able to immediately
replace all gasoline cars given the available transportation infrastructure. For example, while a gasoline
car could undertake a road trip which would require several short (around five minutes) fuel stops to
complete, current electric car technology would not be capable of completing the trip in the same length
of time; in addition to the limited range of current electric cars, they are not as quick or as practical to
recharge. Even a practically comparable capacitor-based car, which would conceptually permit much
faster recharging times than a battery car can, would require an electrical infrastructure that could "quick-
charge" the car; provide a significant amount of energy, at very high current, to the car at its charging
station, for a similar amount of time to that required to refuel a gasoline car.

Today's infrastructure is suited to the slower charging cycle of battery electric cars, which must be parked
for several hours (usually overnight) while they recharge, making them suited, even perhaps more suited
than gasoline cars, for a commuter role, but unsuitable for the long-distance driving which is less frequent
but still a factor in many markets. According to the documentary film Who Killed the Electric Car? the
EV1 was "only" suitable for 90% of consumers.

The unit of measurement known as miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent (MPGe) may be misleading if
used to compare the overall fuel efficiency of electric and internal combustion vehicles. The MPGe
formula uses the pump to wheels energy for gasoline, and the battery to wheels energy for EVs, ignoring
the loss of power when charging a battery with AC. However, the MPGe formula for gasoline also
ignores the fuel used to pump, refine and transport the gasoline to the filling station.[citation needed]


Improvements to the electrical infrastructure could lead to mitigation of this issue; if charging stations
were to adopt high-power connections to the electrical grid, and charge drivers by the kilojoule,
supercapacitor-equipped electric cars could reach the goal of refueling in under ten minutes. It should be
noted that this infrastructure change would be akin to the availability of cellular communications
technology on a nationwide level; in the same way that rural locations are the last to receive access to
high-speed data networks and up-to-date technology, those same locations would be the last to receive
adequate electric-vehicle charging facilities. Being able to refuel in remote locations is necessary for a
vehicle that is capable of undergoing long-distance, cross-country travel.

The possibility to standardize replaceable battery packs should also be considered. The battery would be
charged at the energy station over several hours and the vehicle's empty battery would be replaced with
the fully charged one, for a fee covering the energy stored. Because of the weight (several hundred kilos),
the vehicle and the energy station need to be adapted with a simple lift-and-slide-in mechanism to
facilitate the replacement. It should not take longer time to switch batteries than filling up a gasoline car.
A small car would use one battery pack, while a larger car might use several of the standardized battery

Other ways to mitigate the infrastructure issue are to use a different energy storage technology, or hybrid
vehicle technology. The goal of the former is to find a method of storing electrical energy on board the
car, in a manner more efficient than in a battery or capacitor. One proposed solution is the hydrogen fuel
cell vehicle, which uses a hydrogen-based fuel cell to produce electricity while consuming hydrogen
stored in a pressurized tank. This arrangement brings its own problems to the issue; cryogenic,
compressed storage of hydrogen gas does not provide the energy density required to overcome gasoline as
an onboard energy source; hydrogen infrastructure allows for quick refueling of hydrogen vehicles, but
lags behind gasoline and electricity in terms of available refueling locations.

Alternative energy storage is fast becoming the norm for achieving fuel efficiency without sacrificing
range and performance. The most common example of synergy in the area of electric vehicles today is
found in hybrid cars, vehicles which use a small auxiliary gasoline or diesel engine to provide
performance beyond that of what their electric drivetrains can provide when necessary, as well as
eliminating the concern of having to find a charging station to replenish the car's batteries (most currently
available hybrid cars are not plug-in hybrids), since it is much easier to find a gasoline refueling station
today. In turn, the electric drivetrain can be seen to be assisting the ICE in delivering the greatest possible
range and performance from each gallon of fuel consumed. Regenerative braking and other forms of
energy management help hybrid and electric cars fulfill this goal.

Relation with hybrid electric vehicles

Hybrid electric cars, such as the Toyota Prius, offer many of the benefits of electric cars while eliminating
their range limitations
Main article: Hybrid electric vehicle

Cars that make use of electrical power in conjunction with another means of propulsion (often an ICE
powered by fossil fuel) are known as hybrid electric cars. Most hybrid cars are not considered pure
electrical vehicles because they operate in a charge-sustaining mode. A hybrid vehicle that can operate
purely on electrical power becomes an EV when it enters its charge-depleting mode. Hybrid vehicles that
can charge their batteries from an external source in the same fashion as electric vehicles are called plug-
in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).

Comparison with internal combustion engine vehicles

An important goal for electric vehicles is overcoming the disparity between their costs of development,
production, and operation, with respect to those of equivalent internal combustion engine vehicles

Running costs

Electric car operating costs can be directly compared to the equivalent operating costs of a gasoline-
powered vehicle. The energy generated by complete combustion of 1 liter gasoline is about 9.7 kilowatt-
hours (35 MJ). Accounting for inefficiencies of gasoline vs. electric engines and transmission and battery
losses, 1 liter gasoline is equivalent to 2.7 kilowatt-hours (9.7 MJ) from batteries.[11] Given the Tesla
Roadster's plug-to-wheel mileage of 280 W·h/mi and an arbitrary electricity price of $0.10/kW·h, driving
a Tesla Roadster 40 miles a day would cost $1.12. For comparison, driving an internal combustion
engine-powered car the same 40 miles, at a mileage of 25 mpg, would use 1.6 gallons of fuel and, at a
cost of $3 per gallon, would cost $4.80. This is approximately 4 times more expensive than charging the
electric car. This cost advantage varies depending on the costs of gasoline and electricity, the mileages of
the vehicles, and the type of driving being considered. The cost advantage of electric cars increases in
start-and-stop city driving because the regenerative braking systems of the newer electric cars recapture
much of the kinetic energy of the moving vehicle and use this to recharge the batteries upon braking. This
cannot be done for gasoline powered vehicles, and this energy is lost as heat. By contrast, during highway
driving, most of the energy used to move the car forward is dispersed through wind resistance, which is
not easily recoverable. In this case, gasoline powered cars compare more favorably with electric cars.

