Electric Cars The advancement of the electric car has become of increased importance in the effort to stay away from fossil fuels and imported energy. Oil is not becoming any cheaper and is also becoming less plentiful. The need for a popular and cheaper alternative is on the rise. Which raises the question: How cheap is an electric compared to a petrol- fueled car? According to Chevy their new car the Volt operates on a $1.60 a day. Matthew Rudy of Golf Digest asserts “It doesn’t get much simpler than that. For less than the cost of a latte, you can fully charge your Volt and drive an EPA-estimated 38 miles gas-free” (Rudy). The
Volt though is not a completely electric car. It operates for the first 38 miles fully on electric. The idea behind this was that people that use their car to commute drive about that distance every day. Then after the 38 miles the gas engine kicks in and charges the battery backup in the process. Engineers say this is the best use of current technologies to keep the Volt affordable for the everyday consumer. Electric cars have been invented for many years dating back to the late 1800s. William Morrison of Des Moines, Iowa built the first successful electric automobile in the United States. Roughly 28 percent of the cars in 1900 were electrics back then.A trend that resulted in a steady decline from the beginning. George Hoffman of Scientific American stated “at the beginning of this century there were more electric automobiles than internal combustion cars on the roads of the U.S. By the late 1920's the electric car had all but disappeared” (Hoffman). In 1908 when Henry Ford released the model T it changed the automobile industry in a profound way. Now the only thing that became electrical in cars were subsystems like battery, ignition and later on electronics. In 1912 when the electric starter motor was developed it made gasoline powered automobile that much more popular and convent so you didn’t have to hand crank anymore.No one back then considered it a viable option as a means of transportation. The ultimate demise of the car was that it was slow compared to a gas - powered car and the batteries were only good for one use. In fact people felt so optimistic about electric cars in that time period. They made claims that horses would be replaced by them very soon. Sperry Elmer of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers made this claim "today we are as near sweeping the horses off the street with the automobile, as we were in 1889, in taking them off the tracks with the electric car"(Sperry).
Even later on it 1966 Congress enacted a bill to urge the production of electric vehicles in an effort to reduce air pollution. Yet no one listened. Even the poll suggested that approximately 33 million Americans were interested in an electric car. The clean air act of 1966 consisted of a board of members from lawmakers to industry experts. On the board members of the American Public Power Association expressed deep concern for a need to rid the cities of polluting gasoline - powered automobiles. Their suggestion was “members of the American Public Power Association are deeply interested in what appears to offer a solution to a major part of the automotive pollution problem- the electric battery powered vehicle” (Radin). The APPA realized the present problem with the automotive industry even back then when cars produced record levels of pollution. By pushing this bill Congress believed that they had to act on a grime situation that had the ramifications on a global scale. “Congressman Henry of New York stated that “we have a responsibility to our future to pursue a cleaner tomorrow” (United States Government). So why until now have automakers not produced a car of this type to the everyday consumer? Many stereotypes surround electric cars. Not surprising because it is something that consumers and the public are not familiar with. People seem to think that electric cars are slow