Is an Electrical Vehicle Right For Me?
Hybrid cars and electric vehicles (EVs) continue to enjoy rising sales, particularly over the last five years. We attribute this to the steady improvement in electrified powertrain technology and the ability of manufacturers such as Chevrolet to produce a stylish vehicle with an upscale cabin and the latest tech that drivers want. Still, many drivers remain on the fence as to whether to switch to an EV. At Nucar Chevrolet of Norwood, we understand that technology can confuse people. That’s why we had our EV experts discuss the different powertrain configurations, how they work, and their benefits to help you decide.
What Is a Hybrid Vehicle?
A hybrid vehicle uses a combination of electricity and gasoline to power it. Usually, a hybrid configuration consists of a gas-powered engine and an electric motor powered by a separate battery. In this setup, the gas engine provides the bulk of the power, with the electric motor adding support. As you drive, the engine recharges the battery. Typically, the electric motor operates when you reach cruising speeds, reducing the energy required by the gas engine to move the car. As a result, your car burns less gas, which saves you money.
You also have plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) on the market. A PHEV has a larger battery and electric motor, which provide more power than a standard hybrid powertrain. You can operate a PHEV in electric-only mode, shutting off the gas engine entirely. This saves you even more money in fuel. However, the engine doesn’t have enough power to recharge the battery as you drive. You’ll need to install a charging station in your home. Chevrolet offers free installation of home charging stations with all new EV purchases.
Most PHEVs have a modest all-electric driving range of around 30 miles. So, if your commute was 15 miles each way, you might never have to use the gas engine. In addition, many employers have installed charging stations in their buildings to encourage the trend and lower greenhouse emissions. Therefore, if your company has a charging station, you can recharge while at work. In addition, many restaurants, shopping centers, and even parking garages have installed charging stations. Soon, you’ll be able to drive almost anywhere with a charging station nearby.
What Is an EV?
An EV has no gas engine. EVs rely on a much larger battery pack, typically lithium-ion, and at least one electric motor. In some cases, you could have three electric motors. In addition, EVs don’t have a traditional six-, eight-, or ten-speed transmission. Instead, they use a single gearbox. This setup produces impressive power and torque with zero emissions.
Modern EVs offer several ways to recharge the battery. For example, the Chevrolet Bolt EV features regenerative braking, which captures the energy created from braking and returns it to the battery. However, your EV doesn’t have an infinite electricity supply, so you’ll want a home charging station. You can install a Level 1 or Level 2 charging station at home. Level 3 charging stations operate at a much higher voltage than your home electrical system, making them impossible to install in a domestic setting. However, Level 3 charging stations can recharge your battery in as little as 30 minutes.
Level 1 Charging
Your new EV will come with a charging cord and an adapter for the different charging levels. Level 1 charging adapters fit your standard three-prong outlet, so you don’t need a charging station installed if you choose this method. However, Level 1 charging works very slowly. It could take 12 hours or more to recharge your battery completely. If you don’t do a lot of driving or need to go very far, this might work for you. However, drivers with a longer commute or more frequent driving needs will find Level 1 charging to be a little impractical.
Level 2 Charging
Level 2 charging uses a 240-volt system. Home installation requires a licensed electrician to put in an outlet similar to one used for your clothes dryer or electric stove. It’s unobtrusive, and you can mount it inside your garage or on the exterior of your house. Most Level 2 chargers can restore your battery in half the time of a Level 1 charger. For example, the Chevrolet Bolt EUV can restore 37 miles of range for every hour charged on a Level 2 station. Its maximum driving range of 247 miles means you can fully recharge in under seven hours.
Level 3 Charging
As we mentioned, Level 3 charging stations provide ultra-fast charging. Many public charging stations offer this type. It uses the same adapter but adds electricity much more quickly than your home charging station. As a result, you can sometimes recharge your battery in as little as one hour, depending on the battery’s capacity. For instance, a DC fast-charging station can add 100 miles to the battery of a Chevrolet Bolt EV in 30 minutes.
Benefits of Electric Vehicles
First, you have zero emissions when you drive an EV, so you’re helping the environment. Second, you get a much lighter vehicle without the weight of a gas engine and transmission. Third, the lack of an engine/transmission tunnel beneath the car allows manufacturers to lower the cabin floor and create more space without increasing the vehicle’s height. This added space results in more room for you and your passengers. Even the smallest EVs have surprisingly spacious interiors.
The power of electricity produces instantaneous torque, and the electric motor provides impressive acceleration. For example, the Chevrolet Bolt EUV can travel from zero to 60 mph in seven seconds. That’s sports car territory.
Explore Chevrolet EVs Today
Chevrolet continues to lead the industry in developing EV technology. In addition to the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV models currently available, Chevrolet has added a Silverado EV, Blazer EV, and Equinox EV to their lineup. You can order these models now.
At Nucar Chevrolet of Norwood, we have the largest selection of Chevy Bolt EVs for sale in the area at competitive prices. You can lease a new Bolt EV or take advantage of our low financing rates. We also have many hybrid Chevrolets for sale. If you’re ready to take the next step in going green, we invite you to browse our EV lineup online. Or, if you prefer a personal demonstration of the power of electrification, you can visit us on Providence Highway in Norwood at your convenience.