The Tesla uses about 13 kW·h/100 km (0.47 MJ/km; 0.21 kW·h/mi), the EV1 used about 11 kW·h/100 km
(0.40 MJ/km; 0.18 kW·h/mi).

Servicing costs are lower for an electric car. The documentary film Who Killed the Electric Car? shows a
comparison between the parts that require replacement in a gasoline powered cars and EV1s, with the
garages stating that they bring the electric cars in every 5,000 mi (8,000 km), rotate the tires, fill the
windshield washer fluid and send them back out again. Even the hydraulic brakes require less
maintenance because regenerative braking itself also slows the vehicle, as it does with a hybrid.

Electric cars using lead-acid batteries require their regular replacement, while with routine maintenance
internal combustion engines can last the lifetime of the vehicle. NiMH batteries typically last the life of
the vehicle. Toyota Prius vehicles have been known to go over 300,000 km (190,000 mi) without needing
a battery replacement, though the Toyota warranty is for 10 years/150,000 mi (240,000 km) or 8
years/100,000 mi (160,000 km), and new batteries cost around $2,300 to $2,600 in 2008 and are expected
to fall in price over time.

Energy efficiency

Main articles: Fuel efficiency, Electrical efficiency, Thermal efficiency, and Energy efficiency Proponents
of electric cars usually tout an increased efficiency as the primary advantage of an electric vehicle as
compared to one powered by an internal combustion engine. The energy efficiency comparison is difficult
to make because the two vehicles operate on different principles. Vehicles powered by internal
combustion engines operate by converting energy stored in fossil fuels to mechanical energy through the
use of a heat engine. Heat engines operate with very low efficiencies because heat cannot be converted
directly into mechanical energy. Electric vehicles convert stored electric potential into mechanical energy.
Electricity can be converted into mechanical energy at very high efficiencies. A quick analysis will show
electric vehicles are significantly more efficient. However, electricity (in a form usable for humans) does
not naturally exist in nature. The electricity used for electric cars may be created by converting fossil fuels
to electricity using a heat engine (with a similar efficiency as an automotive engine), converting nuclear
energy to electricity using a heat engine, or through dams, windmills, or solar energy. Each of these
conversion processes operate with less than 100% efficiency and those involving heat engines operate at
relatively low efficiencies.

When comparing the efficiencies of an electric vehicle to a gasoline vehicle, the efficiency of the source
of generating the electric energy must be included in the comparison. For example, it is incorrect to say
that an electric vehicle charged each night from a gasoline powered generator is more efficient than a
gasoline powered vehicle.

An electric car's efficiency is affected by its battery charging and discharging efficiencies, which ranges
from 70% to 85%, and its engine and braking system. The electricity generating system in the US loses
9.5% of the power transmitted between the power station and the socket, and the power stations are 33%
efficient in turning the calorific value of fuel at the power station to electrical power. Overall this results
in an efficiency of 20% to 25% from fuel into the power station, to power into the motor of the grid-
charged EV, comparable or slightly better than the average 20% efficiency of gasoline-powered vehicles
in urban driving, though worse than the about 45 % of modern Diesel engines running under optimal
conditions (e.g. on motorways).

Production and conversion electric cars typically use 10 to 23 kW·h/100 km (0.17 to 0.37 kW·h/mi).
Approximately 20% of this power consumption is due to inefficiencies in charging the batteries. Tesla
Motors indicates that the vehicle efficiency (including charging inefficiencies) of their lithium-ion battery
powered vehicle is 12.7 kW·h/100 km (0.21 kW·h/mi) and the well-to-wheels efficiency (assuming the
electricity is generated from natural gas) is 24.4 kW·h/100 km (0.39 kW·h/mi). The US fleet average of
10 l/100 km (24 mpg-US) of gasoline is equivalent to 96 kW·h/100 km (1.58 kW·h/mi), and the Honda
Insight uses 32 kW·h/100 km (0.52 kW·h/mi) (assuming 9.6 kW·h per liter of gasoline).

The greater efficiency of electric vehicles is primarily because most energy in a gasoline-powered vehicle
is released as waste heat. With an engine getting only 20% thermal efficiency, a gasoline-powered vehicle
using 96 kW·h/100 km of energy is only using 19.2 kW·h/100 km for motion.

The waste heat generated by an ICE is frequently put to beneficial use by heating the vehicle interior.
Electric vehicles generate very little waste heat and resistance electric heat may have to be used to heat
the interior of the vehicle if heat generated from battery charging/discharging can not be used to heat the
interior. Electric vehicles used in cold weather will show increased energy consumption and decreased
range on a single charge.

Range vs cruising speed

The trade-off for range against cruising speed is well known for vehicles with internal combustion
engines. Typically a cruising speed of around 80 km/h (50 mph) is near-optimal, although for specific cars
it could fall as low as 40 km/h (25 mph), or as high as 100 km/h (60 mph).

Steady speed fuel economy

For electric vehicles the equation is less complex, and maximum range is achieved at comparatively low

Carbon dioxide emissions

Sources of electricity in the U.S. in 2008.

While electric cars produce no emissions at the tailpipe— indeed they don't have one— their use
increases demand for electrical generation. Generating electricity and producing liquid fuels for vehicles
are different categories of the energy economy, with different inefficiencies and environmental harms, but
both emit carbon dioxide into the environment. The well-to-wheel (WTW) carbon dioxide (CO2)
emissions of electric cars are always lower than those of conventional cars, but the amount of savings
depend on the emissions intensity of the existing electricity infrastructure. An electric car's WTW
emissions are much lower in a country like Canada, which electricity supply is dominated by hydro and
nuclear, than in countries like China and the US that rely heavily on coal.

