What is an Electric Vehicle?

Posted in: Green on July 13th, 2013

hybrid-car-hyperAccording to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website, an electric vehicle (EV) is a vehicle that is powered by electricity and contains a battery to store energy. Electric vehicles use one or more electric motors or traction motors for propulsion.

There are EVs that are directly powered from an external power station, others that are powered by stored electricity from an external power source, and those that are powered by an on-board electrical generator, such as an internal combustion engine (a hybrid electric vehicle) or a hydrogen fuel cell.

In detail, EVs rely on one of three types of technology:

1. Conventional hybrid technology (HEV), in which the vehicle’s transmission is controlled by both a gasoline engine and fuel tank, and an electric motor and battery. All of the vehicle’s power comes from the gasoline.

2. Plug-in hybrid technology (PHEV), which relies primarily on a battery and electric drive train but is also supported by an internal combustion engine that recharges the battery when the power is low.

3. Battery electric technology (BEV), which operates entirely on a battery and electric drive train and requires regular charging from an external power source.

Now think about this… Where does the energy come from to power an electric car? The electrical grid right! That means renewables like solar, wind, geothermal and other sources like hydro—even nuclear! As you may be aware, many parts of Canada (i.e. Ontario, Quebec and BC) are ‘flush’ with electric power at night – in the hours when there is minimal draw on our hydro-electric grids. Utilizing this ‘glut’ of available energy – which we are so often giving away to the USA to charge our EVs makes absolute perfect sense form an energy cost and strategy standpoint!

All these are regionally produced sources of energy and this means jobs for your family, friends and neighbours. So there is no need to import fossil fuels from the Middle East or from Calgary. No need to import any carcinogens either! And you help ensure good jobs for engineers and power workers at your regional energy distribution company by driving an EV.

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