Three phases of_the_electric_driven_vehicle_phase_2
Three phases of the Electric driven vehiclePhase 2: The presentWhat Is An Electric Car?An electric car is powered by an electric motor instead of a gasoline engine. The electric motor gets energyfrom a controller, which regulates the amount of power—based on the driver’s use of an accelerator pedal. Theelectric car (also known as electric vehicle or EV) uses energy stored in its rechargeable batteries, which arerecharged by common household electricity.With the all-electric Leaf, Nissan is taking the lead in pure electric cars in the United States. The Nissan Leaf is amedium-size all-electric hatchback that seats five adults and has a range of 100 miles. The purchase price isaround $25,000, after federal government incentives. It started to roll out in select cities in late 2010.Unlike a hybrid car—which is fueled by gasoline and uses a battery and motor to improve efficiency—an electriccar is powered exclusively by electricity. Historically, EVs have not been widely adopted because of limiteddriving range before needing to be recharged, long recharging times, and a lack of commitment by automakersto produce and market electric cars that have all the creature comforts of gas-powered cars. That’s changing. Asbattery technology improves—simultaneously increasing energy storage and reducing cost—major automakersare expected to begin introducing a new generation of electric cars.Electric cars produce no tailpipe emissions, reduce our dependency on oil, and are cheaper to operate. Ofcourse, the process of producing the electricity moves the emissions further upstream to the utility company’ssmokestack—but even dirty electricity used in electric cars usually reduces our collective carbon footprint.
Another factor is convenience: In one trip to the gas station, you can pump 330 kilowatt-hours of energy into a10-gallon tank. It would take about 9 days to get the same amount of energy from household electric current.Fortunately, it takes hours and not days to recharge an electric car, because its much more efficient. Speaking ofconvenience, lets not forget two important points: charging up at home means never going to a gas station—and electric cars require almost none of the maintenance, like oil changes and emissions checks, that internalcombustion cars require.Electric motors develop their highest torque from zero rpms—meaning fast (and silent) zero-to-60 accelerationtimes.Note: In the illustration, we show the relative features of electric cars and gas-powered cars. However, it doesnthave to be an "either-or" situation. Plug-in hybrids offer many of the benefits of electric cars while mitigatingmost of the drawbacks, such as limited driving range.
2010 the year of the Electric Car? The big year for electric cars seemed to be in 2010. There were plenty of big manufacturers planning to bring their electric cars to the masses and the future was looking bright! However most of these plans either fell through or got pushed back which seems to always be the way it is with electric vehicles. A few things did get through though like the Nissan Leaf which went on sale for the first time in the USA in December 2010. The Chevy Volt also went on sale around the same time in the US.The Mitsubishi MiEV went on sale in its home country of Japan in 009.These are the first major manufacturers to really come through with their promises of delivering their electriccars on time. The one thing that really feels like progress is when I can go to a local mainstream dealer likeNissan where I can order a real electric car and not just get a promise for the future!Environmental Friendly?A full 12 years after Toyota sold its first Prius in the United States and came to pretty much dominate the U.S.market for environmentally friendly cars, drivers in America will have two more options for green transportation:Chevrolets Volt and Nissans Leaf.The Volt is a gas-electric hybrid, but unlike the Prius, the gas is not used to drive the power train. Instead it hasan electric engine that can propel the car 40 miles on one charge. If the car needs more range, a gas enginekicks in to power a generator that creates additional electricity for the electric motor. The Leaf is an all-electriccar that has a 100-mile range on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can be fed using a standard three-pronghousehold electrical outlet, and lacks even a tailpipe.At first it would seem that the Leaf, or any all-electric car for that matter, trumps its internal combustion-carryingcounterparts. With conventional cars, this is pretty much true. Combustible engine cars are noisy, burn gasoline– and grossly inefficiently at that – pollute and emit chemicals that are bad for the atmosphere. Electric vehiclesare quiet and spew no emissions.But the difference in environmental impact between combustible engine cars, hybrid vehicles and all-electricones isnt quite as large as it first appears.It all comes down to carbon emissions, and even though electric vehicles spew zero emissions, they arentnecessarily carbon neutral. So that begs the question, are they better for the environment than ones powered byfossil fuels?"Zero-tailpipe emissions unfortunately dont necessarily mean zero emissions," says Dennis Ruez Jr., theenvironmental studies department chair at the University of Illinois at Springfield.Carbon-neutrality refers to emissions of carbon dioxide that are released during any point in the life span of thevehicle, from the earth-moving machines used to mining the lithium for the cars batteries, to the plant wherethe car is built, to the power plant that feeds the electrical source the car is ultimately plugged into. None ofthose can emit carbon dioxide. If any do, the electric vehicle isnt carbon-neutral.Attaining complete carbon neutrality is virtually impossible, or at least so unattainable its akin to holding out fora vehicle that runs on cold fusion. Instead, researchers are chipping away at problems in smaller sizes, with aspecific focus on the power plant -- the source of most EV emissions."The well-known issue here is the source of the electricity," says Ruez. "If the electricity is from a coal- or gas-fired power plant, then there are still carbon emissions from that vehicles use."
There is about a 50-percent chance in the United States that the electricity thats used to charge the batteries ofa plug-in electric vehicle is generated by burning coal. Since the burned coal used to power an electric vehicleemits carbon dioxide to power the electric car, it goes on the cars emissions tally."The general consensus is that if you power an electric vehicle from coal, the net carbon emissions are about thesame as a gasoline vehicle," says Paul Denholm, senior analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory inGolden, Colo. "But thats the worst-case scenario; anything that is a cleaner source is an improvement."Such a problem can also provide solutions; at the very least, energy researchers looking to make improvementson net carbon dioxide emissions have a clear picture of their point of attack.Investigating ways to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of power plants that generate electricity through fossilfuels can lead to sweeping reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, especially as sales of plug-in electric vehiclesrise. Influencing the source, in other words, can have a metastasizing effect elsewhere along the electrical grid."Using a centralized energy source would facilitate future environmentally friendly steps," says Ruez. "Its easierto add carbon scrubbers to a single power station than to 100,000 vehicles in an area."Ultimately, both Ruez and Denholm agree that electric vehicles are better for the environment than cars that runon fossil fuels, as they represent an important step toward reducing emission. As the number of electrical grows,utility companies will have more incentive to upgrade the electrical grid and make renewable energy sourcesmore practical. And that is good for everyone.