An EV recharged from the existing US grid electricity emits about 115 grams of CO2 per kilometer driven
(6.5 oz(CO2)/mi), whereas a conventional US market gasoline powered car emits 250 g(CO2)/km
(14 oz(CO2)/mi).The savings are questionable relative to hybrid or diesel cars, (according to official
British government testing the most efficient European market cars are well below 115 grams of CO2 per
kilometer driven), but would be more significant in countries with cleaner electric infrastructure. In a
worst case scenario where incremental electricity demand would be met exclusively with coal, a 2009
study conducted by the WWF, World Wildlife Foundation, and IZES found that a mid-size EV would
emit roughly 200 g(CO2)/km (11 oz(CO2)/mi), compared with an average of 170 g(CO2)/km
(9.7 oz(CO2)/mi) for a gasoline powered compact car. This study concluded that introducing 1 million EV
cars to Germany would, in the best case scenario, only reduce CO2 emissions by 0.1%, if nothing is done
to upgrade the electricity infrastructure or manage demand.

Like any other vehicles, EVs themselves of course differ in their fuel efficiency and their total cost of
ownership, including the environmental costs of their manufacture and disposal.

48.5% of the electricity generated in the United States comes from coal-fired powerplants

According to the US Department of Energy, most electricity generation in the United States is from fossil
sources, and half of that is from coal. Coal is more carbon-intensive than oil. Overall average efficiency
from US power plants (33% efficient) to point of use (transmission loss 9.5%) is 30%. Accepting a 70%
to 80% efficiency for the electric vehicle gives a figure of only around 20% overall efficiency when
recharged from fossil fuels. That is comparable to the efficiency of an internal combustion engine running
at variable load. The efficiency of a gasoline engine is about 16%, and 20% for a diesel engine. This is
much lower than the efficiency when running at constant load and optimal rotational speed, which gives
efficiency around 30% and 45% respectively. The electric battery suffers from similar decrease in
efficiency when running at variable load, which accounts for the modest increased efficiency of hybrid
vehicles. The actual result in terms of emissions depends on different refining and transportation costs
getting fuel to a car versus a power plant. Diesel engines can also easily run on renewable fuels, biodiesel,
vegetable oil fuel, with no loss of efficiency. Using fossil based grid electricity substantially negates the
in-vehicle efficiency advantages of electric cars. The major potential benefit of electric cars is to allow
diverse renewable electricity sources to fuel cars.

According to the US Department of Energy, CO2 emissions for electricity generated from coal result in
2.05 lb (0.93 kg) of CO2 per kW·h or roughly 0.5 lb(CO2)/mi (0.14 kg(CO2)/km). CO2 emissions from
electricity produced from all types of fuel using the mix of sources in the US as of 2008 results in 1.35 lb
(0.61 kg) of CO2 per kW·h or 0.337 pounds of CO2 per mile (0.095 kg(CO2)/km) from an electric vehicle
with a 0.250-kilowatt-hour-per-mile (0.155 kW·h/km; 0.56 MJ/km) energy consumption (typical).
Gasoline used in Internal Combustion Engine automobiles produces 19.5 lbCO2/US gal (2.34 kg(CO2)/L)
directly and an undetermined amount of CO2 in refining the crude oil, and transporting the gasoline to
retail point of sale. With a US fleet average of 21.3 mpg-US (11.0 L/100 km; 25.6 mpg-imp) in 2008, this
would indicate a CO2 production of 0.915 lb/mi (0.258 kg/km) driven. Electric powered automobiles,
even using the most CO2 intensive coal produced electricity, produce half the emissions of gasoline
powered automobiles.

If solar, wind, hydro, or nuclear electric generation, or carbon capture for fossil fuel powered plants were
to become prevalent, electric vehicles could produce less CO2, potentially zero. Based on GREET
simulations, electric cars can achieve up to 100% reductions with renewable electric generation, against
77% with a B100 car. At present only a 32% reduction of CO2 is available for electric cars recharging
from non-renewable utilities on the US Grid, because of the majority use of fossil fuels in generation, and
inefficiency in the grid itself.

Acceleration and drivetrain design

Electric motors can provide high power to weight ratios, and batteries can be designed to supply the large
currents to support these motors.

Although some electric vehicles have very small motors, 15 kW (20 hp) or less and therefore have modest
acceleration, many electric cars have large motors and brisk acceleration. In addition, the relatively
constant torque of an electric motor, even at very low speeds tends to increase the acceleration
performance of an electric vehicle relative to that of the same rated motor power internal combustion
engine. Another early solution was American Motors’ experimental Amitron piggyback system of
batteries with one type designed for sustained speeds while a different set boosted acceleration when

Electric vehicles can also use a direct motor-to-wheel configuration which increases the amount of
available power. Having multiple motors connected directly to the wheels allows for each of the wheels to
be used for both propulsion and as braking systems, thereby increasing traction. In some cases, the motor
can be housed directly in the wheel, such as in the Whispering Wheel design, which lowers the vehicle's
center of gravity and reduces the number of moving parts. When not fitted with an axle, differential, or
transmission, electric vehicles have less drivetrain rotational inertia.

When the foot is lifted from the accelerator of an ICE, engine braking causes the car to slow. An EV
would coast under these conditions, and applying mild regenerative braking instead provides a more
familiar response.

A gearless or single gear design in some EVs eliminates the need for gear shifting, giving such vehicles
both smoother acceleration and smoother braking. Because the torque of an electric motor is a function of
current, not rotational speed, electric vehicles have a high torque over a larger range of speeds during
acceleration, as compared to an internal combustion engine. As there is no delay in developing torque in
an EV, EV drivers report generally high satisfaction with acceleration.

For example, the Venturi Fetish delivers supercar acceleration despite a relatively modest 220 kW
(295 hp), and top speed of around 160 km/h (100 mph). Some DC motor-equipped drag racer EVs, have
simple two-speed transmissions to improve top speed. The Tesla Roadster prototype can reach 100 km/h
(62 mph) in 4 seconds with a motor rated at 185 kW (248 hp).


