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Electric cars

Electric cars may be more popular than ever

electric vehicles
REUTERS/Alister Doyle
All those electric cars will require the grid to produce a lot more power.
  • Soaring gas prices have made electric cars more popular than ever

    How much does it cost to charge an electric vehicle? The answer varies, but one thing is certain: rising gas prices could push more people to buy electric cars. During the week of March 14, the national average for gas in the US peaked at $4.32 per gallon, making it three times more expensive to fill up a gas car versus charging an electric one at home. 

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  • But finding electric car chargers can be hard

    In September 2021, there were 2.1 million electric vehicles in the US, and about 109,000 charger ports. That’s about 19 cars per charging station, though that varies depending on state, and it isn’t enough to meet the 10 to 15 cars per charging station that’d be ideal.

    Other countries, like India, are even further behind. Estimates suggest that India will need more than 400,000 charging stations for the 2 million-plus electric vehicles that could be on its roads by 2026. As of last December, there were only 1,028 public electric vehicle (EV) chargers installed throughout the country.

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  • How popular are electric cars?

    By the digits

    4.5%: Share of US car sales that were EVs in the last quarter of 2021, more than the year before
    24,600: Number of Tesla Model 3 units Tesla sold in Europe in September 2021, it’s best seller
    $5 billion: Cost of Tesla’s new plant in Germany 
    $4,400: Cost of an EV that’s outselling Tesla in China 
    89%: Percentage the price of lithium battery fell from 2010 to 2021

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  • Tesla in Europe

    Tesla’s new “Gigafactory” in Germany is its first plant in Europe. But Tesla has been making inroads in the continent’s electric car industry well before it had a physical factory there. In September 2021, the Texas-based car maker outsold establishment incumbents like Volkswagen and Fiat to capture 2.6% of the overall European market.

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  • How do electric cars work?

    Electric cars are different from their combustion engine counterparts in that they run on an electric motor that’s operated by a battery. The battery is charged by plugging the car into an electricity source. That means no emissions, which is better for the environment, right? 

    The answer is mostly yes. While the electricity used to charge EV batteries does release emissions into the air, electric cars still have a smaller carbon footprint than gasoline ones. Efforts have been made to make that footprint even smaller with solar roofs, but it’s not an entirely practical solution, seeing as cars don’t have a ton of surface area and often live in garages.

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  • Tesla, Ford, and GM are just some of the companies making EVs

    From Tesla, to Ford, to General Motors, it seems like everyone wants to make EVs.

    Here’s a few unlikely entrants:

    📸 Sony. The Japanese giant said it’ll set up a new unit called Sony Mobility in the spring of 2022, and now has an EV venture with Honda.

    💻 Apple. The US tech company has been working on autonomous cars for seven years, poaching and losing key talent along the way. 

    📱Xiaomi. The Chinese smartphone maker has plans to create own-brand EVs, and has hired a team of 300 to make it happen.

    📱Oppo. There are rumors that the Chinese phone maker is entering the EV market.

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  • Keep reading

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