The Benefits Of Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles have been in existence since way back in 1830, and are becoming popular again with so many people being concerned about pollution and the rising cost of gasoline. Electric vehicles have been used for many years in the form of golf carts and have also been used as fleet vehicles by servicemen such as meter readers. However, due to the continued commitment and research efforts of the major car manufacturers, electric vehicles are becoming available today that are practical for normal street use, just as a gasoline powered vehicle would be.

Electric vehicles are popular because, unlike gasoline-powered vehicles, they produce no tailpipe emissions, which are known to cause heavy air pollution. Another reason for their popularity when compared to gasoline powered vehicles is that they actually use 75% of the power generated by the electricity, while a gasoline powered vehicle only uses 20% of the power produced by the gasoline, leaving the other 80% to pollute the air, clog up car components, etc.

While there is not a huge market for electric vehicles at this point in time, there are a number of companies that produce them for various reasons, with one of the reasons being NEV’s. A NEV is also known as a “neighborhood electric vehicle”. These electric vehicles are used in large, gated communities usually, and are normally built to accommodate one or two people. These small electric vehicles can reach speeds of 35 to 40 miles per hour.

In addition to the NEV’s that are available, there are a few car manufacturers that are producing and selling street compatible electric vehicles. The Dodge TEVan, an electric minivan built by the Chrysler Corporation, is currently being marketed to utility corporations with a price tag of approximately $100,000. Other companies that produce electric vehicle prototypes for demonstration purposes only include Honda, GM and Ford.

How an electric vehicle works is quite easy to understand. Since the electric vehicle runs on electricity, or a charge, the battery attached to the vehicle is plugged in prior to use in order for the battery to fully charge. Depending on how low the battery’s charge is, and also on the charging voltage that is used to charge the battery, charging can take anywhere between three and eight hours. Once charged, the electric vehicle will normally run for between 60 and 200 hours before the battery needs to be recharged.

A limited production electric vehicle can cost up to $40,000, however, many models that are available for everyday use can be purchased for $15,000 to $30,000, depending on the make and model, as well as the options that you desire the electric vehicle to have.
There also exists the possibility to transform a regular gasoline powered vehicle into an electric vehicle; this is done by using a conversion kit, which can be purchased for about $5,000. Electrical vehicles are safe for the environment, economically priced, as well as fun to drive.

The Importance Of The Electric Car

If you are like most people and driving and other forms of travel is essential to your work and life otherwise than this article is for you. With gasoline prices finally getting as high in this country as they have been in the rest of the world for some time people are starting to feel the crunch that it is causing on their budgets. Enter the electric car the so called savior of personal transportation in this country.

The technology that makes the electric car possible has been with us for decades now. There is little reason for them not to be mainstream now other than the fact that oil has been a huge part of our economy and that we use so much that we have been getting bargain prices for all of these years. Now that the bargains are vanishing though alternative fuel sources and other alternative means of getting around are becoming more priority as expected.

This is making a lot of people happy too. Lots of people are especially worried about the environment and the effect of burning so many fossil fuels and creating the green house gases responsible for global warming. This is especially true now that Al Gore’s movie has been released raising the concern to new heights. So besides the economy of the electric car the cleanliness with respect to the environment is also a major appeal.

The electric car is not the only new form of transportation that is on the table however. The hybrid cars are receiving stiff competition from other alternative fuels like ethanol and hydrogen cells. These are both very renewable sources of energy and have very clean working engines. The hydrogen cells are especially cool because the only byproduct of combustion in this engine is water! Nothing could be cleaner than the environment than water. We’ll see… probably in 20 years when hydrogen cells are mainstream we will find out that the extra production of water is going to flood our country with rising sea levels and throw the planet’s spin off kilter or some crap like that. But for now I am excited with all of this new technology.