Vehicle safety

Great effort is taken to keep the mass of an electric vehicle as low as possible, in order to improve the
EV's range and endurance. Despite these efforts, the high density and weight of the electric batteries
usually results in an EV being heavier than a similar equivalent gasoline vehicle leading to less interior
space, worse handling characteristics, and longer braking distances. However, in a collision, the occupants
of a heavy vehicle will, on average, suffer fewer and less serious injuries than the occupants of a lighter
vehicle; therefore, the additional weight brings safety benefits despite having a negative effect on the car's
performance.An accident in a 2,000 lb (900 kg) vehicle will on average cause about 50% more injuries to
its occupants than a 3,000 lb (1,400 kg) vehicle. In a single car accident, and for the other car in a two car
accident, the increased mass causes an increase in accelerations and hence an increase in the severity of
the accident. Some electric cars use low rolling resistance tires, which typically offer less grip than normal

Hazard to pedestrians

Electric cars produced much less roadway noise as compared to vehicles propelled by a internal
combustion engine. However, the reduced noise level from electric engines may not be beneficial for all
road users, as blind people or the visually-impaired consider the noise of combustion engines a helpful aid
while crossing streets, hence electric cars and hybrids could pose an unexpected hazard. Tests have shown
that this is a valid concern, as vehicles operating in electric mode can be particularly hard to hear below
20 mph (30 km/h) for all types of road users and not only the visually-impaired. At higher speeds the
sound created by tire friction and the air displaced by the vehicle start to make more audible noise. The
US Congress and the European Commission are exploring legislation to establish a minimum level of
sound for electric and hybrid electric vehicles when operating in electric mode, so that blind people and
other pedestrians and cyclists can hear them coming and detect from which direction they are

Cabin heating and cooling

While heating can be simply provided with an electric resistance heater, higher efficiency and integral
cooling can be obtained with a reversible heat pump (this is currently implemented in the hybrid Toyota
Prius). Positive Temperature Constant (PTC) junction cooling is also attractive for its simplicity - this
kind of system is used for example in the Tesla Roadster. However some electric cars, for example the
Citroën Berlingo Electrique, use an auxiliary heating system (for example gasoline-fueled units
manufactured by Webasto or Eberspächer). Cabin cooling can be augmented with solar power, most
simply and effectively by inducting outside air to avoid extreme heat buildup when the vehicle is closed
and parked in the sunlight (such cooling mechanisms are available as aftermarket kits for conventional
vehicles). Two models of the 2010 Toyota Prius include this feature as an option.

Regenerative braking
Main article: Regenerative braking

Using regenerative braking, a feature which is present on many electric and hybrid vehicles, estimates
of 71-93% of the energy used to accelerate the mass of the vehicle may be recovered during braking,
increasing its efficiency, particularly in urban drive cycles.

Prototypes of 75 watt-hour/kilogram lithium-ion polymer battery. Newer lithium-ion cells can provide up
to 130 W·h/kg and last through thousands of charging cycles.
Main article: Electric vehicle battery

Rechargeable battery materials used in electric vehicles include lead-acid ("flooded" and VRLA), NiCd,
nickel metal hydride, lithium-ion, Li-ion polymer, and, less commonly, zinc-air and molten salt. The
Lithium iron phosphate battery is currently one of the most promising electric vehicle battery variants due
to its light weight, high energy density, and lack of thermal runaway issues that have plagued laptop
computer lithium-ion batteries. The amount of electricity stored in batteries is measured in ampere hours
or coulombs, with the total energy often measured in watt hours.

Historically, EVs and PHEVs have had issues with high battery costs, limited range between battery
recharging, charging time, and battery lifespan, which have limited their widespread adoption. Ongoing
battery technology advancements have addressed many of these problems; many models have recently
been prototyped, and a few future production models have been announced.


Main article: charging station

Ultra-light design by IWK

Charging station at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This station is run by Petrobras and uses solar energy.
Batteries in BEVs must be periodically recharged (see also Replacing, below). BEVs most commonly
charge from the power grid (at home or using a street or shop charging station), which is in turn generated
from a variety of domestic resources; such as coal, hydroelectricity, nuclear and others. Home power such
as roof top photovoltaic solar cell panels, micro hydro or wind may also be used and are promoted
because of concerns regarding global warming.

Charging time is limited primarily by the capacity of the grid connection. A normal household outlet is
between 1.5 kW (in the US, Canada, Japan, and other countries with 110 volt supply) to 3 kW (in
countries with 220/240V supply). The main connection to a house might be able to sustain 10 kW, and
special wiring can be installed to use this. At this higher power level charging even a small, 7 kW·h (22–
45 km) pack, would probably require one hour. This is small compared to the effective power delivery
rate of an average petrol pump, about 5,000 kW. Even if the supply power can be increased, most
batteries do not accept charge at greater than their charge rate ("1C"), because high charge rates have an
adverse effect on the discharge capacities of batteries.Nevertheless, conventional power outlets are
sufficient to charge batteries overnight.

In 1995, some charging stations charged BEVs in one hour. In November 1997, Ford purchased a fast-
charge system produced by AeroVironment called "PosiCharge" for testing its fleets of Ranger EVs,
which charged their lead-acid batteries in between six and fifteen minutes. In February 1998, General
Motors announced a version of its "Magne Charge" system which could recharge NiMH batteries in about
ten minutes, providing a range of 60 to 100 mi (100 to 160 km).

In 2005, mobile device battery designs by Toshiba were claimed to be able to accept an 80% charge in as
little as 60 seconds. Scaling this specific power characteristic up to the same 7 kW·h EV pack would
result in the need for a peak of 340 kW from some source for those 60 seconds. It is not clear that such
batteries will work directly in BEVs as heat build-up may make them unsafe.

Altairnano's NanoSafe batteries can be recharged in several minutes, versus hours required for other
rechargeable batteries. A NanoSafe cell can be charged to around 95% charge capacity in approximately
10 minutes.

Many people do not always require fast recharging because they have enough time, 30 minutes to six
hours (depending on discharge level) during the work day or overnight to recharge. The charging does not
require attention so it takes only a few seconds of the owner's time for plugging and unplugging the
charging source. Many BEV drivers prefer recharging at home, avoiding the inconvenience of visiting a
charging station. Some workplaces provide special parking bays for electric vehicles with chargers
provided - sometimes powered by solar panels. In colder areas such as Finland, some northern US states
and Canada there already exists some infrastructure for public power outlets, in parking garages and at
parking meters, provided primarily for use by block heaters and set with circuit breakers that prevent large
current draws for other uses.


