Electric vehicles (EVs) use electric motors powered by batteries to provide propulsion instead of internal combustion engines.
Demand for electric vehicles is expected to increase over the next few years as motorists attempt to cut costs and governments seek to curb carbon emissions and improve air quality.
Critics of electric cars argue that the need to recharge batteries makes them impractical, while the use of energy from the grid to power the vehicle undermines its environmental benefits.
However, advocates counter that carbon emissions associated with recharging electric vehicles will fall as more renewable energy comes on line, while figures from the British government suggest electric vehicles already result in overall carbon emission reductions of between 30 and 40 per cent compared to conventional cars.
Meanwhile, the emergence of lithium-ion batteries has resulted in the development of several new electric cars from major manufacturers that boast performance on a par with conventional cars and a range typically around one hundred miles between recharges.
Electric vehicles also have lower fuel costs, typically around £400-£500 for an average annual mileage of 10,000 miles (16,000km) compared to a petrol cost of around £1,200 per year, while numerous governments have introduced incentives to encourage uptake of the technology.
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