EV Basics III

BEV: Battery Electric Vehicle – A automobile powered unique from power stored in its battery pack.

EV: Electric Vehicle – Any vehicle that makes use of electricity to supply some or all of the power to its wheels.

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ICE: Inside Combustion Engine – The smog-belching, globe-warming vehicle power plants used in the dark ages of the 20th Century.

kWh: Kilowatt*hour – A unit of energy equal to one thousand watt*hours. A a hundred Watt mild bulb burning for 10 hours makes use of 1kWh of vitality.

Li-Ion: Lithium-Ion – A battery chemistry which allows EVs to journey a lot further on a single charge of the battery pack, relative to older battery applied sciences.

NiMH: Nickel-Steel Hydride – A proven battery expertise which has been utilized in EVs for many years.

PHEV: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Automobile – A vehicle with an electric motor and a battery pack that can be charged from a house electrical system, but which also has an on-board ICE and gas tank which may energy the automobile if the battery pack is drained.

What’s the large deal? You have read articles about electric automobiles. You have seen individuals carrying signs at demonstrations. You understand that rather a lot of oldsters on the market want the key automakers to start out building electric cars for the masses, but you don’t know why. What are the benefits of electric vehicles? Why would someone choose an electric car over a gasoline-powered automobile?

The two main causes to drive an electric automobile are easy: price and convenience.

“What’s that?” you might ask, “I believed electric autos have been all about saving the world!”

And also you would be making an excellent level. Research have proven that a mass shift from gas-powered automobiles to EVs would lead to lower pollution, including lower emissions of greenhouse gasses even when the utility grid will get 80% of its power from dirty, old school coal plants. Additionally, eliminating gasoline-powered vehicles could remove our dependence on foreign oil. Getting rid of oil power would enhance nationwide and world safety. As long as we depend on distant, politically-unstable areas of the world for much of our power provide, we threat catastrophe. The world could be a safer place if every area produced its own power in a sustainable, environmentally-sound method.

Nonetheless, the underside line is that our lives would usually be better if everyone switched from ICE-powered automobiles to EVs. We might save cash, simplify our lives and make our automobiles more convenient to function.

Imagine your day for those who drove an EV. It would take you only a few seconds to unplug your car each morning. Since the automotive will get its power from a plug in your wall, it could be straightforward to design a system that allows you to inform your automotive when to turn on the electric heater in order that your seats and steering wheel are nice and heat while you climb in. You would never want to attend in line at gas stations. The drive system in an EV is far less complicated than the drive system in an ICE-powered automotive, so your EV can be far more dependable and would require a lot less maintenance. When you need a automotive you nearly never have to worry about, then an EV is the automobile for you.

Driving an EV also prices much less. For instance, allow us to look at one EV that’s presently being manufactured by the California-based mostly firm, AC Propulsion. Their eBox uses a first-generation Scion xB platform, with the stock ICE-drivetrain changed by their electric drive system. A typical 2006 Scion xB had a mixed gasoline mileage score of 31 mpg. At gasoline prices of $three/gallon, the xB makes use of 10 cents price of gasoline per mile. The eBox can travel one hundred twenty-one hundred fifty miles on a single charge of its 35kWh battery pack. If we assume that electricity prices 10 cents per kWh and that the battery pack is fully drained in 120 miles, then we calculate the price of electricity at 3 cents per mile, a 70% p.c value savings! Even in areas the place electricity prices as much as 20 cents per kWh, the eBox prices 40% less to power than a typical Scion xB.

Furthermore, an EV never needs an oil change. It by no means wants new spark plugs. Since it will get most of its stopping power from a regenerative braking system, brake pads and rotors final a number of instances longer than these in an ICE-powered automotive. Since electric motors have rather more torque at decrease speeds when compared to ICEs, transmissions in electric automobiles can be drastically simplified. The simplified drivetrain in an EV not only makes it extra reliable, it additionally results in much decrease maintenance costs.

The most expensive part of an EV, in terms of upkeep, is prone to be the battery pack. All batteries at the moment manufactured have a limited lifespan. Except this changes, every EV will eventually need a brand new battery pack, which will prices hundreds of dollars. However, companies akin to A123 and Altairnano are at the moment growing lithium-based mostly batteries with dramatically longer lifespans than these of current Li-Ion batteries. Persons are also driving EVs much additional than beforehand expected on a single battery pack. Initially, skeptics predicted that the NiMH batteries in the Toyota RAV4 EV, out there within the USA from 1997 by way of 2003, would have to be changed throughout the primary 50,000 miles of travel, however the RAV4 EV has stunned the EV neighborhood, with a number of of the unique battery packs lasting past the one hundred,000 mile mark.

