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The History And The Future Of Electrified Vehicles

The History And The Future Of Electrified Vehicles

January 19, 2018

Electrified vehicles are in the headlines these days. But did you know that vehicles powered by batteries have been around for over a century? It’s true!

Electric vehicles have been around nearly as long as those powered by gasoline. During the early days of the twentieth century, electric cars had many advantages. You did not have to hand-crank them to get them started. You did not have to warm them up. You did not have to deal with the complexities of keeping their engines running. With an electric, you just got in, turned it on, and off you went!

Gasoline Takes The Lead From Electrics

As gas-powered cars got more reliable, easier to operate, and could go farther on a tank of gas than electrics could go on a charge, this all changed. Electric cars faded away and gasoline took the lead for the rest of the century. Now, as we are nearly through the second decade of the twenty-first century, things are changing, slowly but surely.

Electric Vehicles Return To The Streets

The desire for cleaner air and lower levels of vehicle emissions has driven the move to electrified vehicles. Producing electricity from renewable and non-polluting sources like wind, solar, and hydroelectric power is an ideal solution to the harmful effects of burning fossil fuels for transportation purposes.

Advances in power storage and other related technologies have also provided us with smaller, more powerful, quicker-charging battery systems. Today, these are available in two different formats, which as a group are referred to as “electrified vehicles.”

What Are Electrified Vehicles?

These are vehicles that come with a plug. They can either completely or partially be used as electric vehicles that do not consume gasoline. They fall into two categories: Battery Electrics, and Plug-In Hybrids.

Battery Electrics Run On Battery Power Only

Vehicles like the Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt are battery electric vehicles. As the name suggests, a battery electric vehicle generates all its power from an onboard battery that drives an electric motor. The battery must then be recharged from an external source when necessary.

Plug-In Hybrids Don’t Have Range Restrictions

Plug-In Hybrids are vehicles like the Toyota Prius Prime and Ford Fusion Energi. Plug-In Hybrids have a battery that provides a limited electric range. They also have gasoline engines that are used when the battery is depleted, or to conserve it. The battery can either be charged from an external source (usually at home) or by the gasoline engine. There are no range limitations with this system. You can run on gas as long as you need to, and charge the battery when it’s convenient for you.

Electrified Vehicles Will Be On Your Shopping List Soon

Regulation, technology, and consumer demand are converging. There will be more and more electrified vehicle choices in the marketplace. Within the next five to seven years, these new electrified vehicles will be comparably priced to gasoline-powered versions. They will also have faster-charging batteries with greatly improved range. At that point in the near future, both types of power systems will compete on an equal basis. Stay tuned!

If you are seriously considering an electrified vehicle at this point in time, check out our article on the benefits of leasing an electrified vehicle.