Electric Vehicles-Wave of the Future or Bust?
LIke many people I wonder what the future holds for the future of the automobile. What will we be driving in 20 years time? One hopeful technology is the electric vehicle or EV for short. These cars are powered by electric motors running off batteries and must be plugged in overnight for a full charge. An electric vehicle is very easy to maintain not needing oil and filter changes and tune ups. Fuel efficiency is very good relying on electricity generated from coal and nuclear power as well as renewable sources like solar and wind. Some manufacturers like Tesla have come up with cars that can go as far as 300 miles on a full charge-this is the Tesla S Sedan with the best quality battery pack. Still for many of us this car is not going to work. For people that live in apartments and condos there is no place to plug in-they will need to go to a neighbor's house or service station to get a charge. The electric vehicle favors the homeowner with a garage and enough outlets to charge all the cars that his family owns.
Gas electric hybrids and plug in gas electric hybrids may work better for most people as there is a backup in case the battery runs out. These cars combine a gas engine with an electric motor for improved fuel economy. The only exception to this is if someone comes up with a battery that can be charged in minutes instead of hours making electric vehicles practical for everyone. Just pull into a service station, charge your car and keep on driving. Tesla claims to have a 440 volt charger that can cut the charging time to 45 minutes.
Would I buy an electric vehicle if I had a garage? If prices came down to 20K-maybe. The Tesla S Sedan will sell for around 50k-60K in 2011. Lets say there is car for 20K with a 300 mile range. First off I could take this car most places I drive except maybe for a cross country trip unless hotels and restaurants provided a place to plug in. I would be nervous about taking this car to the seashore as the distance is exactly 150 miles. I could get the car to beach and back but could not do any driving while I was there unless I could plug in somewhere.
One thing is for sure the United States must do something about its dependence on foreign oil. We Import too much of it. Cars that only get 14 miles to the gallon like one of the 1960's muscle cars have to be replaced or maybe that big V8 can be exchanged for a 300 HP electric motor. Lets hope that someone can come with newer and better technology for the electric vehicle.