If you have ever sat behind the steering wheel of one of the recent electric vehicles, you will notice that the dashboard is littered with a host of alien displays glowing at you, its all very intimidating at first! We are so used to the familiar feel of our vehicles instrument panels with its analogue gauges and dials that these electric cars – the vehicles of the future seem more like a space ship than a greener form of transport to their petrol predecessor.
While some of the dials and display is given to the more traditional dials and gauges (such as the odometer, cock and engine temperature) their lie many different items which help the driver with the operation of the electric vehicle. Consider that you will no longer be using litres of fuel to the dollar, but rather the electricity unit kilowatts to the dollar. Getting used to a lot of these terms is going to take some time, fortunately some of the models hot of the press have taken the time to make the readouts and calculation process one which the laymen can appreciate and understand.
Looking at the label on a new electric car hot off the forecourt you are likely to come across the miles per gallon figure, hold on I thought that these vehicles were in kilowatts not litres? Well the new vehicles are actually in miles per gallon equivalent (MPG-E). this is to ensure it is easy for the layman to compare electric vehicles no non electric vehicles easily.
KWH per 100 miles
This figure indicates how many kilowatt hours are used by the vehicle per 100 miles driven and I suppose is quite similar to that of the de facto for petrol vehicles MPG – the lower KWH per 100 miles, the better, unlike MPG in which the higher the figure the better efficiency.
The new label will also display the cost per year for the electric car you’re looking at. The label will help you to compare one electric vehicle to another; it does not necessarily paint a totally accurate picture of your new vehicles true annual cost, do you know anyone who actually hits the number of miles they claim to travel in a given year? No neither do I – I tend to overcook it some years and other years not come close. It’s all a bit hit and miss. However it’s a good guide for comparing to other vehicles.
This little piece of information was probably the best part of the entire label, yet is hidden away. The ‘cruising range’ will let you know the maximum theoretical distance you can travel on a battery, essentially before you would need to charge up again. Depending upon how you operate your pedals will also affect how long you can go between charges. Urban driving compared with motorway driving will also result in yet another figure as will a bunch of other driving scenarios.
The new labelling seems like a fantastic way to help the layman consumer like me understand what I am going to get into when I next come to test drive a vehicle, the attractiveness of an electric vehicle (for me at least) is becoming more and more a viable alternative as the price of fuel goes up and up and up!
What are your thoughts on the labelling of electric vehicles? Is it all just confusing? Are you thinking of getting a new vehicle anytime soon perhaps an electric car is on the cards?
About: Guest post written by Isaac who blogs and writes on behalf of Trucker to Trucker who can help you find new and used trucks for sale, Trucker to Trucker also advertise a range of vehicles including Hino Trucks and the powerful Mack Truck.