Electric Cars Essay

Submitted By hoghvn1
Words: 2539
Pages: 11

Before we talk about the types of technology, we should take a brief look at how we got to where we are today. There exists a long, intricate history of electric cars. “From Victor Wouk’s first full-powered, full-size Buick Skylark hybrid in 1972, Vanguard-Sebring’s CitiCar in 1974, G.M.’s creation of the EV1 in 1988, and Toyota’s Prius in 1997, electric cars have taken many shapes and sizes. Most recently, hybrid electric cars have attracted the most attention and have sold the most among electric cars; however, they still only account for approximately 3% of new car sales (Pappas, 2014)”. On the outside electric vehicles appear indistinguishable from internal combustion engine cars; however, on the inside they are quite different. There are three main components that power electric vehicles, the batteries, controller, and electric motor. The rechargeable batteries store electricity, similar to an internal combustion engine car’s gas tank. The electricity stored in the batteries is regulated by a controller, which as its name suggests controls how much electricity is sent to the electric motor. And finally, the electric motor powers the car.
Starting with the batteries that store the car’s power, battery technology has also taken different forms. There are three different kinds of rechargeable batteries, lead acid, nickel metal hydride, and lithium ion, but lithium ion batteries have become the most popular. Lithium ion batteries possess the best performance and range, although they are the most expensive. They are also the same batteries used in laptop computers and cell phones. While electric vehicles are often spoken about in general terms, there are in fact a handful of different kinds of electric vehicles. Recognizing their differences is crucial to understanding the current landscape of the electric vehicle industry. The different types of electric vehicles are:
Hybrid electric vehicles
Plug-In Hybrid electric vehicles,
Battery Electric Vehicles, and
Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles
A hybrid electric vehicle uses an internal combustion engines, just like a conventional car, but also has an electric motor that captures energy that is normally lost through braking and coasting. Hybrid electric vehicles use the energy released from the wheels during braking to turn the motor, “converting energy normally wasted during coasting and braking into electricity, which is stored in a battery until needed by the electric motor (Pappas, 2014).” By capturing this otherwise lost energy, hybrid electric vehicles can travel more miles on the same tank of gas than before. Many car companies like BMW, Cadillac, Chybrid electric vehiclerolet, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Lexus, Mercedes, and Toyota make hybrid electric vehicles; however, the Toyota Prius is the most well-known.
A plug in hybrid vehicle combines the features of the battery electric vehicle and hybrid electric vehicle. It uses an electric motor typically for the first forty miles or less and then switches into an hybrid electric vehicle. The electric motor can be recharged by plugging the car into an electrical outlet. Once the electricity in the electric battery is depleted, the car automatically switches from electricity to gasoline to power the car, operating at that point just like an hybrid electric vehicle. One asset of plug hybrid electric vehicles is that they allow drivers to use electricity to power their cars, which is cheaper and cleaner than gasoline, while still offering drivers the flexibility to go on long trips because of their back up hybrid engine.
A battery electric vehicle is a pure electric car. It only operates using an electric battery and motor. Some of the most well-known battery electric vehicle s available are the Nissan LEAF and the Tesla Roadster and Model S. Today’s BEV market is quite varied. “All the cars enjoy a federal $7,500 tax credit. Car prices begin at around $20,000, but can run to hundreds of thousands depending on style, name brand,