An electric caris an automobile that is propelled by one or more electric motors, using electrical energy stored in rechargeable batteries or another energy storage device. Electric motors give electric cars instant torque, creating strong and smooth acceleration. They are also around three times as efficient as cars with an internal combustion engine. The first practical electric cars were produced in the 1880s. Electric cars were popular in the late 19th century and early 20th century, until advances in internal combustion engines, electric starters in particular, and mass production of cheaper gasoline vehicles led to a decline in the use of electric drive vehicles. The energy crises of the 1970s and 1980s brought a short-lived interest in electric cars; although those cars did not reach the mass marketing stage, as became the case in the 21st century. Since 2008, a renaissance in electric vehicle manufacturing has occurred due to advances in batteries and energy management, concerns about increasing oil prices, and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Several national and local governments have established tax credits, subsidies, and other incentives to promote the introduction and now adoption in the mass market of new electric vehicles depending on battery size and their all-electric range. Electric cars are significantly quieter than conventional internal combustion engine automobiles. They do not emit tailpipe pollutants, giving a large reduction of local air pollution, and, can give a significant reduction in total greenhouse gas and other emissions (dependent on the method used for electricity generation). They also provide for independence from foreign oil, which in several countries is cause for concern about vulnerability to oil price volatility and supply disruption. Recharging can take a long time and in many places there is a patchy recharging infrastructure. For long distance driving, many cars support fast charging that can give around 80% charge in half an hour using public rapid chargers. While battery cost is decreasing fairly rapidly, it is still relatively high, and because of this, most electric cars have a more limited range and a somewhat higher purchase cost than conventional vehicles. Drivers can also sometimes suffer from range anxiety- the fear that the batteries will be depleted before reaching their destination. As of December 2015, there were over 30 models of highway legal all-electric passenger cars and utility vans available for retail sales, mainly in the North America, China, Japan, and Western European countries. Cumulative global sales of highway-capable light-duty pure electric vehicles passed the one million unit milestone in September 2016. About 61% of the global stock of 2 million light-duty plug-in electric vehicles by the end of 2016 were pure electric cars and vans. The world's all-time top selling highway-capable electric car is the Nissan Leaf, released in December 2010, with more than 250,000 units sold worldwide through December 2016. The Tesla Model S, released in June 2012, ranks second with global sales of over 158,000 units through December 2016. The Model S has been the world's top selling plug-in car for two years in a row, 2015 and 2016.
Terminology NASA's Lunar Roving Vehicles were battery-driven. Electric cars are a variety of electric vehicle (EV). The term "electric vehicle" refers to any vehicle that uses electric motors for propulsion, while "electric car" generally refers to highway-capable automobiles powered by electricity. Low-speed electric vehicles, classified as neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) in the United States, and as electric motorised quadricycles in Europe, are plug-in electric-powered microcars or city cars with limitations in terms of weight, power and maximum speed that are allowed to travel on public roads and city streets up to a certain posted speed limit, which varies by country. While an electric car's power source is not explicitly an on-board battery, electric cars with motors powered by other energy sources are generally referred to by a different name: an electric car carrying solar panels to power it is a solar car, and an electric car powered by a gasoline generator is a form of hybrid car. Thus, an electric car that derives its power from an on-board battery pack is a form of battery electric vehicle (BEV). Most often, the term "electric car" is used to refer to battery electric vehicles. History Main article: history of the electric vehicle Early electric car, built by Thomas Parker, photo from 1895 Flocken Elektrowagen, 1888 (reconstruction, 2011) The General Motors EV1, one of the cars introduced due to the California Air Resources Board mandate, had a range of 160 mi (260 km) with NiMH batteries in 1999. Thomas Parker built the first practical production electric car in London in 1884, using his own specially designed high-capacity rechargeable batteries. The Flocken Elektrowagen of 1888 by German inventor Andreas Flocken is regarded[by whom?] as the first real electric car of the world. Electric cars were among the preferred methods for automobile propulsion in the late 19th century and early 20th century, providing a level of comfort and ease of operation that could not be achieved by the gasoline cars of the time. The electric vehicle stock peaked at approximately 30,000 vehicles at the turn of the 20th century. Advances in internal combustion engines in the first decade of the 20th century lessened the relative advantages of the electric car. The greater range of gasoline cars, and their much quicker refueling times, made them more popular and encouraged a rapid expansion of petroleum infrastructure, making gasoline easy to find, but what proved decisive was the introduction in 1912 of the electric starter motor which replaced other, often laborious, methods of starting the ICE engine, such as hand-cranking. In the early 1990s, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) began a push for more fuel-efficient, lower-emissions vehicles, with the ultimate goal being a move to zero-emissions vehicles such as electric vehicles. In response, automakers