Keeping your electric car well maintained

8485660756_691ba60d4f_z

Image via Flickr creative commons from motorblog

If you’re a keen motorist then you’ll probably be well aware that electric cars have really gained rapidly in popularity over the last decade or so. There have been experiments with electric cars for well over a century – in fact, at one point they were the most popular cars on the market until petrol-powered vehicles took over – and after some ill-fated attempts, electric cars have started to gain mainstream popularity more recently. Electric cars have fallen in price in recent years – but if you’re still a bit strapped for cash, you may be interested to learn that you may be able to buy used electric vehicles with second-hand car finance from ACF Car Finance.

However, there are a number of questions which deter many people from opting to buy electric cars. One thing that puts some drivers off is maintenance – what sort of maintenance electric cars need, how much this is likely to cost and so on. An article from eHow.com offers some pointers when it comes to electric car maintenance. It notes that, in fact, electric cars are mechanically considerably simpler than vehicles with internal combustion engines. However, while electric cars generally require fewer parts than their petrol or diesel-powered counterparts, it is still important to maintain them properly so that you get as much mileage as you can out of them.

Obviously, both electric and petrol/diesel-powered cars have certain maintenance tasks in common – so it’s important not to neglect these if you do opt for an electric-powered vehicle. Make sure you check your tyre pressure regularly, have your brakes serviced at regular intervals and ensure your shock absorbers, struts and other parts are given the once-over every so often. This might sound like an obvious point to make, but nonetheless you should bear it in mind.

Also, electric cars are powered by lithium-ion batteries. It should stand to reason that the more regularly you use your electric car, the quicker its battery will expire. Batteries only have a limited cycle life, so after they’ve been charged and discharged a certain number of times, they’ll no longer work and will need to be replaced. If you start to notice that your electric car’s battery needs charging more frequently, it may be worth taking it to the mechanic so a professional can take a closer look at it. Nevertheless, you will need to replace your car’s battery every few years – this is, as things stand, unavoidable.

You may also be wondering just how much it’ll cost you to maintain your electric car. An article from HowStuffWorks.com provides us with some insight in this regard. It points out that new battery packs can costs thousands of pounds, although manufacturers are looking to develop cheaper and longer-lasting batteries. It also observes that so long as their battery continues to function normally, electric cars should require less maintenance than petrol or diesel-powered cars. This is something you should look very carefully into before you make the decision as to whether you’re going to buy an electric or fossil fuel-powered vehicle.

 

Advertisements

What Are The Greener Options For Charging Your Phone Or Tablet?

2851262330_0bc5ec8016_z

Image via Flickr creative commons from markguim

Gadgets can suck up a fair bit of energy over their lifetime and it is unsurprising that more and more people are looking for ways to reduce their energy spend and bring down household bills at the same time as doing their bit for the environment. The good news is that there a number of ways that you can be more environmentally aware when it comes to charging up your gadgets such as smartphones and tablets. Charging them is easy, especially when you have covers from the Snugg UK that allow easy access to all of the ports. What is not so easy is remembering to be green – here are a few helpful tips!

Think carefully before charging overnight

One of the best and probably one of the simplest ways to save money and energy when it comes to charging gadgets is to make sure you think carefully about when you do it. Something that many people do is charge their smartphones and tablets up during the night when they’re not in use. Unfortunately today’s gadgets don’t actually take that long to charge up and so they remain plugged in and drawing down electricity even after they are fully charged. While you’re very unlikely to notice a spike in your electricity bill from doing this now and again, it’s important to remember that you are wasting electricity which is not only costing the environment but also hurting your wallet.

Don’t leave your charger plugged in at the wall

Taking appliances off charge once the batteries are full isn’t the only thing you’ll have to remember. It’s also important to make sure that you have turned off the charger at the socket once you’re done. Even if the device has been unplugged, a small amount of electricity can still be used by the plug. Cut out waste – turn it off.

Go for a timer

If you really don’t have the option of charging up your tablet or phone in the daytime or during the evening, then consider investing in a device to cut off power after a set period. It is possible to buy low-cost outlet timers that will automatically turn themselves off and stop drawing down power after a fixed period – perfect if your device will only take four hours to charge but you’re going to be in the land of nod for eight hours!

Harness the power of the sun!

If you’re not too keen on drawing down power from your home’s electricity supply then how about harnessing the power of the sun and getting some juice for free. It is now possible to buy solar-powered phone and tablet chargers that will drink up the sun’s rays and then dispense it into your gadgets when you’re ready. This type of device can be great for when you are travelling and don’t have a mains power source handy, or alternatively, is just a fab way of staying powered-up without harming the environment. Everyone wins!