How Are Electric Vehicles Charged?

Before buying an electric vehicle it is essential to gain familiarity with the necessary on-board equipment to prevent “charging” or, to use a current term, “top-up” problems.

It is important to check that the electric vehicle is fitted with a battery charger with a “standard” connection, i. e. suitable to draw electrical energy directly from ENEL’s grid and therefore from the power outlet in our garage. If it’s not then there is something wrong and you need to contact the seller.

This solution in the standard equipment fitted on an electric vehicle allows to charge the batteries in any place with mains electricity. Indeed electric cars have other various types of battery chargers. However, these do not allow to draw electricity from the mains supply but need special adapters or need to be connected directly to the charging points in service stations now available in large towns. The ideal solution is to have a battery charger on board the car with a high-frequency standard socket without the need to resort to external devices.

When taking into consideration an electric vehicle one needs to examine the costs to bear for the energy required to power the set of batteries. Models that allow to reduce energy costs are definitely the ones that allow to charge the batteries directly from the national domestic mains supply. Usually a full energy charge for a complete set of traction batteries for vehicles that draw energy directly from the mains supply does not cost more than 2 euros.

Vehicles fitted with a standard battery charger allow to optimise the time spent at home to charge the batteries. Indeed on average it takes 8 hours to fully charge a set of traction batteries. We recommend charging the entire set of batteries overnight, after the vehicle has been used during the day, in conjunction with the cheapest electricity tariff. It is also possible to charge the batteries for less time during the day for partial charges.

Partial charges do not result in problems affecting the runtime and/or efficiency of the set of batteries, as they are not subject to the memory effect. Precisely because they do not suffer from the memory effect, the set of batteries of electric vehicles has an average life of about 4 years.

A fully charged set of batteries of an electric vehicle allows for an uptime that varies between 70 and 100 km, depending on the model and set-up selected.

Top 10 Must Have Auto Accessories

Personalizing the appearance and improving the driving experience of your auto is one of the great pleasures of owning your own car, SUV or truck. There are so many different auto accessories out there on the market it can be tricky to narrow down which ones you might want to consider getting to improve your vehicle. The following 10 accessories are those which we consider really are the “must haves”:

1) Floor Mats – It really is pretty ridiculous that an item so basic as a floor mat is an optional extra on many new cars. If you want to protect the interior of your automobile and prolong the life of the cabin’s upholstery then floor mats are an essential and worthwhile investment. Floor mats can be easily picked up from just about every auto accessory shop and even in many supermarkets.

2) Auto Covers – The last thing you want to happen to your pride and joy is for its shiny paintwork to get damaged by the elements, falling objects, or even bird droppings. By using an auto cover you can give your vehicle the protection it needs from the harsh summer sun, heavy rain and hail, corrosive bird droppings and destructive objects falling from trees or blown by the wind.

3) Cargo Liners – Like floor mats for the passenger compartment of vehicles, cargo liners are also a great accessory for keeping the trunk clean and tidy. If you are often putting dirty boots or tools in the trunk of your vehicle, for example, then a cargo liner will keep all that filth off the lining material as well as protecting against any scratches and dents.

4) Brake Dust Shields – With modern vehicles getting more and more powerful and having larger brakes, the amount of brake dust produced is increasing. Using brake dust shields on the insides of your wheels helps to prevent the dust from gathering on your shiny alloy rims, making keeping your auto clean much easier.

5) Car Bras – Bumpers on modern cars are often made from plastic which might look good but isn’t able to put off with much abuse caused by stones, grit and other street debris. A car bra is a specially made protector that wraps around the bumper to shield against flying stones, insects and other debris that can cause damaging stone chips and dents.

6) Fender Flares – Travelling at speed on country roads or rarely used streets can lead to gravel, rocks and other objects flinging up and striking the paintwork of your vehicle. By fitting fender flares you can greatly reduce the amount of debris that can reach your auto’s exterior. For most cars it is possible to find fender flares that match the original color and finish.

7) Mud Flaps – Further protection can be provided by the use of mud flaps which also prevent the dirty water spray containing all manner of pollutants and oil from reaching your car’s paintwork.

8) Heated Seats – Driving a car throughout the long winter months without heated seats can be somewhat torturous, especially when first entering the vehicle. Heated seats can make a journey in cold weather 10 times more pleasurable.

9) iPod / iPhone / MP3 Docks – Tape cassettes and even now CDs are getting very long in the tooth. Why not make use of your iPod or MP3 player in your vehicle and invest in a dock that allows you to listen to your tunes through your car speakers. Many docks also double up as a hand-free system; much safer than talking on the phone normally.

10) Bug Shields – These are an absolute must have, particularly in the South where insects are even more prevalent. A good bug shield made specifically for your model of car or truck can do wonders in limiting the amount of insects and other debris hitting your windshield and hood. Bug shields not only help to keep your car clean, but are also a useful safety accessory helping to maintain good visibility.

Truck and Auto Accessories – Splash Guards

The main function of the mud flap is to keep dirt, slush and other debris from being kicked up by your truck’s tires, protecting both your truck and the windshields of the drivers behind you. Usually, people don’t pay much attention to mud flaps, but these days, the standard variety of truck and auto accessories have become yet another form of automotive self-expression.

The most iconic of these truck and car accessories characters is simply known as “The Mud Flap Girl”. We’ve all seen her before: She’s the buxom silver silhouette of a long-legged beauty lounging with one leg provocatively crossed over the other, hair blowing in the wind. Bill Zinda of Wiz Enterprises in Long Beach, California, created this famous character to promote his line of truck and auto accessories and based the character upon a famous model named Leta Laroe.

Another famous character to make an appearance on these truck and car accessories is Yosemite Sam pointing his two cartoon pistols with a caption beneath declaring, “Back Off!” or, “All Fired Up”. Other Warner Brother characters have also made appearances, such as a frightened Daffy Duck and an overly upset Tweety Bird.

These mud flap characters are so engrained in our psych that they have gone beyond truck and car accessories and began appearing in commercials together. One famous commercial created for the Superbowl in 2006 had the Mud Flap Girl and Yosemite Sam driving away in a Honda Ridgeway.

Sadly, it appears that both of these figures have been targeted by legislation, when officials in Arizona tried to pass a ban on the two icons on the grounds of political correctness (one promoting sex and the other promoting gun violence). For the time being, the legislation on these truck and auto accessories has been struck down.

As long as that law doesn’t pass, you can find quality auto accessories and mud flaps that can have anything on them from your favorite sports team logo to the picture of your dog.

Manufacturers know a good thing when they see it, and customized truck and auto accessories, such as mud flaps are big money makers. If you don’t want Yosemite Sam or the Mud Flap Girl, you can have your own mud flaps customized with whatever you want on quality materials to continue protecting your truck and showing everyone who you are at the same time.

The most popular use of custom mud flaps nowadays are for company cars. If you’ve ever been caught behind a large semi on the highway, or maybe stuck in traffic behind a moving van, you may have noticed that mud flaps are an effective advertising tool. Most companies spend a little extra in this truck and auto accessory to manipulate their vehicles to carry their company name and phone number on mud flaps.

More than mere truck and auto accessories, mud flaps can be a unique form of showing off who you are or acting as a clever bit of advertising. Never before have truck and car accessories been so interesting, versatile and amusing – while it protects!