The charging power can be connected to the car in two ways using an (electric coupling). The first is a
direct electrical connection known as conductive coupling. This might be as simple as a mains lead into a
weatherproof socket through special high capacity cables with connectors to protect the user from the
high voltage ; several standards, such as SAE J1772 and IEC 62196, cohabit. The second approach is
known as inductive charging. A special 'paddle' is inserted into a slot on the car. The paddle is one
winding of a transformer, while the other is built into the car. When the paddle is inserted it completes an
electromagnetic circuit which provides power to the battery pack. In one inductive charging system, one
winding is attached to the underside of the car, and the other stays on the floor of the garage.

The major advantage of the inductive approach is that there is no possibility of electric shock as there are
no exposed conductors, although interlocks, special connectors and RCDs (ground fault detectors) can
make conductive coupling nearly as safe. However there is no reason that conductive coupling equipment
cannot take advantage of the same concept. Conductive coupling equipment is lower in cost and much
more efficient due to a vastly lower component count. An inductive charging proponent from Toyota
contended in 1998 that overall cost differences were minimal, while a conductive charging proponent
from Ford contended that conductive charging was more cost efficient

Travel range before recharging

The range of an electric car depends on the number and type of batteries used. The weight and type of
vehicle, and the performance demands of the driver, also have an impact just as they do on the range of
traditional vehicles. The range of an electric vehicle conversion depends on the battery type:

• Lead acid batteries are still the most used form of power for most of the electric vehicles used
today. Compared to eg lithium-ion batteries, they are up to 3x cheaper. The initial construction
costs are significantly lower than for other battery types, and while power output to weight is
poorer than other designs, range and power can be easily added by increasing the number of
• Manufacturers are not using these batteries in new designs because of the greater maintenance
costs compared with solid batteries and the weight and bulk which affects the handling and space
of the vehicle.

They are the principal form of battery in non-road going electric vehicles such as mobility scooters
and electric forklifts.
Most non-commercial conversions generally have a range of 30 to 80 km (20 to 50 mi).
Production EVs with lead-acid batteries are capable of up to 130 km (80 mi) per charge.

• NiMH batteries have higher energy density and may deliver up to 200 km (120 mi) of range.

• The lithium-ion battery in the AC Propulsion tzero provides 400 to 500 km (200 to 300 mi) of
range per charge. The list price of this vehicle when it was released in 2003 was $220,000.
• Lithium is also less expensive than nickel.

Finding the economic balance of range against performance, battery capacity versus weight, and battery
type versus cost challenges every EV manufacturer.


An alternative to quick recharging is simply to exchange the drained or nearly drained batteries (or battery
range extender modules) with fully charged batteries, rather as stagecoach horses were changed at
coaching inns. Batteries could be leased or rented instead of bought, and then maintenance deferred to the
leasing or rental company, and ensures availability (see Think Nordic). In 1947, in Nissan's first electric
car, the batteries were removable so that they could be replaced at filling stations with fully charged ones.
The company Better Place is one potential player in this market - however they neither rent nor lease the
batteries, using them as a means to an end to sell kilometers/miles to customers they have a contract with.
Renault announced at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show that they have sponsored a network of charging
stations and plug-in plug-out battery swap stations. Other vehicle manufacturers and companies are also
investigating the possibility.

BEVs (including buses and trucks) can also use genset trailers and pusher trailers to extend their range
without the additional weight during normal short-range use. Drained battery set trailers can be replaced
by charged ones along a route.

Such BEVs can become hybrid vehicles depending on the trailer's and car's types of energy and

Replaceable batteries were used in the electric buses at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Zinc-bromine flow batteries or Vanadium redox batteries can be refilled, instead of recharged, saving
time. The depleted electrolyte can be recharged at the point of exchange, or taken away to a remote

Vehicle-to-grid: uploading and grid buffering

Smart grid allows BEVs to provide power to the grid, specifically:

• During peak load periods, when the cost of electricity can be very high. These vehicles can then be
recharged during off-peak hours at cheaper rates while helping to absorb excess night time
generation. Here the batteries in the vehicles serve as a distributed storage system to buffer power.
• During blackouts, as an emergency backup supply.

The basic premise here is similar to Economy 7 in the United Kingdom: incentives to spread the load
more evenly across the day reduces the need for expensive peak demand and thus the need to building
power stations that can supply it on demand.


Individual batteries are usually arranged into large battery packs of various voltage and ampere-hour
capacity products to give the required energy capacity. Battery life should be considered when calculating
the extended cost of ownership, as all batteries eventually wear out and must be replaced. The rate at
which they expire depends on a number of factors.

The depth of discharge (DOD) is the recommended proportion of the total available energy storage for
which that battery will achieve its rated cycles. Deep cycle lead-acid batteries generally should not be
discharged below 80% capacity. More modern formulations can survive deeper cycles.

In real world use, some fleet Toyota RAV4 EVs, using NiMH batteries will exceed 160 000 km
(100,000 mi), and have had little degradation in their daily range. Quoting that report's concluding

The five-vehicle test is demonstrating the long-term durability of Nickel Metal Hydride batteries and
electric drive trains. Only slight performance degradation has been observed to-date on four out of five
vehicles.... EVTC test data provide strong evidence that all five vehicles will exceed the 100,000-mile
(160,000 km) mark. SCE’s positive experience points to the very strong likelihood of a 130,000-to-
150,000-mile (210,000 to 240,000 km) Nickel Metal Hydride battery and drive-train operational life. EVs
can therefore match or exceed the lifecycle miles of comparable internal combustion engine vehicles.

In June 2003 the 320 RAV4 EVs of the SCE fleet were used primarily by meter readers, service
managers, field representatives, service planners and mail handlers, and for security patrols and carpools.
In five years of operation, the RAV4 EV fleet had logged more than 6.9 million miles, eliminating about
830 tons of air pollutants, and preventing more than 3,700 tons of tailpipe CO2 emissions. Given the
successful operation of its EVs to-date, SCE plans to continue using them well after they all log
100,000 miles (160,000 km).

