Electric vehicles: how does it work?

Grade level:  5th – 6th grades

Skills: Multiplication & Division (Decimal numbers)

Related environmental issues: Energy


Charging Nissan Leaf  (Photo: Nissan USA)

Recently, many automobile manufactures make vehicles called electric vehicles that do not use gasoline at all. Electric vehicles use electricity stored in its rechargeable batteries instead. You charge your electric vehicle either at home or charging stations like charging your cell phone.

  1. Most electric vehicles run 60-120 miles on a full charge.  For example, Nissan Leaf runs 80 miles.  On the other hand, Tesla Model S runs 3.375 times more than Nissan Leaf on a full charge. How many miles does Tesla Model S run on a full charge?
  2. Noah’s family drives 36 miles a day on average. His house has two types of chargers. In an hour of charging, the type A stores power that allows his car to run 6 miles, and the type B stores power that allows his car run 24 miles.  How many hours faster does the type B charge his car than the type A?

Sources: www.fueleconomy.gov, 2016. U.S. Department of Energy


Answer keys

  1. 270 miles (80 x 3.375 = 270)
  2. 4.5 hours    [Type A: 6 hours to charge his car (36/6 = 6 ) Type B: 1.5 hours to charge his car (36/24=1.5)  6-1.5=4.5 hours]