It’s cheap to anticipate that replacement battery pack prices may very well be introduced all the way down to $2000 when they’re mass-produced for a serious auto producer. If the lifespan of these battery packs might be brought up to a hundred and fifty,000 miles through technological development, the cost per mile for battery use could be 1.3 cents. Examine that to the cost of getting an oil change at Jiffy Lube every 3000 miles. Utilizing a “artificial mix” of engine oil will price you $49.99 every visit, for a cost per mile of 1.6 cents. Moreover, there is much discussion within the EV community about the potential of renting or leasing battery packs, which would successfully allow EV homeowners to unfold out the cost of battery alternative over the life of an EV.

In fact, no discussion of EV cost savings would be complete with out the point out of the large-scale price financial savings associated with the prevention of worldwide warming. If the world moves from ICE-powered autos to EVs powered by renewable vitality sources, we are able to nonetheless reverse the heating pattern which has been documented in recent years. This would not only save the world trillions of dollars; it might save tens of millions of lives as effectively.

At this level, an astute reader might argue, “Positive, what you say looks good on paper, however what about the actual world? From what I’ve seen, EVs are presently costlier than ICE-powered automobiles, and their limited range makes them less convenient.”

Clearly, EVs have but to reach their full potential in terms of price, comfort and reliability benefits. As an example, an AC Propulsion eBox would cost you roughly $70,000 ($15K for a used Scion xB plus $55K for the conversion) versus roughly $20,000 for a brand new Scion xB. Why is there such a worth distinction? Volume! Tom Gage, president of AC Propulsion, predicts that the corporate may bring the fee right down to “a retail worth equal of $10,000 per drivetrain” in the event that they had been manufacturing between 50,000 and one hundred,000 units per 12 months. If a major auto manufacturer had been building millions of the drivetrains each year, prices would fall a lot further.

Vary points are additionally being addressed through rapid development of better batteries. The unique GM EV1, launched in 1996 with low-tech lead acid batteries, had a “real world” vary of somewhere between 45 and 75 miles, depending on how aggressively the automobile was driven. When GM launched the same automobile with NiMH batteries, the vary almost doubled. The Tesla Roadster, scheduled for manufacturing launch in early 2008, has a revealed vary of 245 miles. Different EVs slated for production, such as the Chevrolet Volt which might be released in or around 2010, can be PHEVs. As such, homeowners will have the ability to plug of their Volts and charge the battery packs from an electrical outlet. The automobile will travel for roughly forty miles on the power stored in the batteries, but drivers need not fear if they drain the battery pack! The Volt will probably be outfitted with a small generator and a fuel tank. The generator will activate mechanically before the batteries are drained and can present sufficient electricity to power the automotive and recharge the batteries. The Volt will have a total range of 390 miles. If the gas tank gets low, just fill up at an area gasoline station and the automotive is “good to go” for an additional lengthy stretch of highway. Rumors are circulating that Tesla and Toyota are also developing PHEVs for launch within the near-ish future.

Convinced? Ready to make the switch to a handy, price-saving EV? If so, you may be questioning the best way to encourage the auto corporations to construct and promote EVs as quickly as doable. The good news is that you would be able to choose from a number of obtainable EVs right now, such because the eBox described above. If $70K is a bit too much cash, you should purchase considered one of the various electric bicycles on the market at present, starting at less than $1000. In case you need a bit more power, sufficient to travel on a multi-lane highway, you’ll be able to purchase a Vectrix MaxiScooter, with a top velocity of 62 mph and a spread upwards of sixty miles.

However most will agree that the golden age of electric vehicles lies in the future. How can we make this golden age happen ASAP? Listed here are a couple of ideas:

– Contact the major auto manufacturers and tell them you need to purchase an electric car. Allow them to know that you simply plan on postponing a brand new vehicle purchase until you can buy a BEV or a PHEV. The automotive firms really do reply to buyer demands. Think about how quickly their advertising and marketing campaigns have gone from extolling the dimensions of their SUVs to bragging in regards to the gasoline mileage of their compact automobiles, now that fuel costs are spiking. Here is a few contact data printed by the group Plug-In America:

Ford (800) 392-FORD (or 800-392-3673)

Ford Motor Firm

Buyer Relationship Heart

PO Box 6248,

Dearborn, Michigan 48126

GM / Saturn (800) 553-6000

Customer Help Middle

100 Saturn Parkway


Spring Hill, TN 37174

Honda (800) 999-1009

Honda Car Customer support

1919 Torrance Boulevard

Mail Stop: 500 – 2N – 7D

Torrance, CA 90501-2746

Nissan (800) NISSAN-1 ( or 800-647-7261)

Nissan Shopper Affairs

P.O. Field 685003

Franklin TN 37068-5003

Mitsubishi (888) MITSU2007 (or 888-648-7820)

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.

PO Field 6014, Cypress, CA 90630-0014

Toyota (800) 331-4331

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

19001 South Western Ave. Dept. WC11

Torrance, CA 90501

– Be part of an EV advocacy group resembling “Plug In America”

– Unfold the phrase! Let your mates know that their lives might be higher once they start driving EVs!

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