Toyota’s Prius to be Built in China

he Toyota Prius, a car built on hybrid gas-electric technology, will soon receive a major production boost. Toyota and an undisclosed Chinese based manufacturing company have sealed a deal where the two companies will be working together to produce the Prius for worldwide export. This bodes well for the American consumer who has to endure long waits for an all new Prius. More importantly, the move signals a sea change in the way Japanese cars are built and marketed. Ultimately, you may be the biggest winner; please read on for all the scintillating details!

If you wait nine months for a car, it means you must really want that model. This is exactly what future owners of the Prius have been doing as well as owners of other hybrid cars including some Honda models. No manufacturer has been able to keep up with the surging demand and, despite lower fuel prices, demand continues to increase.

For Toyota, production levels on virtually every car they produce have been very high. Thus, even producing more Prius’ has been impossible as manufacturing capacity has been stretched thin. Until now that is. With Toyota’s new relationship with China, it is expected that Prius production will ramp up. More Prius’ built in China will mean more hybrid models from Toyota as production shifts westward to the Chinese mainland from Japan.

As you might guess, labor costs in China are extremely low too. There is no telling if a car produced in China for Toyota will be sold for less in the US or simply translate into bigger profits for Toyota. Likely it will be a combination of the two, a true win-win situation for Toyota as well as for the American consumer!

Hopefully, the Chinese built Prius will match typical Toyota quality levels. It probably will as whatever vehicles Toyota builds around the globe must match Toyota quality standards.

Are you waiting for a Prius? Your wait won’t get shortened any time soon, but for future owners they expect to see a significant drop in wait times as new, Chinese-built Prius’ show up on American shores.

Used Hybrid Cars

Since hybrid cars are slowly becoming all the rage for those who are seeking to promote energy independence, it should come as no surprises that deal minded individuals are looking to purchase used hybrid cars. Of course, used cars have their positive and negatives and associated risks. When it comes to purchasing used hybrid cars – or any cars for that matter – there are instances when purchasing a used can be quite a deal. In other instances, purchasing used cars can be a complete disaster. Ultimately, the positives or negatives associated with purchasing used hybrid cars will b based upon the prior owner of the car and the actual condition of the car.

It has been said to avoid purchasing used cars because purchasing used cars is the equivalent of purchasing “someone else’s problems.” In other words, the mechanical defects of the car that currently exist will become the new owner’s problems and the need to repair these problems will be pawned off to the new owner. There is truth to this in the event that the car has mechanical problems. If the car does not have mechanical problems, then there should be no issue to contend with when purchasing used hybrid cars.

Probably the best way to avoid any associated problems with purchasing used hybrid cars would be to seek a car that is being offered privately by a single owner. This is not to say that one should avoid purchasing a car from a dealer or a lot, but potential consumers need to realize that purchasing from a single owner as opposed is a somewhat safer venture.

Of course, in order to get the best deals on a used hybrid car, one needs to search for a hybrid car that has been established in the marketplace as a top of the line car. After all, a car that has a reputation for possessing high qualities would be a better purchase than one that is notorious for a multitude of problems. Of the hybrid cars, the Toyota Prius is one of the best reviewed models. The status of the Toyota Prius has reached “loftiness” mainly because it has consistently received top consumer reviews and has an established track record for being a reliable car. As such, a used Toyota Prius may be a solid choice if you are shopping for a used car.

For information on buying a hybrid or if you’re having electric vehicle trouble, check out auto repair in Collingwood

Urban Electric Vehicles

As gas prices reach record levels and fossil fuels diminish over time, consumer demand for alternative energy technology will do nothing but increase. In fact, urban electric vehicles, while rather novel in the United States, are more common in Europe, where population densities in metropolitan areas necessitated a search for alternatives to driving full size cars long ago.

The urban electric vehicle is essentially a very small car, typically a two-door hatchback designed to hold two to four passengers (and not much else). Relying on electricity as their primary power source, these vehicles are ideal for urban dwellers who need to get from point A to point B in cities crowded with full size vehicles. They are probably especially attractive to those who live in cities with poorly developed or unreliable public transportation systems.

