Electric cars by definition are cars that their motors run by electrical energy stored in batteries or stored in other devices such as fuel cell. The energy provides an instant force that creates a powerful and smooth acceleration. The electric cars are approximately three times more effective and efficient than ordinary cars. Technology has advanced over the years, and the automotive industry is at the front. The industry has changed rapidly and shifted to green technologies and the ever increasing fuel economy with consumer demand and regulations being the drivers. Human beings are dynamic, and they enjoy experiencing better technologies, for instance, the use of smartphones and electric cars. It is not possible to ignore the fact that electric cars are useful regarding fuel economy and its friendliness to the environment hence the need for consumers to know whether the future for electric vehicles is bright or not (Hooftman et al. 15). This paper will discuss the types of electric cars, their consideration of the economy, environment, and the infrastructure, their power sources and the commercially available cars .
There are two types of electric cars namely; battery electric cars, fuel electric cars, hybrid electric cars and plug-in hybrid electric cars. A battery electric vehicle does not have an internal combustion engine but instead uses batteries charged by an external source usually a power grid (Sullivan 18). Fuel electric vehicles, on the other hand, generates electricity from hydrogen and oxygen instead of storing the energy for use like batteries. Hybrid electric vehicle differs slightly with the above two because it has two systems working simultaneously; one contains an internal combustion engine like conventional cars, and another system has an electric engine, batteries, and gearshifts (Kester 19). The systems perform the task of turning on the car. The hybrid electric vehicle is not rechargeable by the voltage grid since it generates energy using the gasoline engine and regenerative braking. Conversely, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle uses a battery that is rechargeable by plugging it into the power grid (Hybrid & Electric Cars Industry Profile: United States 20). However, it has an internal combustion engine that runs either on gasoline or diesel fuel which has the capability of recharging the battery and substitute the lost power.
Ordinary cars emit a lot of carbon gasses to the environment which eventually leads to pollution and the risk of harmful greenhouse gasses (Kester 19). Electric vehicles offer significant reasons why people should invest in the technology. Electric cars do not have toxic gas emissions; they are eco-friendly since they run on engines powered electrically. However, hybrid vehicles are not as eco-friendly as electric vehicles since they produce gas emissions because of gasoline engines. Hooftman et al. argue that since everybody desires to live in a free polluted environment, using electric cars can significantly contribute to the clean environment (18). Conventional cars produce too much noise hence they cause pollution to the environment. However, the electric vehicles are much quieter than conventional vehicles; they do not generate noise hence they contribute to a reduction in noise pollution (Kester 19). The cars have the capability of offering high accelerated smooth drives for longer distances. Equally, electric cars offer safe driving, and in the case of accident occurrence, the cars have the ability to open up the airbags for safety and to cut the energy supply from the battery hence saving lives. It is evident that widespread use of the electric vehicles can contribute to the conservation of the environment by a substantial margin (Sullivan 18).
The economic consideration of electric cars is beneficial both to the car owners and the government. Electric cars do not require gas since they entirely depend on electricity. The cost of purchasing gas is expensive since the cost of fuel has been increasing steadily with time (Hooftman et al. 14). Driving an electric car is much economical than conventional cars. Nowadays, acquiring an electric car is cheaper as compared to some years back because of subsidized prices of batteries and high availability (Sullivan 18). Similarly, the cost of maintaining an electric car has reduced because the cars use electrically powered engines and not combustion engines which require lubrication. Electrically powered engines do not need any lubrication. Hwang claims that the reduced maintenance costs because drivers do not need to send their engines to a service station for maintenance hence cutting on cost (3). As a result of reduced cost of purchase and maintenance, owners of electric cars can accumulate their savings that would have been spent in case conventional cars. Customers who have purchased electric vehicles have reported the realization of significant savings as compared to customers using conventional vehicles. The translation shows that the electric cars are cost effective as compared to conventional vehicles, in the long run, the economy will be impacted in a positive way.
The development of charging stations and battery swapping stations are one of the vital infrastructure required for the electric cars to operate on the roads. Despite the fact that the infrastructure is still under development, with time it is believed that the consumer adoption of the electric cars will accelerate the development of advanced and affordable electric vehicles which will cover longer distances is increasing at a higher rate (Hybrid & Electric Cars Industry Profile: United States 30). Currently, most electric cars are charged overnight due to limited infrastructure and limited electricity during the day. The available charging technology takes an approximate of 4-6 hours for a vehicle to charge fully but the problem is that it only covers less distance. There is a need for the development of flash charging systems to enable quicker charging to save time. Similarly, charging systems should be installed at all parking stations, especially in workplaces. It is evident that the driving necessities for most consumers in the future will probably be taken over by the electric cars hence the need for the development of long-lasting batteries (Hwang 2). However, this will mean that more electricity will be required to service the electric vehicles. The government needs to put in place adequate infrastructure that will be able to serve all the electric cars in the future (Thielman 1).
