As we move into the future, electric cars are known for being impressed basically to do away with the gasoline propelled engines. Interesting fact, when we look back into history, electric cars were much more popular in the late 19th century and early 20th century but there came the advanced combustion engines and production of cheap gasoline to propel them and everyone shifted to the combustion engine cars, which also had electric starters.
Re-emergence of electric cars
From the year 2008 more effort and focus has been put into manufacturing of electric cars by manufacturing companies. This has been greatly propelled by the advancement in batteries, the great desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions which cause global warming and also the concern of the increase in prices of oil.
Electric cars a much quieter than the gasoline engines with no emissions. As much as they have this advantages they can take really long to charge and the battery costs are much higher and also have limit range. The rise in popularity of electric vehicles has led to a new phenomenon — range anxiety. There an electric car driver will suffer greatly from range anxiety where the driver is worried that the battery will surely deplete on the way before they reach their desired destination.
Electric car batteries
Electric cars are relatively costly compared to combustion engine propelled vehicles. This is mainly due to the high cost of battery packs but statistics show that the prices are reducing by about 8% p.a. due to their high production. According to study shown in 2016, it is reported that battery car cost dropped from $1300 kWh kilowatt hour in 2007 to about $145 kWh kilowatt hour in 2016.
Range of electric cars: how far can an electric car go?
Well, it depends. Day in day out manufacturers are struggling with engineering troubles and problems when it comes to how far a fully charged electric car can take me as a driver in a single full charge. According to the Bureau of Transportation, an average driver commuting per day will cover less than 40 miles.
With many drivers shying away from acquiring this very environmentally friendly plug-in model cars, many manufacturers are asking why but hey the answer lies in the driving range, how long can a fully charged battery take me?
Car range will vary between electric vehicles, that depends mainly on the size of the battery, if the car is fully powered and also the condition of the road you’re using. An example of an EV (electric vehicle) is the Nissan leaf made in Japan by Nissan automakers which actually provide a driving range of about 80 miles which is quite a limit for drivers. But this was eventually countered by the Tesla motors which offered a range of 200-mile electric car, which pushed the Nissan manufacturers to engage in building a battery with a larger battery that managed 107-mile range. Recently, Tesla has added a new battery option to its menu that offers an range of 335 miles on a full charge. This makes it the longest-range consumer electric vehicle in the world.
Other smaller Electric vehicles like the G-Wiz and the new Renault Twizy was known as quadricycles and meant for urban driving. These vehicles have smaller batteries and their range measure much lower with the G-wiz managing a range of 48 miles on a full charge and the Twizy stands at a range of about 60 miles.
Other aspects that affect the range
Drive reasonably. If you want to get far then you have to keep a watch on how you are driving. Aggressive driving significantly reduces the range, so when driving don’t be too hard on the brake and throttle. I would advise you follow the traffic flow and drive without aggressive braking and gentle deceleration will improve the range as the energy is usually recaptured.
The weather also plays a part in affecting your range. During very cold weather or intensely hot weather, the battery performance degrades which will significantly reduce the range. Traditional batteries for internal combustion engine cars also reduces its capacity, so they need to be checked in cold weather. Batteries perform best with temperatures between 20-40 degrees centigrade, this has led to some electric vehicle being built able to regulate temperatures. Using air conditioners during hot weather to warm the interior or using it during cold weather to raise the temperatures will surely drain the battery power and likewise cut the range really low.
Use the right tires! Did you know that wider tires can put a drag on efficiency? More tread in contact with the ground means greater friction. If you were racing, you’d love that friction, but when you’re looking for maximum range, you want narrower tires and ideally ones made from an efficient compound.
Distance between electric car charging stations
As electric cars ownership increases all around the world, public and accessible electric charging stations are very much needed. They are more convenient if they support fast charging and at high voltages than those available at the residential charging points. Many EV charging stations are being put up by electric companies on streets or at retail shopping centers operated mainly by private people or companies. A charging station will mainly be located in various areas and these are often:
- Residential area– this is a station owned by the resident where he/she can easily charge the car overnight. It is a home charging station and usually for a specific user. Portable chargers can also be mounted on the walls as charging stations. Get your own at-home charging station on Amazon or on Home Depot!
- Parking charging stations– these enable you to charge your vehicle while parking, usually in commercial ventures which are offered in the sole partnership with the owner of the parking lot. These charging stations may be low speed or high speed.
- Fast charging public stations– with charging power of 40kw above and enabling one to achieve a range of over 100 km in just 10 to about 30 minutes. These charging stations will enable long distance traveling by increasing the range of the electric vehicle. Also, may be located in metropolitan areas for fast charging by the commuters.