Jay Leno's 1909 Baker Electric still operates on its original Edison cells. Battery replacement costs of
BEVs may be partially or fully offset by the elimination of some regular maintenance, such as oil and
filter changes required for ICEVs, and by the greater reliability of BEVs due to their fewer moving parts.
They also do away with many other parts that normally require servicing and maintenance in a regular
car, such as on the gearbox, cooling system, and engine tuning. And by the time batteries do finally need
definitive replacement, they can be replaced with later generation ones which may offer better
performance characteristics, in the same way one might replace an old laptop or mobile phone battery.

The safety issues of BEVs are largely dealt with by the international standard ISO 6469. This document is
divided in three parts dealing with specific issues:

• On-board electrical energy storage, i.e. the battery

• Functional safety means and protection against failures
• Protection of persons against electrical hazards.

Firefighters and rescue personnel receive special training to deal with the higher voltages and chemicals
encountered in electric and hybrid electric vehicle accidents. While BEV accidents may present unusual
problems, such as fires and fumes resulting from rapid battery discharge, there is apparently no available
information regarding whether they are inherently more or less dangerous than gasoline or diesel internal
combustion vehicles which carry flammable fuels.

Lithium-ion batteries can overheat due to short circuiting or crash damage. One in every 60,000 electric
cars could experience a problem due to a lithium ion cell overheating. A failure of one cell could spread to
other cells within the battery. Even if battery fires were no more widespread than fires associated with
gasoline cars, negative portrayals in the mass media could prove detrimental to the transition to electric


Battery technology

The future of battery electric vehicles depends primarily upon the cost and availability of batteries with
high energy densities, power density, short charge time and long life, as all other aspects such as motors,
motor controllers, and chargers are fairly mature and cost-competitive with internal combustion engine
components. Li-ion, Li-poly and zinc-air batteries have demonstrated energy densities high enough to
deliver range and recharge times comparable to conventional vehicles.By the year 2020, an estimated
30% of the cars driving on the road will be battery, electric or plug-in hybrid.

Bolloré, a French logistics conglomerate, developed a concept car, called the Bluecar, using Lithium-ion
polymer batteries developed by a subsidiary, Batscap. It had a range of 250 km (160 mi) and top speed of
125 km/h (80 mph).

The cathodes of early 2007 lithium-ion batteries are made from lithium-cobalt metal oxide. That material
is expensive, and can release oxygen if its cell is overcharged. If the cobalt is replaced with iron
phosphates, the cells will not burn or release oxygen under any charge. The price premium for early 2007
hybrids is about $5000 US, some $3000 of which is for their NiMH battery packs. At early 2007 gasoline
and electricity prices, that would break even after six to ten years of operation. The hybrid premium could
fall to $2000 in five years, with $1200 or more of that being cost of lithium-ion batteries, breaking even
after three years.

Other methods of energy storage

Experimental supercapacitors and flywheel energy storage devices offer comparable storage capacity,
faster charging, and lower volatility. They have the potential to overtake batteries as the preferred
rechargeable storage for EVs. The FIA included their use in its sporting regulations of energy systems for
Formula One race vehicles in 2007 (for supercapacitors) and 2009 (for flywheel energy storage devices).

EEStor claims to have developed a supercapacitor for electricity storage. These units are titanate coated
with aluminum oxide and glass to achieve a level of capacitance claimed to be much higher than that
currently available on the market. The claimed energy density is 1.0 MJ/kg whereas existing commercial
supercapacitors typically have an energy density of around 0.01 MJ/kg, while lithium-ion batteries have
an energy density of around 0.59 MJ/kg to 0.95 MJ/kg). EEStor claims that a 5 minute charge should give
the supercapacitor enough energy to give a car a range of 400 km (250 mi).

Solar cars

Solar cars are electric cars that derive most or all of their electricity from built in solar panels. After the
2005 World Solar Challenge established that solar race cars could exceed highway speeds, the
specifications were changed to provide for vehicles that with little modification could be used for

Electric car use by country

An Italian Carabinieri GEM e2, called the Ovetti (egg), used for patrolling urban areas

GEM e2 NEV used by the Tourist Police in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, being recharged

Australia and New Zealand

In 2008 Australia started producing its first commercial all-electric vehicle. Originally called the Blade
Runner, its name was changed to Electron, and is already being exported to New Zealand with one
purchased by the Environment Minister Dr. Nick Smith.The Electron is based on the Hyundai Getz
chassis and has proven popular with government car pools.


The Chinese government adopted a plan with the goal of turning the country into one of the leaders of all-
electric and hybrid vehicles by 2012. The government's intention is to create a world-leading industry that
will produce jobs and exports, and to reduce urban pollution and its oil dependence. However, a study
found that even though local air pollution would be reduced by replacing a gasoline car with a similar-size
electric car, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by only 19%, as China uses coal for 75% of its
electricity production. A 19% reduction is, however, a substantial reduction and all cars being electric
would be a larger incentive not only for more investment in renewable electricity generation, but also
make a home solar system more economical.

The government is providing subsidies for electric car research and also subsidies of up to $8,800 US for
each hybrid or all-electric vehicle purchased by taxi fleets and local government agencies in 13 Chinese
citiesElectricity utilities have been ordered to set up electric car charging stations in Beijing, Shanghai and
Tianjin. China wants to raise its annual production capacity to 500,000 hybrid or all-electric cars and
buses by the end of 2011, from 2,100 in 2008. As intercity driving is rare in China, electric cars provide
several practical advantages because commutes are fairly short and at low speeds due to traffic
congestion. These particular local conditions make the range limitation of all-electric cars less of a
problem, especially as the latest Chinese models have a top speed of 100 km/h (60 mph) and a range of
200 km (120 mi) between charges.


A small city car called XD assembled by Croatian company DOK-ING[67]. The name XD comes from
oddly shaped rear lights ("X" shaped) and "D" beginning letter of the company's name. The XD can travel
over 250 km on a single charge with Lithium-ion batteries. Car's base-cost will be only 10.000€. Serial
production is predicted to start mid-2010.

Electric Cars - Now!

