An electric car is an automobile that uses an electric motor as a primary source of propulsion. Electric vehicles (EV) use electricity that is stored in rechargeable batteries. One of the main advantages of an electric vehicle is the absence of exhaust emissions.

Types of electric cars

The term electric vehicle (EV) is commonly used to indicate three main types of automotive transmissions. These are battery electric vehicles (BEV), hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and plug-in electric vehicles (PHEV).

Electric battery-powered vehicle (BEV)

A BEV is a “real” electric vehicle because the only source of propulsion is electricity. Electric battery vehicles store electricity on board with high capacity batteries. This battery power supply is used to operate all the on-board electronic components and the electric motors of the main drive. BEVs are powered by electricity from an external source, an electrical outlet or charging stations for special electric vehicles.

Hybrid-electric vehicle (HEV)

A hybrid-electric vehicle is equipped with a two-part traction system, a conventional fuel engine and electric traction. The HEVs contain all the components of both the internal combustion engine (ICE) and the electric vehicles. These include an engine, a fuel tank, the transmission as well as the rechargeable battery and the electric motor. Some vehicles classified as HEV may have only a small electric motor and a battery system to propel the vehicle at low speeds. Other HEVs can have smaller fuel engines and relatively larger electric drives. The degree of propulsion of the vehicle, whether fuel or electric, depends on the specific make and model of the vehicle. In all HEVs the only source of energy is fuel,

Geared hybrid-electric vehicle (PHEV)

Electric-plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) are similar to HEVs, except that the energy used to propel the vehicle is electricity and not fuel. These vehicles have greater electric traction and battery storage capacity than HEVs and are also equipped with a smaller internal combustion engine. They are designed to engage the fuel engine when battery power is low or to replace the electric drive when more power is needed. Since PHEV can be recharged from an electrical outlet, it is possible to supply it entirely with electricity.

How to load an electric car?

Recharging an electric car is easy and can be done wherever there is an outlet or charging station. Most electric vehicle owners charge their vehicle at home or at work. Public charging stations are also available at service stations, parking lots, retail stores and grocery stores. All the equipment needed to recharge an electric car is generally included. Typically this is an electrical cable that connects to the vehicle and to a standard household power outlet. There are also several aftermarket solutions that can provide faster recharging for electric vehicles.

Recharging an electric car is easy and can be done wherever there is an outlet or charging station. Most electric vehicle owners charge their vehicle at home or at work. Public charging stations are also available at service stations, parking lots, retail stores and grocery stores. All the equipment needed to charge an electric car is generally included. Mostly, it is an electrical cable that connects to the vehicle and to a standard household power outlet. There are also several aftermarket solutions that can provide faster recharging for electric vehicles.

Charge levels EV

The term EVSE (Electric Vehicle Service Equipment) is used for all charging solutions for electric vehicles. EVSE solutions are further classified according to the speed at which they can recharge electric vehicle batteries. These are generally called levels 1, 2 and 3 (or fast charge DC).

Load level 1 (120v)

The simplest form of EV charging, level one, uses a plug with cable to allow the vehicle to connect to a standard socket (120v).

Lower voltage and slower form of EV charging.

It may take more than 8 hours to charge a low battery.

Typically used at home, when the vehicle is parked at night.

Load level 2 (240v)

The second level of charge requires the installation of a specialized station that supplies energy at 220v or 240v and up to 30 amps. Typically, level two stations are located at the workplace or at public charging points. However, some homeowners may choose to install a home level two station for faster recharging times.

The installation requires the wiring and assembly of a “charging column” and a cable, typically used for public recharging at the workplace.

Charging a discharged battery can take 4 hours.

Load Level 3 (480v)

The three or DC level quick charge is currently the fastest charging solution for electric vehicles. Unlike levels one and two, there is no standardized charge protocol for level three charging stations. Currently, the Tesla charging network has implemented the three level or high voltage chargers. All of the above fast chargers offer about 80% charge in 30 minutes. The installation requires the wiring and the assembly of a ‘pylon’ for charging and cable. Because of the costs and energy needs of the level 3 chargers, these stations are generally installed only along the transit corridors.

