What is an electric car?

Electric powered cars have been around a lot longer than most people may think. In fact, the concept has existed since motoring began, but comparatively high up-front costs, a smaller range and emerging technology, has kept them out of the reach of many. 

However with more and more cars on the road and many cities suffering from air pollution; the need for cleaner and more energy efficient transport has never been greater.

The good news is that these days, we have the knowledge and skill to produce powerful electric cars that not only help the environment, but don’t have to break the bank either.

Two popular types of electric/plug-in cars are:

Battery-electric cars

These cars use a rechargeable battery (normally called a storage battery) as their source of power (instead of petrol, diesel or gas), and are charged by being plugged into an external power source. 

Plug-in hybrid-electric cars (PHEV)

These cars also use a rechargeable storage battery and a highly efficient hybrid engine, which provides power to the battery and direct drive to the wheels. By using a combination of petrol and electric energy, PHEV’s offer an exceptional range and power with extremely low emissions.

Check out our review of the new Mitsubishi PHEV.

 Which one should you choose?

Both types of plug-in cars have different characteristics and benefits. Battery-electric cars are popular because:

  • they have no tailpipe emissions, when recharged from 100% renewable energy; 
  • electricity is generally a cheaper fuel option compared to petrol;
  • you can control fuel costs by recharging at home and accessing off-peak electricity prices;  and
  • they have less moving parts to service, repair and replace.

  You can find out more about the inside of a battery-electric car here.

How do i charge my electric car?

Whether you’ve made the move to electric, or are just interested in finding out how it works, we’ve put together an easy to follow guide on charging your electric car with ChargePoint – the largest network of public charging points in Australia.

For more information on ChargePoint, visit their site here.

  1. Hold your ChargePass over the lock image on the ChargePoint. A ChargePass gives you secure access to any public ChargePoints in the extensive ChargePoint Network. You can also view your usage data, receive SMS notifications when your car is ready and access the ChargePoint web portal.
  1. When your ChargePass card is authorised, the display on the ChargePoint will read: “AUTHORISED / REMOVE CONNECTOR FROM HOLSTER AND PLUG INTO VEHICLE”.
  1. Remove the charging plug from the holster and connect it to your cars charging port. The display should read ‘CHARGING’. Electric cars like the Nissan LEAF, for example, should finish charging in four to six hours.
  1. To stop charging, unlock the ChargePoint by scanning your ChargePass over the lock image once more. The display should read: “FINISHED / RETURN PLUG TO HOLSTER”.
  1. Remove the plug from your vehicle and return it to the holster on the ChargePoint and hit the road!

  Now you’ve learned how to charge your car when you’re out and about, you can watch and learn how to charge your electric car at home.    

How to charge an electric car

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