There is also a non-commercial electric car conversion organisation called Electric Cars - Now! that
converts standard Toyota Corollas into Li-ion battery-powered electric cars. As of August 2009, more
than 1,700 pre-orders for conversion Toyotas have been placed. The speciality in the Electric Cars - Now!
project is that it is an open source project: anyone can start similar production anywhere they want, the
benefits for the customer being open-source spare part coding and so on. The ideas and design are freely
available from the Electric Cars - Now! organisation.

Electric Motor Show

Sharing knowledge is also in progress: in Helsinki the Electric Motor Show 2009 will be held from 6 to 8
November.The show will feature only cars, motorcycles, scooters, mopeds and microcars and components
for them. The plan is to hold the show annually.


Basic charging infrastructure is already available all over Finland, used for engine pre-warming in the
cold winters. Because of its climate – cold winters and warm summers – Finland is considered a
convenient "test laboratory" for electric cars and many companies have made field tests in Finland. It has
been said in Autobild 08/09 magazine that Fortum is developing the high-speed charging system. With a
new kind of three-phase charging method electric cars can be charged in four minutes. A commercial
product should be ready by 2011.

There are also mines and metal refineries for lithium alloy in Finland. At the moment there are several
mining projects under way such as the Keliber project.

Support organisations

There are several electric car organisations in Finland, such as the Electric Vehicle Association of Finland
and Electric Vehicles Finland.

United Kingdom

Speaking at the G8 summit in 2008, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced plans for Britain to
be at the forefront of a "green car revolution". Brown suggested that by 2020 all new cars sold in Britain
could be electric or hybrid vehicles producing less than 100 grams of CO2 per kilometer (5.7 oz(CO2)/mi).

In preparation for the introduction of mass-produced electric vehicles to Britain's roads, trials of electric
cars are taking place from 2009, with further trials in cities across the UK from 2010. Local British
councils are being invited to submit bids to become Britain's first "green cities". One example is Glasgow,
where a Scottish consortium has been awarded more than £1.8m to run a pilot electric car scheme from
In January 2009, transport secretary Geoff Hoon said the British government would make £250m
available for consumer incentives to bring electric cars to market in the UK. Nissan's Sunderland plant —
the largest car factory in the UK — has been granted a £380m EU-backed loan to develop electric car
technology. This will potentially generate 4,500 jobs and make the North-East of England a major
producer of electric cars.

London mayor Boris Johnson has also announced plans to deliver 25,000 electric car-charging places
across the capital by 2015, in order to make London the "electric car capital of Europe". His target is to
get 100,000 electric vehicles on to London's streets. Mr Johnson has also pledged to convert at least 1,000
Greater London Authority fleet vehicles to electric by 2015. There has been criticism that although
electric vehicles are available, places to charge them are not.

In April 2009, the UK Government set out plans to offer subsidies of up to £5,000 to encourage them to
buy electric or plug-in hybrid cars. However, these subsidies are not expected to be available until there is
a "mass market" in "around 2011".In a separate Budget initiative, in April 2009 the UK Chancellor of the
Exchequer Alistair Darling detailed a £2,000 subsidy for scrapping a vehicle ten years old or more and
buying an electric or hybrid vehicle.

On 30 April 2009, the Electric Car Corporation put on sale the Citroën C1 ev'ie, an adapted Citroën C1
intended for city driving. On that date, it had a list price of £16,850 ($24,989 US).

On 19 November 2009, Andrew Adonis, the Secretary of State for Transport, announced a scheme called
"Plugged-in-Places", making available £30 million to be shared between three and six cities to investigate
further the viability of providing power supply for electric vehicles, and encouraging local government
and business to participate and bid for funds.

United States

Since the late 1980s, electric vehicles have been promoted in the US through the use of tax credits.
Electric cars are the most common form of what is defined by the California Air Resources Board
(CARB) as zero emission vehicle (ZEV) passenger automobiles, because they produce no emissions while
being driven. By 2015, President Obama set a goal for the United States to have one million electric
vehicles driving on the road. The CARB had set progressive quotas for sales of ZEVs, but most were
withdrawn after lobbying and a lawsuit by auto manufacturers complaining that EVs were economically
infeasible due to an alleged "lack of consumer demand". Many of these lobbying influences are discussed
in the documentary film Who Killed the Electric Car?

The California program was designed by CARB to reduce air pollution and not specifically to promote
electric vehicles. Under pressure from various manufactures, CARB replaced the zero emissions
requirement with a combined requirement of a very small number of ZEVs to promote research and
development, and a much larger number of partial zero-emissions vehicles (PZEVs), an administrative
designation for a super ultra low emissions vehicle (SULEV), which emits about 10% of the pollution of
ordinary low emissions vehicles and are also certified for zero evaporative emissions. While effective in
reaching the air pollution goals projected for the zero emissions requirement, the market effect was to
permit the major manufacturers to quickly terminate their electric car programs and crush the vehicles.

In March 2009 Ford CEO Alan Mulally stated that in 10 to 12 years electric cars would be the dominant
vehicle produced. An electric Ford Focus is expected in 2011.

The chart and table are based on Department of Energy tables. (Table V1 and the Historical Data.)
Figures for electric vehicles do not include privately owned vehicles, but do include Low-Speed Vehicles
(LSVs), defined as "four-wheeled motor vehicles whose top speed is ... 20 to 25 mph (32 to 40 km/h) ... to
be used in residential areas, planned communities, industrial sites, and other areas with low density traffic,
and low-speed zones." LSVs, more commonly known as neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs), were
defined in 1998 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Federal Motor Vehicle Safety
Standard No. 500, which required safety features such as windshields and seat belts, but not doors or side

Number of battery electric vehicles in use each year (red), and year-to-year percentage increase (blue), per
table at left
Electric Cars
in the United States
Year Number
1992 1,607
1993 1,690
1994 2,224
1995 2,860
1996 3,280
1997 4,453
1998 5,243
1999 6,964
2000 11,830
2001 17,847
2002 33,047
2003 47,485
2004 49,536
2005 51,398
2006 53,526
2007 55,730
Average growth 26.7%
Hobbyists, conversions, and racing

Eliica prototype

Hobbyists often build their own EVs by converting existing production cars to run solely on electricity.
There is a cottage industry supporting the conversion and construction of BEVs by hobbyists. Universities
such as the University of California, Irvine even build their own custom electric or hybrid-electric cars
from scratch.

