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Electric Cars: The Future? Electric cars 10 years ago would sound like a an impossible dream, or at least high out of our reach. The reality is, electric cars first came about over 90 years ago. Image Source: instablogsimages.com
Overcoming Problems In 1896, one of the main issues with using electric vehicles, was the lack of infrastructure to recharge a vehicle. The Hartford Electric Light Company decided to use exchangeable batteries, so a customer would simply buy a new battery which would be charged ready for them. This can be seen in the 21st century, where cities like Tokyo offer a battery swapping service to avoid waiting for charging. 1896 Image Source: Made-In-China.com
1897 In 1897, Electric Cars were put into practise as a fleet of New York Taxis, built by the Electric Carriage and Wagon Company of Philadelphia. Image Source: Wikipedia.org
Breakthroughs 1899 The 62 MPH speed barrier was broken by a Belgian named Camille Jenatzy on April 29, 1899, in the car named“Le Jamais Contente” (The Never Satisfied) This was one of the first breakthroughs in electric car technology. Image Sources: Wikipedia.org
Acceptance Originally, the idea of Electric Cars was hampered by the lack of power infrastructure, by 1912 33,800 electric cars were registered in the United States, This was the peak in popularity for Electric Cars. 1912 Image Source: Wikipedia.org
Before the 1920’s, Electric Car Technology was in a constant battle with petroleum powered vehicles, which were smelly, noisy and vibrated heavily. 1920 Image Source: Wikipedia.org
Demise & Revival Before the Mid-90’s, Petroleum powered cars won the battle, and Electric Cars became an entity of the past and the future. It began at the end of the 90’s, where At the 1990 Los Angeles Auto Show, General Motors President announced that General Motors would build electric cars for sale to the public. Now in the 21st century, electric cars are making a comeback, and are becoming increasingly influential on our lives today. 1990 The General Motors ConceptImage Source: Wikipedia.org
Concepts The Early 2000’s where when the Car Manufacturers released various different weird concepts about what electric cars should be. 2000 Bamgoo, Made of BambooImage Source: webecoist.com Peugeot MoovieImage Source: webecoist.com These concepts are both unviable and impractical, but they kick-started the interest in electric vehicles again.
Future The future of electric cars is now established, various manufacturers including General Motors, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota and Chevrolet all have plans for future electric cars, with the necessary technology in place.Here are some examples of future/released electric cars which are to be a reality, over 100 years after the first electric car produced. ???
Mitsubishi iMiEv Concept Released in 2005 Launched in Japan 2009 Launching in the UK in January 2011 Charged from a standard 230v Socket Top Speed is Limited to 80 mph Range is 100 miles between charges Japan Car of the Year As you can see, the clever design means that the running gear for the car doesn’t intrude into the passenger space. In my opinion this is the best electric car out at the current time, it has the longest range, the highest speed and is the most practical. Image Source: electriccars2000.com
Nissan Leaf Concept Released in 2005 Launching in the UK in March 2011 Charged from a standard 230v Socket Top Speed is Limited to 93 mph Range is 100 miles between charges This is a recent car to emerge into the ever-growing electric car market, which is similar to the Mitsubishi I in terms of performance and battery life. Image Source: Wikipedia.org
The REVA G-Wiz Launched in India 2001 Launched in the UK 2003 Charged from a standard 230v Socket Top Speed is Limited to 40 mph Range is 40 miles between charges A major issue with this design is the safety, it is not required a crash test and has proved life-endangering in a low speed crash test. Image Source: howstuffworks.com Image Source: indianautosblog.com
Chevrolet Volt/Vauxhall Ampera Launching in the UK November2010 Charged from a standard 230v Socket Top Speed is Limited to 100 mph Range is 40 miles between charges As you can see, this vehicle has a much more practical size, though a low range which could be difficult to make it appealing. Image Source: wikipedia.org
Controversy There is some argument that electric cars are no more economical than a normal car, as they are charged from the electrical grid, which is usually produced using non-environmentally friendly power stations. This has been proven could be resolved by building many hydro-electric plants, which use flowing water to generate electricity, using solar power, or using wind farms to produce the electricity. If every house had a solar panel that could collect electricity during the day, they could then use it to charge the car at night, it would also make running the car almost free, as tax is free for electric cars aswell. solar.calfinder.com ecoinstitution.com hidden-technology.org
Compromise A compromise in vehicle choice could be the Toyota Prius. This is a Hybrid Vehicle, which has both a 1.8 petrol engine, and an electric motor which is powered by a battery, which is in turn charged by plugging into the mains power source. This could be seen as a vehicle type to bridge the gap between petrol and electric, offering the best of both worlds.
Future It is planned in the future that by 2013, the entire United States will be Electric Car-Friendly, with charging outlets in every town and city to make driving electric cars more convenient. Image Source: Wikipedia.org