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An electric vehicle is just what it sounds like: a vehicle that uses an electric motor as its sole means of propulsion. Distinct from hybrids or plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles (EVs) have no gas engine to fall back on and are thus limited in travel distance by the amount of electricity stored in their battery packs.
There is a broad range of EVs suited to different driving styles and purposes, everything from compact cars such as the Mitsubishi i-MiEV or Fiat 500e that can travel around 80 miles on a full charge to full-size luxury sedans such as the Tesla Model S, capable of 315 miles. Most EVs deliver around 100 miles of range, although the new Chevrolet Bolt offers an impressive 238 miles.
Electric vehicles offer many benefits, such as never needing to buy gasoline and having low maintenance costs. EVs tend to offer roomy cabins with plenty of storage space, delightfully quiet operation and giddy thrills from instant electric propulsion. Some states also allow solo EV drivers to use carpool lanes.
Prospective EV buyers need to consider a host of lifestyle needs when choosing a car. Electric vehicles tend to be ideal for those with modest commuting distances and relatively easy access to charging stations. And EVs aren't cheap. Although government incentives exist to offset the adoption of this early technology, electric vehicles pose more upfront costs, as well as increased electricity bills. These costs can take time to average out compared to gasoline-powered models.