Short-range battery electric vehicles can offer the hobbyist comfort, utility, and quickness, sacrificing
only range. Short-range EVs may be built using high-performance lead–acid batteries, using about half
the mass needed for a 100 to 130 km (60 to 80 mi) range. The result is a vehicle with about a 50 km
(30 mi) range, which, when designed with appropriate weight distribution (40/60 front to rear), does not
require power steering, offers exceptional acceleration in the lower end of its operating range, and is
freeway capable and legal. But their EVs are expensive due to the higher cost for these higher-
performance batteries. By including a manual transmission, short-range EVs can obtain both better
performance and greater efficiency than the single-speed EVs developed by major manufacturers. Unlike
the converted golf carts used for neighborhood electric vehicles, short-range EVs may be operated on
typical suburban throughways (where 60 to 70 km/h (37 to 43 mph) speed limits are typical) and can keep
up with traffic typical on such roads and the short "slow-lane" on-and-off segments of freeways common
in suburban areas.

Faced with chronic fuel shortage on the Gaza Strip, Palestinian electrical engineer Waseem Othman al-
Khozendar invented in 2008 a way to convert his car to run on 32 electric batteries. According to al-
Khozendar, the batteries can be charged with $2 worth of electricity to drive from 180 to 240 km (110 to
150 mi). After a 7-hour charge, the car should also be able to run up to a speed of 100 km/h (60 mph). As
electricity is supplied to Gaza by Israel, this may be seen not only as a way to combat climate changes and
fuel shortage, but also as a way of making peace. Japanese Professor Hiroshi Shimizu from Faculty of
Environmental Information of the Keio University created an electric limousine: the Eliica (Electric
Lithium-Ion Car) has eight wheels with electric 55 kW hub motors (8WD) with an output of 470 kW and
zero emissions, a top speed of 370 km/h (230 mph), and a maximum range of 320 km (200 mi) provided
by lithium-ion batteries.[104] However, current models cost approximately $300,000 US, about one third of
which is the cost of the batteries.

In 2008, several Chinese manufacturers began marketing lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries
directly to hobbyists and vehicle conversion shops. These batteries offered much better power to weight
ratios allowing vehicle conversions to typically achieve 75 to 150 mi (120 to 240 km) per charge. Prices
gradually declined to approximately $350 US per kW·h by mid 2009. As the LiFePO4 cells feature life
ratings of 3,000 cycles, compared to typical lead acid battery ratings of 300 cycles, the life expectancy of
LiFePO4 cells is around 10 years. This has led to a resurgence in the number of vehicles converted by
individuals. LiFePO4 cells do require more expensive battery management and charging systems than lead
acid batteries.
Alternative green vehicles
Other types of green vehicles include vehicles that move fully or partly on alternative energy sources
rather than fossil fuel. Another option is to use alternative fuel composition in conventional fossil fuel-
based vehicles, making them go partly on renewable energy sources.

Other approaches include personal rapid transit, a public transportation concept that offers automated on-
demand non-stop transportation, on a network of specially-built guideways.

Currently available electric cars

There are electric cars available for purchase in one or more countries, or currently in mass production
even if not yet delivered. There are also many electric car projects that are not yet available but are at an
advanced stage of development.

Prototype electric cars

See also: List of production battery electric vehicles#Cars planned for production

The following electric cars are currently in an advanced stage of development.

Highway capable

Cars capable of at least 100 km/h (62 mph)

Top Capacity Nominal
Model Acceleration Charging time release
speed Adults+kids range
Full charge 3.5
Tesla 201 km/h 0 to 97 km/h (0 to hours using the 393 km
2 2008
Roadster (125 mph) 60 mph) in 3.9 s High Power (244 mi)
Tesla 193 km/h 0 to 97 km/h (0 to 7 Full charge 3.5 483 km 2011
Model S (120 mph) 60 mph) in 5.6 s hours using the (300 mi)
High Power
Connector or 45
105 km/h 0 to 50 km/h (0 to 210 km
Th!nk City 2+2 2008
(65 mph) 31 mph) in 6.5s (130 mi)
REVA 104 km/h 160 km
4 Early 2010
NXR (65 mph) (99 mi)
REVA 130 km/h 200 km
2 2011
NXG (81 mph) (120 mi)
7 hours with
Mitsubishi 130 km/h standard AC power; 160 km
4 2010
MiEV (81 mph) 30 minute rapid (99 mi)
charge to 80%
8 hours with
145 km/h standard AC power; 161 km
Nissan Leaf 5 Late 2010
(90 mph) 30 minute rapid (100 mi)
charge to 80%
8 hours with
standard AC power; 200 km
Subaru G4e 5 unknown
15 minute rapid (120 mi)
charge to 80%
Volvo C30 210 km
5 unknown
electric (130 mi)[105]
Optimal 0–50 km/h in 4.6
Energy 130 km/h sec, 0–100 km/h in 5 7 hours (maximum) 300 km 2010
Joule 14 seconds

Gallery of electric cars

The Toyota RAV4 EV is

Electric car and powered by twenty-four 12 volt
antique car on display Camille Jenatzy in The General Motors EV1 batteries, with an operational
at a 1912 auto show in electric car La Jamais had a range of 160 mi cost equivalent of over
Toronto Contente, 1899 (260 km) with NiMH 165 mpg-US (1.43 L/100 km;
batteries in 1999. 198 mpg-imp) at 2005 US
gasoline prices.

2002-2006 Hyundai Getz (TB)

GL 3-door hatchback 01.jpg

Blade Electric Vehicles,

The REVAi, also known as 'Electron' (TM) (previously Blade
the G-Wiz i, is currently the Runner) is Australia's first
Mitsubishi i MiEV,
world's top-selling battery commercial EV.[110][111]
Tata Indica EV [106]
sales planned for
electric car.[108][109] It has a
range of 80 km (50 mi).