developed electric models, including the Chrysler TEVan, Ford Ranger EV pickup truck, GM EV1, and S10 EV pickup, Honda EV Plus hatchback, Nissan Altra EV miniwagon, and Toyota RAV4 EV. These cars were eventually withdrawn from the U.S. market. California electric automaker Tesla Motors began development in 2004 on the Tesla Roadster, which was first delivered to customers in 2008. The Roadster was the first highway legal serial production all-electric car to use lithium-ion battery cells, and the first production all-electric car to travel more than 320 km (200 miles) per charge. Models released to the market between 2010 and December 2016 include the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus Electric, Tesla Model S, BMW ActiveE, Coda, Renault Fluence Z.E., Honda Fit EV, Toyota RAV4 EV, Renault Zoe, Roewe E50, Mahindra e2o, Chevrolet Spark EV, Fiat 500e, Volkswagen e-Up!, BMW i3, BMW Brilliance Zinoro 1E, Kia Soul EV, Volkswagen e-Golf, Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive, Venucia e30, BAIC E150 EV, Denza EV, Zotye Zhidou E20, BYD e5, Tesla Model X, Detroit Electric SP.01, BYD Qin EV300, Hyundai Ioniq Electric and Chevrolet Bolt EV. Cumulative global sales of the Nissan Leaf, the world's all-time top selling highway legal plug-in electric car, passed the 200,000 unit milestone in December 2015, five years after its introduction. The same month, the Renault-Nissan Alliance, the top selling all-electric vehicle manufacturer, passed the milestone of 300,000 electric vehicles sold worldwide. The Tesla Model 3 was unveiled on March 31, 2016 and more than 325,000 reservations were made during the first week since bookings opened, each customer paying a refundable US$1,000 deposit to reserve the car. Cumulative global sales of all-electric cars and vans passed the 1 million unit milestone in September 2016. Global Tesla Model S sales achieved the 150,000 unit milestone in November 2016. Norway achieved the milestone of 100,000 all-electric vehicles registered in December 2016. Global Leaf sales passed 250,000 units in December 2016. Economics Price Main article: electric vehicle battery § battery cost An important goal for electric vehicles is overcoming the disparity between their costs of development, production, and operation, with respect to those of equivalent internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs). As of 2013, electric cars are significantly more expensive than conventional internal combustion engine vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles due to the cost of their lithium-ion battery pack. Although cheaper alternatives exist, lithium-ion batteries are preferred over other types of batteries because of their high energy per unit mass relative to other electrical energy storage systems. However, battery prices are coming down about 8% per annum with mass production, and are expected to drop further. Not only is the high purchase price hindering mass transition from gasoline cars to electric cars, but also the continued subsidization of fossil fuels, such as huge tax breaks and financial help in finding and developing oil fields for oil companies, higher allowed pollution for coal-fired power stations owned by oil refineries, as well as unpriced harm resulting from tailpipe emissions. According to a survey taken by Nielsen for the Financial Times in 2010, around three quarters of American and British car buyers have or would consider buying an electric car, but they are unwilling to pay more for an electric car. The survey showed that 65% of Americans and 76% of Britons are not willing to pay more for an electric car than the price of a conventional car. The electric car company Tesla Motors uses laptop -size cells for the battery packs of its electric cars, which were 3 to 4 times cheaper than dedicated electric car battery packs of other auto makers. Prior to 2012, dedicated battery packs cost about $700–$800 per kilowatt hour, while battery packs using small laptop cells had a cost of about $200 per kilowatt hour. This could drive down the cost of electric cars that use Tesla's battery technology such as the Toyota RAV4 EV, Smart ED and Tesla Model X which announced for 2014 to $190/kWh by 2016. As of June 2012, and based on the three battery size options offered for the Tesla Model S, The New York Times estimated the cost of automotive battery packs between US$400 to US$500 per kilowatt-hour. A 2013 study, by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy reported that battery costs came down from US$1,300 per kilowatt hour in 2007 to US$500 per kilowatt hour in 2012. The U.S. Department of Energy has set cost targets for its sponsored battery research of US$300 per kilowatt hour in 2015 and US$125 per kilowatt hour by 2022. Cost reductions of batteries and higher production volumes will allow plug-in electric vehicles to be more competitive with conventional internal combustion engine vehicles. However, in 2014 manufacturers were already offering battery packs with a cost of about $300/kWh. According to a study published in February 2016 by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), battery prices fell 65% since 2010, and 35% just in 2015, reaching US$350 per kWh. The study concludes that battery costs are on a trajectory to make electric vehicles without government subsidies as affordable as internal combustion engine cars in most countries by 2022. BNEF projects that by 2040, long-range electric cars will cost less than US$22,000 expressed in 2016 dollars. BNEF expects electric car battery costs to be well below US$120 per kWh by 2030, and to fall further thereafter as new chemistries become available. McKinsey estimates that electric cars are competitive at a battery pack cost of $100/kWh (around 2030), and expects pack costs to be $190/kWh by 2020. Several governments have established policies and economic incentives to overcome existing barriers, promote the sales of electric cars, and fund further development of electric vehicles, batteries and components. Several national and local governments have established tax credits, subsidies, and other incentives to reduce the net purchase price of electric cars