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Question Why Electric Cars?

This article is here to explore the many reasons why people choose to build and drive electric cars- both their advantages over ICE vehicles as well as the independent reasons people are drawn to them. So why Electric Cars?

Emotional:
  • I like the feeling of doing something myself and having it turn out great, and driving a vehicle that you've modified and made your own is a great experience. Its not the same as going down to the local car lot and picking it out, it begins to have its own personality.
  • There is a great sense of independence with owning an electric car, you are so much less dependant on external factors. In an ICE car you have no control over the price of oil and limited control over servicing the car and buying replacements for the all the components. An electric car, especially one coupled with solar panels at home for recharging, allows total control over the source of energy used to power your vehicle. The power no longer lies in the hands of oil companies but with the consumer. This is perhaps one of the reasons that electric cars are opposed by those in power.
Environmental:
  • The average ICE car uses about 20% of the potential energy of the fuel in useful motion while wasting the other energy as heat, noise and pollution. Electric cars use upwards of 80% of their 'fuel', a percentage which can be increased relatively easily as most of its losses are electrical. So in essence an ICE car is a heater with the side effect that it can move people from A to B. There is much more appeal in driving a vehicles whose method of propulsion is so efficient at doing so.
  • Electric cars produce far less green house gas emissions than an ICE car, even when power plant emissions are figured in. Most emissions from electric vehicles come from power plants. It is much easier to clean the emissions of power plants than those of a few million cars. Electricity can also be produced much more cleanly through the use of wind, hydro, solar, and other green technologies.
  • Unlike an ICE car who's emissions and efficiency get worse and worse with the age of the car, and electric car will most likely create less and less pollution throughout its life as the source of its electricity improves. Assuming that the emissions of power plants get tighter regulation (or decide to improve of their own accord) and renewable sources grow in prominence not only will an electric car create less emissions than an ICE car to begin with, the gap will continue to widen throughout the life of the car. Installing solar panels on the roof of your home could mean that your electric car has zero emissions whatsoever; that is not even a remote possibility in an ICE car.
Economical:
  • In most cases, electric vehicles cost less to operate than ICE cars. The cost of charging electric vehicles is minimal compared to the cost of buying gas for a 25 mpg vehicle. Even when you figure in the cost of replacing a lead-acid battery pack, about $1800 every 3-5 years, the cost of owning an electric vehicle is still lower than that of owning a gas car.
  • Electric cars are inherently much more reliable than ICE cars. Oil burning engines have hundreds of moving parts which all have the potential to fail at any stage. There are also many disposable parts in an ICE which aren't present in an Electric car, items such as oil filters, belts, air filters etc. just aren't required for electric propulsion. In an electric motor only the rotor (1 part) is moving and typically the only thing that needs to be serviced is to replace the brushes every 100,000km or so. (60,000 miles).
  • From a national perspective electric cars can easily source their 'fuel' from local sources of electricity production unlike ICE cars which require the import of huge amounts of foreign oil. This is good for the local economy as well as eliminating the risks of relying on unstable countries for the transportation industry.
Political:
  • Most western countries need to import a large proportion of their required oil. This oil is usually sourced from unstable middle-eastern countries which is often counter-productive for their development. Countries which can simply dig holes to make money have little inspiration to educate their people or improve unemployment etc. Some have suggested that there is inversely proportional relationship between the rights and freedoms of the people and the global demand for oil. Electricity is far easier to produce locally than oil.
  • More Information needed...
Safety:
  • An interesting question when considering the safety of electric cars vs. ICE cars is whether or not you would give one to your children. There are plenty of scaled down versions of electric cars available for very young children with very little inherent risk. You probably wouldn't think twice about getting your 8 year old an electric toy car; all they have to do is plug it in and go, no maintainance, no complicated moving parts, no dangerous flammable fuels... but buying an 8 year old an ICE toy car, even with the same power levels would be much more intimidating and dangerous. The analogy scales up quite well, yes electric cars have quite high voltages but that is easier to contain than a power train that runs on an exploding liquid.
Other:
  • Information needed...


Contributors: mattW, Greenflight, rankhornjp
Created by mattW, 11-22-2007 at 06:29 AM
Last edited by mattW, 01-10-2008 at 04:53 AM
1 Comments , 85843 Views
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  #2  
Old 03-02-2012, 08:34 PM
litholas litholas is offline
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Default Re: Why Electric Cars?

Electric cars are much better for use in closed environments like tunnels, due to their extremely low chemical emissions.

That is not too important today, because most streets are in open environment. But in densely populated areas ground prices go up, while building underground structures gets cheaper due to scientific and technical development, so i expect more streets in tunnels in the future.

Cars could be constructed to drive much more efficiently in tunnels, because there are almost no weather effects: No rain, no snow, no icy or wet road, no lateral winds. The streets surface (without the need of being resistant to weather effects) could be constructed for much less Rolling Resistance, the tyres could cause less Rolling Resistance and drag, and the cars hull could cause much less drag.

Last edited by litholas; 03-02-2012 at 08:36 PM. Reason: had to add a few typoes ;)
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