Electric vehicles, or EVs, are a great alternative to traditional gasoline engines and are quickly becoming popular vehicles. about ecology. Unfortunately, there is a catch — the range. The Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S are two of the most popular electric vehicles. Check the range and charge stats for each:

  • nissan leaf
    • Range: 80 miles
    • Battery capacity: 14 kWh
    • Charger: 6.6 kW
      • Full charge time: 8 hours
      • Charging time 80%: 30 minutes
  • Tesla Model S
    • Range: 265 miles
    • Battery capacity: 85 kWh
    • Charger: 20 kW dual chargers
      • Full charge time: 5 hours
      • Charging time 80%: 2 hours

Tesla Supercharger

When you fill up with fuel in your traditional car, you stop at a gas station, fill up a full tank in less than 5 minutes, and continue on your 500+ mile fun ride. In electric cars, when you’re low on fuel, in this case electricity, you have to find a charging station, which isn’t as plentiful as gas stations, and then sit there for up to 8 hours for a full charge before you can continue on your way. Obviously this will not be ideal for many situations and impossible for some.

Electric vehicle manufacturers understand this and are hard at work on a range of solutions to remove the limitations of electric vehicles.


Superchargers are a Tesla concept that they believe are the first step towards greater acceptance of electric vehicles by greatly reducing recharge times. Superchargers are high power chargers that deliver 120kW compared to the 6.6kW charger or 10kW chargers featured on the Leaf and Model S, respectively. The supercharger can fully charge an 85kWh Model S in 1 hour and reach 80% charge in 30 minutes. Supercharger technology currently only works with Teslas, but when Tesla opens up its patents to competitors, it’s only a matter of time before this kind of performance becomes the standard.

The upsides of a supercharger are that you can get a significant charge much faster than a traditional charger and that the concept is universal and can be adapted to all EV models. The disadvantages are that it still takes longer to get to a gas station than a traditional car and that gas stations are not yet widely available.

Maturity: already in use today with 401 supercharger stations available in North America

Deadlines: already available, but there is no estimate of when or where more will be


Battery Replacement

Tesla recently introduced battery swapping as a potential method of quickly refueling electric vehicles, which involves removing the dead battery from the car and plugging in a new one, just like you would on your laptop or phone. Tesla estimates it will take less than 3 minutes and provide your car with a fresh, fully charged battery.

The advantage of replacing the battery is that you can get a full charge very quickly and it doesn’t require a lot of new technology to implement. The downsides are that battery replacement will vary by model (you can’t swap a Leaf’s battery for an S model’s battery), and you can only change the battery at a swap station. This limits the versatility of the method and it will take a long time to set up network swap stations for your car across the country. Mixing all batteries into a common pool can also have unidentified consequences when things like warranties and repairs come up.

Maturity: testing in California

Deadlines: 1-2 years



Capacitors are often used in hybrid vehicles today as they can discharge/recharge quickly and are a good source of small amounts of power. Unfortunately, traditional capacitors can only hold about 5% of the energy that a similarly sized lithium-ion battery can provide, making them poor power sources for electric vehicles. Ultracapacitors are extremely high capacitance capacitors. Theoretically, ultracapacitors could store almost as much energy as a lithium-ion battery, but could charge in seconds rather than hours. MIT has been working on them for quite some time, and their successful development and production could completely revolutionize electric vehicles. Charging stations will still exist, but a full charge stop would be very similar to a gas stop in terms of time.

The advantages of ultracapacitors are that they charge very quickly, are not as sensitive to temperature, and have a much longer life than traditional batteries. The disadvantages are that they are still in the relatively early stages of research and development and it will be quite a while before they become commercially available.

Maturity: Research and development

Deadlines: Terms: 5+ years

Dynamic inductive charging


Inductive charging is not a new idea or even an innovation for electric vehicles, but it is static inductive charging which really helps you if you can’t forget to plug in your car at night. Dynamic Induction charging takes the concept of static inductive charging and takes it to the road so your car charges while you drive, virtually eliminating the need to stop and charge. Although the technology is not yet fully developed, it promises a huge number of electric vehicles.

The advantage of dynamic inductive charging is that you don’t have to stop and charge your car batteries. This has a wide impact, from reducing the size of the battery required to power an electric vehicle to eliminating the need for stations to charge together. The downsides to this are that it is a relatively immature technology and requires a significant amount of research and development before implementation. The infrastructure required to install the widespread inductive charging grid is also far more important than many other methods, as it will entail rebuilding the entire road system.

Maturity: Research and development

Deadlines: 5+ years

Despite the current EV limits, they are still a great option. for many people (especially when combined with an inexpensive second vehicle that runs on gas). If you are in the market or interested in a new one, be sure to check out this post. The future for electric vehicles is bright as they continue to be a promising option to replace gasoline vehicles in general. Whether they use recharging stations or dynamic inductive charging, one thing is clear: electric vehicles will continue to charge faster and more reliably. Someday we may even laugh at the fact that we spend 5 minutes on gas every few hundred miles when we drive our efficient and environmentally friendly electric vehicles without ever having to stop (at least for the sake of the car).

Image Credits: Electric car Via Shutterstock

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