Electric vehicle basics

With the upcoming ban on selling new gas vehicles to take effect in 2035, the interest in electric vehicles is more than a flash in the pan. Is your knowledge of these vehicles lacking? To help, here’s a brief overview of green vehicles.


The power of an electric motor is measured in kilowatts (kW). Nevertheless, some manufacturers continue to use horsepower units to facilitate comparisons. One kilowatt is equivalent to 1.359 horsepower.

Battery capacity – lithium-ion or lithium-ion polymer – is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). The battery’s capacity is proportionate to the operational functioning of the vehicle.

Electric vehicles can be plugged into charging stations with three voltage levels: 120 V, 240 V and 400 V. The first two levels are recommended for daily use, and the third is ideal for partial charging.


Electric vehicle batteries provide direct current (DC). An inverter converts DC into alternating current (AC) to power the main motor. Therefore, electrical energy is transformed into mechanical energy to drive the vehicle.


Fully electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrids (PHEV) are both available in today’s market. EVs run exclusively on electricity, whereas PHEVs have both electric motor and combustion engine power.  

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