Buying a car is one of life’s special milestones, a decision which can take up to weeks of discussion and research. It is one of those times in your life when drawing up a list of pros and cons, and pondering over it for days seems like quite a reasonable thing to do. This process can become even longer and more detail-oriented when it comes to an electric car; this is because you would have to consider things like battery life, range and charging options. However, the good news is that all the information you need about electric vehicles is available at your fingertips. To help you get started, here are some basic, yet important questions you might have regarding electric vehicles (EVs) and their answers, which can help your decision-making process get easier.
1. What kind of charging do EVs offer?
Today, practically every electronic device comes with a different charger and charging time. Similarly, charging times can vary when it comes to electric cars. Some cars can take as long as 8 hours to bring the battery from almost empty to 100%, while others can take their batteries to 80% within an hour, with the help of a fast charger. There are three levels of electric car charging you should know about:
- 120 Volt charging: Also referred to as Level 1 charging, this involves charging your car from a wall socket (15A socket) like any other electric appliance. The charger for this type of charging is provided with every EV so that you can charge it in case of an emergency. Considering an EV needs far more battery power than a regular home appliance, on a voltage as low as this, it can take several hours to charge to a usable extent. The MG ZS EV comes with a 13A charging cable which charges the car up to 80% in 16-18 hours and gives 15-20 km mileage on an hourly charge.
- 240 Volt charging: Faster than 120 Volt charging, it cuts the charging time down considerably and requires special hardware to be installed. To enable this Level 2 charging option, the AC charger is usually provided and installed by the car manufacturer either at your home or office. The MG ZS EV includes a 7.4 kW AC charger as standard with free installation and can top up the battery up to 100% in 6-8 hours. An hour of charging with the AC charger will give it a range of 45-50km, which is a considerable amount.
- DC fast charging: Using a 480 Volt direct current offers some incredible charging times. The MG ZS EV can use a DC fast charger to replenish its battery by 80 per cent in a staggering 50 minutes! It uses a 50kW DC fast charger to achieve this, which is available at select MG dealerships at the moment. However, the Indian government plans to have a DC fast charger network set up shortly as well.
2. What is the range of the electric car?
It is important to pick an electric vehicle that suits your requirements best; remember, the longer the range, the easier it will be to travel in your EV daily. An EV that offers a higher range eliminates the need to worry about how much charge is left in the battery and can also mean having to recharge the vehicle less often. For instance, the MG ZS EV offers a range of 340km on a full charge. This means if your commute is anywhere between 40 to 60 km a day, you might need to charge it just once or twice a week!
3. What type of battery does it use?
Newer technology has allowed batteries to become lighter, store more charge, and perform consistently over a wider range of temperatures. The battery’s power rating is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh) or ampere-hours (Ah), just like a mobile phone battery. The MG ZS EV uses lithium-ion batteries, made with the best available technology and known for their lightweight and excellent power density. Its battery pack is rated at 44.5kWh, the highest in its segment.
4. What about battery life and warranty?
Potential EV owners often worry that their car battery will lose performance after a while. Well, with new technological innovations, this worry is unfounded. Additionally, the backing of electric car manufacturers offers more peace of mind on this matter. The MG ZS EV, for example, has a battery warranty that covers eight years with unlimited mileage, ensuring consistent performance for the entirety of your EV’s life cycle.
5. How safe are such EV batteries?
A usual concern that most potential customers have about EVs is the safety of the battery pack. Again, like every other technology, these batteries have come a long way and are tested rigorously to ensure they meet the highest standards. For instance, the MG ZS EV has a 5-star NCAP rating for crash safety. In addition to this, its battery pack has undergone separate testing to get a certification that shows it meets the UL2580 standard for safety. This certification puts the battery pack up against eight different tests: short circuits, fire, collision, smoke, drops (falling), soaking in water, dust, and extrusion.
It also satisfies the IP67 standard for safety, which means it meets or exceeds the following requirements: waterproofing and dust proofing, insulation monitoring, electromagnetic shielding, collision monitoring, overload protection, and high voltage interlock. If anything, you can be sure that the ZS EV has a thoroughly tested battery and is probably the safest of its kind available today!
There is no doubt that electric cars are the future, and as more people become conscious about their travel habits, these vehicles will be more widely adopted. And there is no better time than the present to jump on this clean, green bandwagon.