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Volvo Electric Vehicle FAQ

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What is an EV?

EV is short for Electric Vehicle. There are three main types of EVs: Hybrids, Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles, and Pure Electric vehicles. Hybrid vehicles are both gasoline and electric. Hybrids typically have a small battery capacity that recharges when the vehicle is slowing or going downhill. Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) have slightly larger batteries with gasoline-powered engines. They can travel up to 50 miles on battery and switch to a conventional gas-electric hybrid operation similar to Hybrid vehicles. Pure Electric Vehicles have large rechargeable batteries that replace the conventional gas tank completely. Range and performance are increasing each year while prices are coming down. Electric vehicles are the future of automobiles for most manufacturers and consumers.

Why Buy an Electric Car?

Electric vehicles offer significantly lower fuel costs compared with traditional gas-powered vehicles. Pure electric vehicles have fewer components than plug-in hybrids or internal combustion engine vehicles, so they often have lower maintenance costs because they don’t require fluid changes or tune-ups. EVs produce no particulate or smog-causing tailpipe emission and have lower carbon emissions than gasoline-powered vehicles over their service life. They are quiet because of their lack of engine noise but can be fun to drive with instant power on demand.

What Is an Electric Vehicle Like to Drive?

Most electric vehicles deliver instant power from a stop. They are both smooth and quiet when underway. The driving experience may feel quite different from a traditional gasoline-fueled car because EVs feel like they glide without much effort. Even with heavy batteries EVs typically handle well because the low battery position in the vehicle lowers the center of gravity. On top of that, EVs are quiet because they lack a heavy engine above the front axle.

How Far Can EVs Go?

Most pure electric vehicles can now go more than 200 miles on a full charge. EVs with larger batteries help to extend the driveable range. The Environmental Protection Agency-rated range is quite accurate for EVs. Uphill terrain and cold weather may cut the range significantly. Driving in cold weather will shorten the range noticeably because of the power consumption to heat the cabin. A pure EV may require planning for long drives, but hybrids have a combined gasoline and electric range that exceeds most gas-only vehicles.

Do EVs have enough horsepower?

EVs have a plenty of horsepower. For example, the Volvo XC40 Recharge, an electric variant of the XC40, produces 402 horsepower, which exceeds the horsepower of the gasoline-powered variant. Car engines in the U.S. are rated in horsepower, and electric motors in EVs are rated in kilowatts. Due to different power terms, it may feel confusing at first to compare a conventional gas-powered vehicle’s power to an electric vehicle. One kilowatt is roughly 34% more powerful than one horsepower. A 100-kilowatt electric motor produces about 134 horsepower. Simply multiply horsepower by 1.341 to convert it to kilowatts or multiply kilowatts by 0.7355 to convert it to horsepower.

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