The available electricity power grids will probably not be able to charge all the future electric cars. Other sources of energy are required to move wholly to a renewably powered environment. Development of solar panels will have to be put in place if electric cars will have to run on the roads (Hybrid & Electric Cars Industry Profile: United States 25). However, some of the currently available chargers and solar inverters do not support electric vehicle charging. Use of solar panels as the source of power for the electric cars will require engineers and developers to invest in research and developments to come up with solar chargers and inverters which are supported by the solar panels. Sullivan argues that us of the solar panel as a source of power is a cheaper and affordable means of charging electric cars (20). Solar panels use the energy from the sun and convert it to the energy that the electric cars can use for powering on. Solar panel prices have reduced, and it is a cost-effective source of power which is eco-friendly since it does not have emissions (Hwang 4).
Hydrogen fuel cell is another source of power for electric cars. In fuel cell cars, a combination of compressed hydrogen gas and oxygen gas from the air is used to produce the required energy to run the motor. Fuel cells are used instead of batteries, and they produce clean emissions that are friendly to the environment (Hybrid & Electric Cars Industry Profile: Japan 30). The byproducts of fuel cell electric cars are water and heat and compared to carbon gasses generated by their counterpart gasoline powered engine cars; fuel cell cars can cut environment pollution by over twenty-five percent (Hooftman et al. 10). Refueling a fuel cell vehicle requires hydrogen gas. Conventional vehicles require either diesel or petrol oil for refueling. The cost of diesel and petrol is more compared to the cost of hydrogen gas (Hooftman et al. 5). Fuel cell electric cars are very efficient as compared to conventional internal combustion engines and are considered an alternative fuel. Fuel cells can be used with the braking systems to capture lost energy and store it in the battery hence saving on money. Additionally, restoring lost energy is economical in the long run (Sullivan 19).
The types of batteries used as the sources of power for electric vehicles encompasses; lead-acid battery, nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery, lithium-ion battery and Li-ion polymer battery among others. Lead acid batteries are of two types: deep cycle batteries and automobile engine starter batteries. Electric cars use deep cycle batteries. Lead cells are common since they are highly available and cheaper. However, Kianoush et al. argues that lead-acid batteries should be a concern to health since it can be disastrous metal especially when inhaled since it can lead to loss of memory, unproductivity in women among other health complications (32). NiMH batteries are considered mature technology and they are used in hybrid electric vehicles. They are safer since it does not have liquid electrolyte which is likely to spill. NiMH batteries are durable compared to Lithium-ion batteries (Chang-hao et al. 685). Lithium ion batteries act as an alternative to NiMH in hybrid electric cars. Lithium-ion batteries are preferred because they are light and small in size. Additionally, the batteries support charging efficiency without the effect of memory effect hence protecting the environment (Evarts 8). Conversely, Li-ion batteries are not considered safe for electric cars because of its critical parameters.
Hybrid cars and plug-in hybrid cars use a gasoline engine and plug-in technology respectively to run the motor. The source of power will depend on the type of hybrid car in use. Hybrid electric cars use energy from the internal combustion engine and the energy stored in the battery from an electric motor to power on (Kester 19). The cars have low emissions, and it is economical fuel wise. The hybrid cars also use an advanced technology of regenerative braking where lost energy is captured using an electric motor and stored in the batteries hence providing an advantage of not plugging in the electric cars into charging systems (Sullivan 18). Plug-in hybrid electric cars use electricity from power grids to charge the batteries for running the motor. The plug-in cars are economical regarding fuel (Hwang 3). Some companies are striving to provide the best, incredible fuel economy, safe and sophisticated designed electric cars to meet customers needs. The companies with commercially available electric cars include; Tesla, Toyota, Lexus and General Motors (Thielman 2).
Tesla has electric cars; Model S, Model X and Model 3 which are among the worlds great electric vehicle and the most luxurious sedans. Tesla electric vehicles were the first stylish best-performing cars since the introduction of electric cars. They are pure electric cars and can cover up to 315 miles per charge. Tesla additionally offers powerful charging systems in the market to up to 10 kW Chargers. Tesla Models prices range from the US $70000 to $80000 (Hybrid & Electric Cars Industry Profile: Japan 15). Toyota Prius prime is another electric car available in the market. Prius is a replacement of Prius plug-in hybrid which...
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