An electric car or ‘EV’ is a car that runs on electricity instead of gasoline.
Why drive electric cars?
Electric cars don’t burn gasoline to run, as a result they don’t pollute the air and the environment around us. They are so clean in use that you could even drive them inside!
They’re very easy to drive, they can be very fast too as well as being very quiet.
How different are they?
They look the same and they operate in the same way but instead of filling up at the gas station every week they just charge up at home.
Are they a new thing?
The first electric cars were produced in the 1830’s but by 1900 they were in their heyday with at least a third of the cars and carriages in New York city being powered by electricity. They were especially liked by the upper-class ladies of the time who were able to drive them easily unlike the noisy, smelly, trembling gasoline cars that required strong muscles to crank them just to get them started.
in 1908 Henry Ford invented the first mass produced gasoline car and in 1912 the electric starter was invented. Cheap gasoline and long driving ranges brought an end to the electric car by the 1920’s.
The return of the electric car
In 1999, mandated by the state of California, General Motors, Ford, Honda and Toyota began to look again at electric cars. Why? The air quality in California was at an all time low; deaths due to air pollution were at an all time high; The California Air Research Board (CARB) set out to find out why and realized quickly; The gasoline powered automobiles in California where killing the people of the state.
General Motors created the first, modern electric car; the EV1, a highway capable two-seater sports car with a 120 mile range. It was a huge success and people flocked to buy it however, General Motors hadn’t anticipated the demand and didn’t make enough. The other car companies complained to the CARB that making electric cars was too difficult and expensive and persuaded them to relax the laws that forced them to make clean cars. The electric car almost died again.
Driven by a desire to make a new electric car, one that would be both clean and fun to drive Martin Eberhard formed a company called Tesla Motors to create such a car, a few years later the Tesla Roadster was created; an Electric car with a 250 mile range and performance that beats almost every other car on the road.
Tesla Motors succeeded so well that the rest of the auto industry woke up and realized that electric cars are back and that this time they’re going to replace the gasoline car.
Are electric cars safe?
Electric cars don’t carry tanks of explosive and poisonous gasoline so are much safer if you have an accident or if there is a fault.
Can’t you get electrocuted?
The batteries are wired up such that there are no dangerous voltages that you can get to; the individual cells in the battery are the same ones that you find in a laptop computer.
Do they make any pollution?
Well, yes, unfortunately, the electricity that we get today often comes from coal power stations which are not totally clean; they’re still cleaner than the pollution that comes out of the cars right here in our neighborhood but we can do better and we will; new power stations that use solar, wind and tidal power don’t make any pollution at all; none, and all electric cars can use this type of power; then electric cars will be completely pollution free in use.
In New Jersey we’re quite lucky, we have half of our power coming from nuclear power which has no greenhouse gas emissions.
I don’t see the pollution, is it really there?
Do you know anyone that suffers from asthma? Ask your parents if their friends had asthma when they grew up… they’ll probably say no. Today airborne pollution is becoming a serious threat to human life in many places around the world, especially countries like the United States that has so many cars and that produces half of all of the pollution from cars in the world. Do you think it’s fair for the United States to produce so much pollution?
Where do electric cars come from?
Electric cars can be built anywhere but America leads the world in the design of the batteries and computers that control electric cars; the Tesla Roadster is built in Silicon Valley in California, USA; home of the computer chip.
Why aren’t all cars electric?
Electric cars today can’t drive as far as most gasoline powered cars and that’s a problem for a lot of people however, it’s not a problem for most people. We’ve become used to the idea that we could drive from here to the West Coast if we decided to but, when was the last time that you did?
Most people drive less than 40 miles each day and all electric cars will do that. Do you think that if you had an electric car in your family that you could use it every day?
Can all cars be electric?
Most people today could use an electric car for nearly everything that they do and this would have a significant impact on your environment; as well as being cleaner it would be quieter too! In time electric cars will replace all gasoline cars, we just have to get on with it!
Are Electric Cars recyclable?
Yes; they’re very recyclable as the parts used are mostly metals; even the batteries with their chemicals are lightweight and are not dangerous.
Would you choose an Electric Car?
If you chose to drive an electric car, would it be because:
a. It’s quieter
b. It’s better for the environment
c. It’s faster
d. It’s easier to drive
e. It’s easier to re-fuel
f. All of the above