The vehicle identification number (VIN) is composed of 17 characters (digits and capital letters) that act as a unique identifier for the vehicle. A VIN displays the car's unique features, specifications and manufacturer.
The VIN can be found in a couple of places including on the car's registration label (1), on the compliance plate in the engine bay (2) or on the passenger side windshield (3), or on one of the door posts (where the door latches when it is closed) (4). See the image below:
21 Feb 17
Have you ever considered buying an electric car? They're the way of the future, with many people already opting for hybrid engines, and more and more electric cars available from Australian dealerships. If you do decide to buy a used electric car, you can check out its past with a CarHistory report.
It's not quite the same as driving a fuel-powered car, though - you'll have to factor in charging stations and a different feel behind the wheel. You'll be doing your bit for the environment, too, as pure electric cars don't produce any emissions while in operation1.
How might a pure electric car change how you drive?
An electric motor has immediate access to the torque it needs to accelerate.
Driving an electric vehicle doesn't just mean you won't be able to hear the exhaust, or you'll have to think about where you can charge your car - they're very fast, too.
When at a stand-still, a fuel-powered car has 0 per cent of its torque available - by contrast, an electric motor has 100 per cent of its torque available2. That means when you put your foot down, the car doesn't have to build up to speed, because the motor has immediate access to the torque it needs to accelerate.
The Tesla Model S, one of the first mass-produced electric cars in the world, can shoot from 0 to 100 kph in just 2.7 seconds3. That's blistering speed, and is significantly faster than many supercars on the market. Instead of buying a petrol-guzzling giant that can't break the 3-second mark, consider the environment (and the future) and look at getting a Tesla.
Right now, there will be a limited range of used electric vehicles on the market, because they have only recently become commonplace. However, models like the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3 will be available occasionally, so if you can get a CarHistory report quickly when one is for sale, you may be able to snap up a bargain.
What do you need to drive an electric car?
The manufacturers of electric cars understand that not every home around the world will be geared to 'fast-charge' their own electric vehicles. On a standard home system, an electric vehicle can trickle charge, which means it does so slowly, but will reach 100 per cent charge overnight, for example4. All you have to do is plug it in at any port (that can reach your charging plug in the car) and let it work away5. At many fuel stations around Australia, and even in some shopping mall carparks and major centres, there are fast-charge ports as well.
As your battery fills up at one of these stations, the charging will become slower in a process known as 'tapering'.
These have a different electrical phasing than your standard home system, and can more rapidly fill your car's battery5. As your battery fills up at one of these stations, the charging will become slower in a process known as 'tapering'5. In approximately 20 minutes (depending on the car and the charging station), you could get to 80 per cent charge. The final 20 per cent might require another 20 to 30 minutes of charging, although some fast charging stations don't allow you to charge past a certain point5.
The range of your electric car will show up in place of your fuel indicator, so you'll always know how soon you need to find a charging station. If you're 30 kilometres from home and only have 10 kilometres left in your battery, you'll need to find a charging station to make it back. This won't be difficult, however, as there are hundreds and hundreds all around the major centres.
Electric vehicles are the commuting cars of the present day, and the future of motoring as we know it. While it may take some adjusting when you first get an electric car, you'll soon be thankful you did. Get in touch with CarHistory today for more information about the used model you're looking at.
1. Which Car. The best electric cars in Australia. Accessed February 2017.
2. Union of Concerned Scientists. How do battery electric cars work? Accessed February 2017.
3. Tesla Australia. Model S. February 2017.
4. Union of Concerned Scientists. How do hydrogen fuel cell vehicles work? Accessed February 2017.5. EV Obsession. Electric Car Charging 101 - Types of Charging, Charging Networks, Apps, & More! Accessed February 2017.