Driving an electric car

You are thinking about starting to drive an electric vehicle (EV). Perhaps your car is going to be delivered soon and you are in search of more information. But what does it entail exactly? Driving an electric car means that your vehicle is powered by electricity. You can charge your car using a charging point allowing you to travel a fair distance using electric power.

It also means that you can drive with no emissions (zero emissions). Electric transport is rapidly expanding in the Netherlands.

Why should I drive an electric car?

An electric car has no CO2 emissions and produces virtually no particulates, hence improving air quality in cities. This makes electric cars an environmentally friendly choice. An electric car uses a lithium-ion battery that can be 95% recycled, making another contribution to a better environment.

Aside from environmental concerns, noise – or lack of it – is a welcome added bonus. The only sound that an electric car makes is the friction of the tyres on the asphalt. Other advantages are the lack of maintenance required an electric car and tax benefits for businesses.

Electric cars have rapid acceleration from a standing start, but you can’t drive to your destination at a continuous top speed. This is where operational range comes in to play: you have to bear in mind both your speed and the distance you have to travel. It may well be that you will need to charge your electric car at a charging point on the way. The navigation system in your car allows you to easily find a charging point where you can charge your car and then be on your way again.

What different sorts of electric cars are there?

There are 3 different sorts of electric cars. A Plug-in Hybrid is powered by both an electric motor and a petrol or diesel engine. An example of this is the Mitsubishi Outlander EV.

Then there is the E-REV, the Extended Range electric car. These are powered completely by an electric motor, but a small petrol or diesel auxiliary engine is used to charge the battery.  The Opel Ampera and the BMW i3 for example.

The final sort is the all-electric car (BEV – Battery Electric Vehicle / FEV – Full Electric Vehicle). These are 100% powered by an electric motor with no support from a petrol or diesel engine. One example is the Nissan Leaf.