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How Are Dashboard Lights in an Electric Vehicle Different?

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While electric cars maintain many of the dashboard symbols most drivers immediately recognize, other indicator lights in electric vehicles are new to first-time EV owners. These differences arise due to the unique mechanisms and features inherent in EVs. So, how are dashboard lights in an electric vehicle different from those in traditional gas-powered cars?

The Importance of Color in Electric Vehicle Dashboard Lights

Most drivers recognize standard dashboard symbols and warning lights in gasoline powered cars. They know that a yellow light means “check this out,” while a red light means “stop and call a tow truck right now.”

Red and yellow lights play a similar and equally crucial role in electric vehicle dashboard lights. However, you may also see green and blue lights in an electric car.

Green lights typically indicate that a particular system, such as the car’s Eco Mode, is engaged and operating correctly. Blue lights often represent EV-specific features like the vehicle’s energy flow or electric motor temperature.

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Electric Vehicle Indicator Lights

Several unique indicator lights are specific to electric vehicles. There are things electric vehicles do and systems they use that are unique to battery-powered cars.

The “ready to drive” light indicates that the vehicle’s systems have booted up and the car is ready to move. This light is necessary because electric cars are so quiet that it can be difficult to recognize when the car is on.

The “low battery” light warns the driver that the battery charge is running low. Many new EV owners suffer from “range anxiety” and benefit from an alert that their car needs a charge.

Another light related to electric vehicles’ quiet performance is the pedestrian alert, which comes on when the vehicle is operating at low speeds. Pedestrians who are accustomed to detecting the presence of oncoming cars by their sound aren’t used to the near-silent glide of an EV. The pedestrian alert light warns the driver that they’re in danger of hitting someone who has unwittingly stepped out in front of the car.

A related warning is the “external sound indicator” light. Electric vehicles are now equipped with a noise-making system to alert pedestrians to their approach. This indicator light tells the driver if there is a problem with the external sound system.

The “regenerative braking light” signals when the regenerative braking system, which recovers energy during braking, is active or when it is malfunctioning.

A “general electrical fault” light alerts the driver to a potential issue with the vehicle’s electric system. If the light is red, it means a serious issue that could damage the vehicle’s electric drive system.

When To See Your Mechanic

If a red light illuminates or if any light stays on for an extended period, consult your mechanic or service center. The complex electrical systems of EVs necessitate professional inspection and maintenance to ensure the vehicle’s optimal performance.

Understanding how dashboard lights in an electric vehicle are different is crucial for maintaining the health of the vehicle and ensuring a safe driving experience. With this knowledge, you can monitor your EV’s performance accurately and deal with any issues promptly.

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