Archives – December 20, 2013

Belgium Study to Measure the Efficiency of Electric Cars

Electric cars have proven to be highly efficient. This is unlike cars that have internal combustion engines, which causes them to lose energy in the form of heat. Advocates of electric vehicles have emphasized the efficiency of electric cars for years. Also, there is reliable data concerning the efficiency level of diesel and gasoline cars. However, electric vehicles are still novel and few in number. This means that there is less documentation to show the efficiency of such cars. Some Belgian researchers were given a chance to investigate five cars. The cars under study were Peugeot models, which are exactly the same as Mitsubishi i-MiEV, the European version. The people who monitored the cars were drawn from Laborelec, and were supported by the Vrije University in Brussels. The University houses a facility whose major focus is automotive technology.

The funding for the study was provided by a Belgian utility known as Electrabel. The funds lasted for a period of two years. The first section of the study aimed at defining the methodology. A monitoring system that was both precise and dedicated was developed, and the starting point is when a full approval was received from the vehicle manufacturer. The study entailed recording data from five cars over a time span of two years. The variables under investigation entailed voltage, battery current, odometer, state-of-charge, ambient temperature, GPS coordinates, and instant speed. The five cars covered a total distance of 42,953 miles. The five cars had energy consumption of 336.28, 291.23, 289.62, 249.39, and 299.27 respectively in watt-hours per mile. Different values were obtained for the five cars mainly due to different drivers. The average energy consumption was 293.16 for the fleet of five vehicles. The above figures represent the total energy consumption, which is considered insufficient to give a full picture. This is because the car’s efficiency has been greatly increased by regenerative braking.

A significant aim of the study was showing the eventual course of electricity. It was to find out whether electricity was going to the auxiliaries or the motor. For the five cars, the energy consumption share entering the auxiliaries was 35.8, 40.1, 22.0, 21.6, and 33.6. Internal combustion vehicles shine in that, heating is basically free. In its normal operation, an internal combustion engine would lose a lot of energy. Hence, getting back some of the energy to heat the vehicle would cost almost nothing. It can therefore be concluded that the heating system is the biggest thing to increasing the efficiency of electric vehicles.



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Key Rules to Electric Car Utility Rate Plans

Among the key advantages of owning an electric vehicle is the fact that fueling it is much cheaper compared to a gasoline powered car. It is essential for an electric car driver to do a thorough research on the charging times, as well as the rate plans. Failure to do so could result in unanticipated, and at times unfortunate outcomes. Some of the key rules to take into consideration with respect to electric vehicle rate plans will be presented in this article.

Your Utility Company Should Help You with a Rate Plan

Utility companies have shown great interest in advocating for the adoption of electric vehicles. Such companies would also make sure that electric car drivers charge their vehicles at times that would support the grid’s efficiency. Thereby, utility companies have come up with online customer support centers and tools to respond to all concerns and questions. Such companies are often aware of the plans and rates available. They give all the options available and then consumers are left to make the ultimate choice.

Subscribing to a Time-Of-Use Plan

It is recommended to subscribe to a time-of-use plan in order to get the lowest rate of electric-vehicle charging. In this way, one gets to charge the vehicle at off-peak hours only. Subscribing to this plan allows users to pay low prices for charging instead of paying a standard rate around the clock. Alternatively, a driver may choose to charge an electric vehicle after midnight. At this time, most people are asleep and not using a lot of power.

Signing Up For a Time-Of-Use Electric Vehicle Rate and Charging At Peak Hours

This is one of the surest ways of subjecting electric-vehicle drivers to the highest rate. One of the main reasons why it may cost less to charge an electric vehicle during wee hours is because the prices are cranked up during the day’s peak times. The highest rates of charging can be experienced by the drivers living in big houses with appliances and systems that consume a lot of power.

Careful Calculation Should Be Done Prior To Going with Separate Metering

Electric vehicle drivers have the choice of installing a different meter for specially tracking electric-vehicle charging. One of the essential cost inputs when deciding on whether to install a different electric vehicle meter is the installation cost. The cost could be a few hundred dollars if your current meter and electric panel are close to the place you intend to charge your vehicle.



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