One of the biggest problems with electric vehicles is that accessories — things like lighting and heating — can be a significant drain on the battery, which in turn shortens the range of the car. But there is one helpful solution, at least in terms of light: LEDs.
The average electric vehicle’s battery pack has the energy equivalent of only 1-2 gallons of gas. If you had that much in your IC vehicle, you’d be looking for a gas station right about now. However, since electric motors are much more efficient than internal combustion engines, a decent range can still be obtained from these battery packs. One downside to going farther on less energy is that accessories such as lighting are about 10 times more detrimental to your range than they would be on a gasoline vehicle.
“Just like going from a 75 watt incandescent light bulb down to a 18 watt compact fluorescent has made a significant difference to reduce the nation’s energy consumption in the home, so too can LED lighting make a difference in automobiles, especially once alternators and generators in the cars are right-sized for higher efficiency,” auto bulb manufacturer Osram Sylvania’s David Hulick said.
In fact, by switching to headlights LED Bulbs, electric vehicles can add around six miles to their range. This is because LEDs draw less than 25 percent of the energy that traditional incandescent bulbs do, making them a much more efficient option, especially for EV owners looking to extend their range.
Currently, Japanese cars such as Toyota Prius, American vehicles such as Chevy Volt, and European vehicles such as Audi R8 all have headlights available using LED Lights.
In the future, more and more vehicles, not just hybrid or electric vehicles, all vehicles will gradually adapt the more efficient LED lights for headlights, tail lights, and interior lights.