You can locate the closest charging station using the PlugShare map or the chargeHub one. The filters will inform you about the location, availability, the types of plugs, networks, if they are privately held and much more.
From built-in WiFi and backup cameras, to driverless cars, it seems there is no limit to tech’s stronghold in the automotive industry. The majority of high-tech advancements in the auto world typically revolve around your safety. One of the largest contributions to driver safety has been the introduction of LED lighting. While the majority of manufacturers are still using regular incandescent bulbs, pioneers in the business are pushing for LED lights to be the new standard.
Making LED Lights the New Standard
The simple answer is, they are better. LED technology breaks the mold in several different ways; the most obvious is their versatility. There are more dynamic choices for headlights, back-up lights, brake and taillights, fog lights, side markers, interior lights, underbody lights, and license plate lights to name a few. They are brighter, use less energy, last longer, and are comparable (if not cheaper) than traditional bulbs in cost due to their longevity. To top it off, LED lights are proving to be the safer choice, because they greatly improve driver visibility.
Changing Your Automotive Lighting Mindset
When it comes to safe driving, and automotive upkeep, we tend to focus on the basics. Make sure the oil is changed, get tune-ups regularly, change and rotate tires often, get a yearly smog inspection, and so on. Often your vehicle’s lights are overlooked. You only think about them when you forget to turn them off and kill the battery, another motorist lets you know you have a light out, or a police officer is tapping at your window with a “fix-it” ticket.
The lights on your vehicle are extremely important. They alert drivers behind you when you are braking, and making turns; at night they are what guide you and help you see other vehicles. So don’t make your automotive lights an afterthought when they should be a priority.
Headlight Safety Tips
- Keep exterior car lights clean. When you wash your car, give special attention to the lights. Make sure they’re in good working order, and one isn’t dimmer than the others. Check both low beam and high beam headlights. Clean headlights allow you to see better and prevent glare.
- Keep lighting balanced and even. If you notice you have one light out that needs to be changed, change them both. Auto bulbs are sold together for a reason; you want the quality to be the same on each side. Having one light dimmer than the other can be disconcerting to both you and other drivers.
- Change lights annually. Even if you don’t see any real need to change your headlights, and they are all functioning properly, change them at least once a year anyway. Most people wait until one burns out; they’re already malfunctioning before this happens. Keep them balanced and at their brightest by changing them regularly. Choose a specific date each year to get all new lights.
- Enlist an inspection buddy. If you want to forego the stranger at the stoplight telling you that your brake light is out, recruit a friend to help with inspections. Have your friend sit behind the wheel of your car and systematically turn on and off all of your lights, and pump the brakes while you inspect them. The low and high beams, daylight running lights, brake, and reverse lights should all be inspected.
- Align your lights. There is nothing more annoying for you or oncoming drivers than misaligned headlights. Besides being annoying, they are also distracting, which makes them dangerous. Aligned headlights reduce the uncertainty of drivers that is caused by wonky lighting conditions. Be sure to you have your auto headlights aligned regularly or learn to do it yourself.
- Get regular eye exams. Night vision is the first thing to go as you age or if you already wear corrective lenses. If you have contacts or glasses, or are over 50, it is recommended that you get annual vision screenings. Any time you feel as though your vision may be impaired, making it more difficult for you to drive, get an exam.
- Switch to LED headlights. A recent study showed that most headlamps are woefully inadequate for night driving, some offering as low as 130 feet of vision ahead of the vehicle. The best rated vehicle was the Toyota Prius V, which uses LED headlights. It reaches 387 feet ahead, giving a car moving 70 mph enough time to stop for an obstacle in the road.
Appreciating LED Lighting’s Stylish Side Too
Now that you are armed with the technological benefits of LED lighting, and all the ways you can use LED lights to make your vehicle safer, it’s time for the fun stuff. One of the best things about LED lighting is the design options. They are incredibly versatile; you can be as low-key cool, or limo party flashy as you want to be.
One can choose from a selection of interior lights that glow on the floor beneath your driver and passenger side seats. They come in a variety of colors, red, blue, green, yellow, purple, and orange. You can even choose multi-color, which allows you to change the colors based on your mood. Wheel well LED lights, and underbody LED lighting are other options for your car’s glam lighting. Make your life even easier by choosing kits that are Bluetooth capable, and remote or smartphone controlled. Not only will you be making the streets safer, you’ll look good while you’re at it.
What are some new automotive technologies you think will keep us safer on the road? Are there any that haven’t come out yet that you are looking forward to?
Author: Lauren Jones via www.ledunderbody.com
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