Electric vehicles (EVs) are propelled by an electric motor powered by rechargeable battery packs.
- EVs are energy efficient. Electric motors convert 75% of the chemical energy from the batteries to power the wheels—internal combustion engines (ICEs) only convert 20% of the energy stored in gasoline.
- EVs emit no tailpipe pollutants, although the power plant producing the electricity may emit them. Electricity from nuclear-, hydro-, solar-, or wind-powered plants causes no air pollutants.
- Electricity is a domestic energy source, so EVs reduce energy dependence.
- Electric motors provide quiet, smooth operation and stronger acceleration and require less maintenance than ICEs.
However, EVs face significant battery-related challenges:
- Driving range. Most EVs can only go 150 miles (or less) before recharging—gasoline vehicles can go over 300 miles before refueling.
- Recharge time. Fully recharging the battery pack can take 4 to 8 hours.
- Battery cost. The large battery packs are expensive and usually must be replaced one or more times.
- Bulk & weight. Battery packs are heavy and take up considerable vehicle space.
To learn more, visit www.fueleconomy.gov and www.cleartheairfoundation.org. To find a charging station near you, visit the U.S. Department of Energy website.