It can recharge a flat battery in ~ 30 minutes or less.

Typically used only in commercial applications.

How long does it take to charge an electric car?

Charging times for electric vehicles vary considerably. Factors affecting the time it takes to charge include the total capacity of an EV battery, the amount of charge required and the level (or speed) of the charger. While it is common to compare the times required to fully recharge the battery of an electric vehicle (from 0% to 100%) in practice, this is extremely rare. More commonly, electric vehicle owners recharge their vehicles regularly and rarely fall below 1/3 charge. The chart below compares the average charging time of over 600 models of mixed electric vehicles with over 85,000 charging events. Average charging time for each charge level of the charger :


Level 1 – 290 minutes

Level 2 – 115 minutes

Level 3 – 23 minutes

The state of the art of electric cars in Italy and in the world

” By 2025, half of the cars produced in the world will be electrified,  and gas and petrol vehicles will give way to hybrid and electric vehicles . Car manufacturers have less than a decade to reinvent themselves or risk being overwhelmed by change in the way they feed, drive and buy vehicles. ” So spoke Sergio Marchionne ,  CEO of FCA, before his death. After having defined it  as “a threat to the existence of the planet”,  Marchionne had reconsidered it and had also included the electric car in his last industrial plan for FCA .

In fact, for the insiders, the words of Marchionne are widely shared: the electric car is still in its infancy, but it could become more adult than we expect. A reality that also emerges from the data of Unrae (National Union of Foreign Motor Vehicles Representatives) updated in July 2018: “On the feed front, a  strong decline in May for diesel  which marks a -10.1%, with a share falling by over 4 points, stopping at 51.7% of the market. The cumulative decline is 4.2%, reaching a representativeness of 54.1%. The other engine  declining is the LPG  (-3.5% in the month and -3.7% in January-May), which keeps its share stable. In  growing gasoline (+ 3.1%), which rose to 35.2% in May,  the hybrids increased by 12.3% (to 3.9% share), volumes of natural gas  vehicles doubled  (2.8% of the total ) and electric cars grow by almost  300% ” . The growth is still modest but, Unrae points out, “Understanding and evolved interventions have the potential to lead Italy towards a more modern and innovative scenario, which in  2030 could make electric and hybrid vehicles reach a total of around 50% of total sales “.

It is no coincidence that automakers and major players in the electricity market such as  Enel are ready to bet on the future “green” of mobility. Future also embodied by Tesla Motors , an American company of automotive and energy captains created by the eclectic entrepreneur  Elon Musk who is churning out one model after another.

Future of the car and features of the electric car

In short, the future of the car is increasingly eco-sustainable. As EconomyY’s  Randy J. Miller , EY Global Leader Automotive and Transportation, said in this interview , “the use of vehicles using alternative sources of supply will increasingly increase. By 2030 recourse to these sources will increase to 35%, starting from the current 3.5%. Two platforms are at stake: electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles. To increase the trend, however, we need better power batteries, technology, continuous investments in infrastructures and even models of electric cars that are more appealing to the customer. On the other hand, the diesel market is in decline: it is estimated that it will fall to 4% by 2020-2025, starting from 30.5% where it is now. It will not disappear, but will undergo a drastic reduction. Massive recourse to electricity for motor vehicles is something that will surely happen . At the same time, governments must develop energy plans that are consistent with the environmental issue “.

The attention of the general public towards the electric car seems therefore destined to grow year after year. Here is a mini-guide on the most frequently asked questions related to the use of this type of car: charging modes, vehicle autonomy, battery life.

Charging infrastructure: number and diffusion

The number is not the only important factor regarding the charging infrastructure: there is indeed

a theme linked to the location of the recharge points. Three areas have been identified where they can be installed:

  • Points of interest (shopping centers, cinemas, supermarkets …);
  • Urban roads and public parking lots;
  • Extra-urban freeways / roads.

The different destinations require different operators and business models.

