Electric Cars Grow in Popularity
No Shock Here. Electric Cars Grow in Popularity.
What’s the difference between an electric vehicle (EV) and an electric car? EVs are any vehicles that use electric motors for propulsion. Electric cars, on the other hand, more specifically means an automobile that is powered by electricity. The source of its power defines the type of car, like a car powered by the sun is a solar car, and an electric car powered by gasoline generator is a hybrid. What you may not realize is that electric cars have been around since the mid-19th century. Their popularity quickly faded with the gasoline-powered engine, but since the demand for more environmentally friendly cars has steadily increased, so too has the availability of electric cars.
In most cases, you would be hard- pressed to tell at first glance if a car is electric or not, since it is basically a converted gasoline-powered car. Raise the hood and the differences are obvious, as the gasoline engine is replaced by an electric motor, which is powered by a controller and the controller gets its power from rechargeable batteries.
Electric cars offer plenty of advantages. First when you drive the car, it is nearly silent. Another advantage: environmental. It doesn’t create the exhaust and pollution associated with gasoline-powered cars. Typically, the range of a single complete charge is about 50 miles, which could be thought of as a limitation. But take into consideration that most of us don’t drive that many miles in an average day. Perhaps the biggest advantage is these types of cars will reduce our dependence on oil.
One of the newest models that is going to production is the 2011 Chevy Volt. According to its website, the Volt will travel about 40 miles on a single charge. In just a short time, the technology has already advanced to the point that the time needed to charge the car can be as little as four hours at a cost of about $1.50 per day. Earlier models required as much as eight to 12 hours to charge. One of the drawbacks, however, is the cost of the battery, which can be several thousand dollars, and needs to be replaced after about 20,000 miles. On the horizon is the development of fuel cells, which never die as long as the chemicals constantly flow through it.
Today, most fuel cell chemicals are hydrogen and oxygen, which produce electricity. We can talk about fuel cells in another column.
So now you have more information about electric cars. Is one right for you? Only you can decide.
Johnny Nocera has been on the radio airwaves in Southwest Florida with “Dr. Johnny’s Car Clinic” on FOX News radio 92.5 FM, 1240/1270 AM every Saturday morning from 9-10 for over 25 years. He also owns, along with his sons JR and Jimmy, Supreme Auto and Collision located in downtown Naples, and has been in business for more than 37 years. Questions welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org