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Want to travel for just 40 paise per kilometre? With petrol prices skyrocketing, it sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? But, it is just one of the many plus points of electric vehicles! Read on to know more about these green carriers…

   What are electric vehicles?   

Electric vehicles (EVs) are automobiles that run on electric motors. Unlike internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles that are fuelled by petrol or diesel, an electric vehicle needs electricity – from sources such as batteries, fuel cells or generators. Among these, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are gaining more ground and popularity these days than its counterparts. BEVs are powered by the chemical energy stored in rechargeable battery packs. Electric vehicles have several advantages over internal combustion engines (ICEs), such as:

  • Zero emissions: EVs emit no pollutants, and thus do not harm the environment.
  • Reduce fuel dependence: EVs reduce the dependency on petrol and diesel. And save the commuters from endless queues at petrol stations.
  • Energy efficient: Electric motors convert 75 per cent of the chemical energy of the batteries, while ICEs use only 20 per cent of the energy stored in petrol.
  • Performance benefits: EV motors are almost noiseless, and require less maintenance than ICEs due to absence of spark plugs, clutch and gears. Moreover, they are ideal for ‘stop-start’ city driving conditions.
  • License: No registration or license is required to drive electric bicycles and scooters, though it is needed to drive electric cars. But, there are some apprehensions about their use as well…
  • Driving range: Most EVs can only go 150 miles (or less) before recharging, while petrol vehicles can go over 300 miles before refueling.
  • Recharge time: Fully recharging the battery pack takes 4-8 hours.
  • Battery problems: Large battery packs are expensive, heavy, and take up considerable vehicle space.

Another major drawback is their price, which is comparatively higher than ICE automobiles. For example, Reva electric cars cost about Rs. 2.5 to 3.25 lakhs, depending on the model. Of course, their low running costs more than make up for the higher initial investment.

But, countries around the world are trying to make EVs an affordable substitute for petrol or diesel-run automobiles. India, for instance, has announced duty cuts for electric cars thus reducing their prices. In addition, researchers around the world are working on increasing the driving range, and decreasing recharge time, replacement frequency, weight and cost of batteries. Hopefully, these incentives would soon make EVs tough competitors for petrol or diesel-run vehicles.

 

   EV History   

Electric automobiles were being produced as early as the 1880s.

1800: The primary cell, invented by Alessandro Volta, generated electricity by chemical action.

1833: A working electric motor built by an American blacksmith Thomas Davenport.

1834-35: Davenport built a model electric locomotive powered by primary cells.

1847: Electrical engineer Moses G. Farmer, and Professor Charles Page designed (separately) locomotives powered by cells. Then, Lilly and Colton built a locomotive, which received its power, produced from a central station, through an electrified rail.

1860: Gaston Faure invented the secondary cell.

1888: Electric cars started appearing on the world scene.

1890: The first successful electric automobile – a carriage – built by William Morrison, US. This was the beginning of the success story of EVs. After more than 20 years of commercial production, internal combustion technology came up as a major player. Its promotion, along with cheap fuel, took over the electric cars market.

(Source: www.revaindia.com)

 

 

   E-Market in India   

  1. Yo-bykes: from Indus-division of Electrotherm. Price range between Rs. 13,500 and Rs. 23,500.
  2. EKO cosmic-I and EGO bike: from ECO vehicles.
  3. E-bike: from ACE motors. Priced about Rs. 26,500.
  4. Reva: from Reva Cars. Price between Rs. 2.5 lakhs and Rs. 3.25 lakhs.
  5. Scooty Teenz Electric: from TVS.
  6. Bijlee: a 10-seater from Mahindra eco mobiles.
  7. Vikram EV: an 8-seater from Scooters India.
  8. Hero cycles, in collaboration with UK-based Ultra motor, has launched a series of EVs. Price range of electric bikes – Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000, and electric scooters – Rs. 24,000 to Rs. 28,000.
  9. Atlas has launched an e-bike priced at Rs. 17,000.
  10. Avon Cycles and TI cycles have launched e-bikes.
  11. Kinetic Motor Company is soon going to release e-scooters priced between Rs. 25,000 and Rs. 35,000.
 

 

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