On the basis of the National Infrastructural Plan for the recharge of vehicles powered by electricity), here is the possible location of the fast charging stations to be installed between now and 2020 . (source:  Energy & Strategy Group, School of Management of the Milan Polytechnic )

The electric cars  allow increasingly high mileage thanks to greater autonomy and have become a serious alternative to be considered with respect to a vehicle equipped with a petrol or diesel engine. With a still challenging purchase price , electric machines guarantee not only a decisive long-term saving, since it will not be necessary to refuel, but also the possibility of not having to comply with the blockages of the circulation given the total absence of harmful emissions. In this guide to electric cars we want to indicate the best cars to be taken into consideration, specifying the prices, characteristics and performance of each one.

Electric cars 2019: all the news coming soon

2019 could be the turning point for electric cars: both the technologies and the market are now ripe. Here are some of the most important innovations in the world of electric cars of 2019 .

Audi e-Tron  will be the first all-electric SUV in the Audi family with more than 400 km of range. He will be the progenitor of a family of 100% electric vehicles. Waiting to know the final specifications, here are some of the numbers of Audi e-Tron:

acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h in 4.6 seconds

maximum speed of 210 km / h

power up to 408 hp

autonomy: 400 Km

battery: 95 kWh + 150 kWh for ultra-fast charging

Audi e-Tron, a fully electric SUV with 400 km of autonomy 8

Mini Cooper E  will debut on the price lists during  2019 . At the moment there are not many clues to this model of the Mini house, which will perhaps be built on the same floor as the BMW i3.

Electric cars: which ones are the best and which cost less 1

Porsche Taycan  will be the first high-performance electric Porsche home. Porsche’s  Mission E has been transformed into  Taycan , concrete of the standard product, on the roads in 2019. A transfer of deliveries from the concept to the ready and finished model preserves the technical system of a high performance electric saloon, obligatory path for the brand.

Porsche Taycan, here are the details of high-performance electric 5

Mercedes EQ C  is the first fully electric SUV of Mercedes house with 450 km of autonomy. The new Mercedes-Benz EQC, where EQ stands for “Electric Intelligence” is part of a growing family of purely electric Mercedes-Benz. At the Paris Motor Show 2016, Mercedes-Benz presented its new electric mobility products and technologies brand for the first time, EQ. Now the first electric SUV is ready to make its debut on the market in mid-2019.

Mercedes-Benz EQC, electric SUV with 450 Km 6

Nissan Leaf, the best electric car of 2018

Waiting for all the other news for 2019, we see the best electric cars 2018 . The first option to be taken into consideration is undoubtedly the Nissan Leaf, the best electric car of 2018 :  has in fact won the award as Best Electric Car to ‘What Car? Awards 2018 ‘and the’ World Green Car 2018 ‘ award . The Nissan Leaf of the Japanese company is back on the market with a design totally revolutionized compared to the progenitor. The new Nissan Leaf is part of the C segment and is characterized by a length of 4.48 m. and from a width of 1.80 m. It has a power of 110 kW and thanks to the 40 kWh lithium-ion battery pack it is able to travel 378 km.

Remarkable work done by the Japanese house to make the interior space even more welcoming and cared for where stands the huge central control panel from which to monitor the functions of the car. Interesting technical equipment such as e-Pedal , thanks to which you can not only manage the gear, but also start the recovery of energy from the braking system by simply releasing. There are as many as eight versions available and the price may vary from a minimum of 34,370 euros up to a maximum of 39,790 euros .

Prices of electric cars

The price of electric cars is today one of the biggest obstacles to their diffusion, so much so that electric cars are still considered a niche product. The situation is changing slightly and thanks to a finally satisfactory autonomy / price ratio, the battery-powered cars are almost ready to conquer the masses. It remains true that electric cars of less than 30,000 euros remain very few (there are six currently sold in Italy). If you take in fact the list prices of electric cars on the market in Italy (basic equipment), it appears that the average price is 43,000 euros . Here is the ranking of electric car prices in Italy: the cheapest electric car is theSmart ForTwo Coupé with a price of 23.920 euros, while the most expensive is the BMW i8 in Roadster version for 163.270 euros!