According to the US Department of Energy, urban electric vehicles are considered regular passenger vehicles. Most contain the normal safety features and amenities American consumers have to come to expect: airbags, safety belts, and heaters and air conditioners. Current urban electric vehicles can reach top speeds of somewhere near 60 mph, and can go nearly 12 hours before needing to be recharged. This represents a significant improvement over earlier models, and should increase the acceptability of the technology among the general public.

Both Nissan and Ford are testing urban electric vehicles and Daimler-Chrysler is in contract to bring the original urban electric vehicle, the Zap! Smart Car into the United States. Previously, Smart Cars had to be imported from other countries, especially Canada, and modified to meet U.S. safety standards. Urban electric vehicles offer a range of benefits to drivers. Urban electric vehicles produce no emissions, which means they have the potential to reduce the harmful environmental impact of other forms of personal transportation. People who live in smog-filled cities may find this benefit especially attractive.

Second, urban electric vehicles, like hybrids and other advanced energy powered cars, often qualify for state and national tax credits. Some argue these credits can make up for the additional cost related to purchasing electric or hybrid vehicles. Finally, the urban electric vehicle’s small size make it an ideal choice for commuters in crowded cities. The compact nature of the urban electric vehicle makes it easier to drive in heavy traffic, and requires much less parking space. As cities become more crowded and gas gets more expensive, urban electric vehicles may be positioned for a massive jump in popularity.

What Will We Drive When There Will Be No Fossil Fuels Left?

illed up your car at the pump lately? Did it pinch? Sure it did, with oil prices rising like the summer temperature there’s no respite. There is not much that our government can do about it, there is one reality facing us all in the face, oil reserves around the world are depleting and the day is not far when oil will cost $5, $10 maybe $100 a gallon!. The ultimate truth is that we will have no oil in the times to come and we need to develop alternative fuels now and begin using them too. Governments are trying their hand at promoting electric hybrid cars, compressed natural gas cars etc but the scale is not large.

Every alternative fuel has some advantages and some limitations it’s the balance of these which makes it a viable alternative to fossil fuels. Cars that run on electric power do not emit any harmful emissions but they are less powerful and need frequent recharges. Cars that run on compressed natural gas also suffer from a drop in power and can carry only 100kms worth of gas since gas is hard to carry around and the tank is heavy and expensive. Hydrogen technology seems the best bet but it needs to have the necessary infrastructure (filling stations, installation points etc) and also needs to be made safe for public use.

Developed countries must pool their resources and develop fuels for tomorrow rather than wasting resources on going to space and fighting wars. For if we have no fuel how will we fill up the space shuttle and the jet planes that fight wars? Bicycling is also a good alternative, we should learn from Amsterdam which has as many cycles as residents. Or we could go back to th days of old and ride on horses and ponies, well that would be quite a sight. Imagine having a parking lot for horses and people in their business suits riding on thoroughbred horses to work! Life without petrol and diesel is going to be future reality and how fast we develop alternative fuels is what will determine what we ride tomorrow, cars or ponies.

Build Your Own Electric Car

With rising fuel costs, more and more people and are looking for alternatives. One such alternative that is gaining popularity, especially with the do-it yourself types, are the electric vehicle kits. Anyone familiar with automobiles can now use these kits to convert traditional gas powered vehicles to one powered by electric current.

However, converting a traditional Gas powered vehicle into an electric vehicle can be a very daunting task. Only those who are the very mechanically minded should try this. To convert the vehicle will require extensive modifications to nearly all-mechanical parts of the car. Everything from the engine to the radiator, heater and air-conditioning, to the gauges on the panel. On top of that, the electric cars have to be recharged on a regular basis, which means having to purchase or use the services of recharging station. Solar power could be another potential source of power for the electric vehicle.

