U.S. sales of all-electric and plug-in electric vehicles peaked in 2018; today, more and more people buy or plan to buy one. Also, there are dozens of EVs either currently for sale or coming in the next year or two. Globally, the market share of electric vehicles is snowballing, and according to Statista data, by 2030, one in four new cars sold will be battery-powered. In this article, we’ll check out all the top electric vehicles of 2021 and the top EV charging stations in the U.S.
The essential components of all-electric vehicles include;
Battery (all-electric auxiliary): The auxiliary battery is known for providing electricity to power vehicle accessories in an electric drive vehicle.
Charge port: This is a very important component that allows the vehicle to connect to an external power supply for charging the battery pack.
DC/DC converter: EVs converts higher-voltage DC power from the traction battery pack to the lower-voltage DC power via the DC/DC converter. This is very vital because it is needed to run other accessories of the car and also needed for recharging the auxiliary battery.
Electric traction motor: This motor basically drives the vehicle’s wheels and gets its power from the traction battery pack. Please note that some EVs may also use a motor generator to carry out the drive and regeneration functions.
Onboard charger: This important component uses incoming AC power from the charge port converting it to DC power which then in-turn, charges the traction battery. This component also communicates with the charging equipment and is responsible for monitoring the vital battery characteristics like; voltage, current, temperature, and state of charge.
Power electronics controller: This component controls the flow of electrical energy delivered by the traction battery, and also controls the speed of the electric traction motor and the torque it produces.
Thermal system (cooling): This unit’s job is to keep the operating temperature range of the engine, electric motor, power electronics, and other components at an acceptable range.
Traction battery pack: This component stores the electricity used to power the electric traction motor.
Transmission (electric): This component is responsible for transferring mechanical power from the electric traction motor to drive the wheels.
Electric vehicles pros and cons
Some of the pros of owning an EV include;
- They are better for the environment: electric vehicles produce zero emissions; that’s definitely why many car buyers are looking to switch to an electric car because they are better for the environment.
- Electricity is a renewable resource, while gasoline is not: Electricity is renewal and way cheaper than gas. Typically, electric cars cost just about one-third of gas-powered vehicles. EVs are powered by naturally renewable resources such as solar, wind, and water power. While gasoline is created using oil.
- They require less expensive and less frequent maintenance: because electric vehicles don’t use gas and don’t need oil, they require no oil changes. This ensures you have little or no maintenance and repairs. Also, according to AutoTrader.com, EV brakes don’t wear quickly, which means fewer brake pad replacements.
- They are quieter than gas vehicles: EVs are typically very quiet and run smoothly, especially when running fully on battery power. This has even led some state legislators to mandate electric car companies like Telsa to have noisemakers installed to let pedestrians know they’re coming.
- There are tax credits available for owners of electric cars: The Paris Climate Agreement signed recently ensures original owners of electric vehicles can receive credit on their tax returns simply for owning a car that’s better for the environment.
Some of the cons of owning an EV include;
- Electric cars have a shorter range than gas-powered cars: Most electric cars can only get between 60 and 100 miles when on a full charge. While on the other hand, some traditional cars can go up to 400 miles on a tank of gas.
- Recharging the battery takes time: most electric cars take more than 10 hours to charge fully. Although, newer models of electric vehicles now charge as quickly as four hours.
- They are usually more expensive than gas-powered cars: Usually, a car buyer will pay at least $10,000 more for an electric car than they would for the same type of car in a gas model. Hopefully, with the rapid evolution of technologies, we expect to see this price gap reduced.
- It can sometimes be challenging to find a charging station: even though there is a rapid increase in electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in various parking lots and on the sides of the road, many cities still lack them.
- Finally, there aren’t as many model options yet; users have fewer choices than traditional vehicles.
Top Electric Vehicles 2021
- Tesla Model 3: this car and its model Y sibling represent a game-changing electric vehicle from Telsa released in 2021. It has a generous range (250 kW max at Supercharging) at a price that’s more accessible to the average consumer ($39,990 – $56,990). The Model 3 also offers well-rounded performance (e.g., high-performance brakes and Estimated 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds). The Tesla Model 3 is definitely winning the 2021 EV race.
- Kia Niro EV: The Niro EV by Kia is one of 2021 best new electric vehicles. It’s fun to drive and has a roomy cabin. For power, it runs on a 64-kWh battery with a 201-horsepower electric motor and an EPA-estimated range of 239 miles.
- Tesla Model Y – compact SUV: The 2021 Tesla Model Y is a small SUV; it has a lot in common with the Model 3 sedan (similar design inside and out). As usual, it comes with impressive Performance features and offers an impressive range, with an EPA rating of 300 miles on a full charge. They also feel great to drive thanks to quick acceleration (60 mph in an impressive 4.1 seconds). Its EPA-rated range is 300 miles on a full charge and a price range of $41,990 – $60,990.
- 2021 Audi e-Tron: The 2021 e-Tron is easily one of our favorite luxury electric SUVs currently in the market, offering all the luxury, comfort, and performance you’d expect from Audi. It is powered by a 95-kWh battery; however, the E-Tron’s EPA-rated range of 222-mile and its price ($65,900 – $79,100) could be a big turn-off for buyers. This is especially when compared to its competitors like the more affordable Tesla Model Y.
- 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E: This 2021 ford EV is the first Ford to be designed specifically as an electric vehicle and easily one of the most well-rounded luxury electric vehicles for sale today. It comes with a really enjoyable driving experience, with an EPA-rated range of 230 miles on a full charge and powered by a 98.8 kWh battery; its price range is $42,895 – $59,900.
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
According to the Department of Energy, most electric vehicle charging in the U.S. actually happens at home; however, public electric vehicle charging stations in the U.S. are becoming more common in urban areas. Finding compatible public electric vehicle charging stations near me in the U.S. is easy; there are lots of apps and websites where you can find outlets (e.g., PlugShare, Open Charge Map, and ChargeHub). Furthermore, the three biggest non-Tesla networks in the U.S. are operated by EVgo, ChargePoint, and Electrify America. EV charging stations like the Electrify America station costs about $1.00 session plus a per-minute rate for charging. (Although, this depends on the battery-recharge rate.)
Future of Electric Vehicles (Conclusion)
It’s no secret that Electric cars are the future; statista.com projects that Electric vehicles will account for 7.6 percent of the market in 2026; this is a massive climb from its 1.2 percent mark in 2018. There’s still more to come soon. Some top EV manufacturers and even start-ups are already testing future models of EVs with some incredible features. We can wait to try them all…