Can any car be converted into an electric vehicle?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Not all cars can be converted into an electric vehicle. However, and the most common electric vehicle kit seems to be the Chevy S-10 pick up kit. For examples to follow just do a search online for Chevy S-10 pickup Electric conversions. Other cars that are good candidates for conversion are the Chevy Geo, especially from 1989 to 1999. These cars are good potential candidates for an electric vehicle kit conversion. Cars similar to the Chevy Geo Metro, such as the Chevy Sprint, Pontiac Firefly and the Suzuki Swift are also ideal for conversions too.

Are there downsides to using an electric vehicle kit?

Going back a few years, many people associated electric powered vehicles with slowness and a lack of power. But as usual, thanks to technology, significant advances in the electric vehicle have changed all that. With these electric vehicle kits some cars can reach top speeds of between 70 and 75 mph. nonetheless, converting to electric power still has its drawbacks.

The biggest drawback it is of course the need for recharging the batteries. As an example, the Chevy Geo Metro kit must be recharged every 20 to 40 miles, depending on driving habits and battery quality. For city driving, this would be ideal. However, for lengthy commutes on the highway, this would not be ideal.

The Chevy S-10 with an electric vehicle kit installed will run a little longer on a single charge. On a single charge, the S-10 should last between 40 and 60 miles. Again this depends upon the driving habits as well as the size and quality of batteries. Some S-10 models can be equipped with solar powered panels which would in reduced in the need for charging, at least when driving during daylight hours.

Converting vehicles with electric vehicle kits is not a cheap affair. Most conversion kits seem to cost between $8000 to $10,000. And this does not even include professional installation as well as the cost of the batteries, not to mention access to or the purchase of a charging station.

Quite frankly, with the cost involved of using an electric vehicle kit, it probably wouldn’t be very practical for the average consumer, especially if they do a lot of highway driving. However, that being said, it probably would be ideal for a back yard mechanic who loves to tinker with cars and has a few bucks to throw around and wants to impress his beer-drinking buddies.

Electric Vehicles

I don’t know about everyone else but if you just ask the kids they’ll tell you they’re all for electric vehicles. It doesn’t matter what kind either. Make all the vehicles electric! After all, electric vehicles are fascinating and easy to use not mention easy on the wallet when it comes to buying gas. Maybe it’s the fact that electric vehicles run in an amazing and mysterious silent way. That’s got the roaring, gut throbbing internal combustion noises beaten hands down. Silence, it seems, is associated with thinking – at least conscious thinking occurs in the silence. Issues of reality and form and style and daydreaming are all part of this silent phenomenon.

If every kid wants electric vehicles, maybe that’s the place to start marketing them. The other day my wife and I helped move a Barbie® Jeep. It’s an electric powered kid sized vehicle and is too heavy for one person to lift, let alone a child. Nevertheless, the toy is very popular and we both thought to climb in and take it for a spin. It’s fun, adventurous, and even parents love it. Back in the adult world, one of the major unresolved electric vehicle issues that remain is that of weight vs. safety. Numerous models of Italian, Swiss and Chinese electric vehicles already exist on the market but few models satisfy U.S. requirements for highway safety. The dilemma is that electric vehicles are kept light for efficiency sake. The required battery storage adds a lot of weight but not where it counts.

Chrysler introduced an electric vehicle in California back in 2000 that was in reality a glorified, weather resistant golf cart. There was more marketing hype than real interest but the giant automaker did meet its EPA mileage goals that year. Slower speeds associated with around town driving are more suited for electric vehicles. Perhaps with new, lighter batteries we’ll see heavier electric vehicles that can meet stringent safety requirements, but it hasn’t happened yet.

Still, the attraction for electric vehicles remains. Considering the state of the world we will probably see some sort of renewable energy vehicle successfully enter the marketplace in the near future. Whether it will be an electric car or one powered by a fuel cell, the final vote is still out.