Page 10 - ElectriCar Magazine
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                                                                                 Now that the end of the age of the internal combustion engine is in sight.
There are small signs everywhere, as the shift to
electric and hybrid vehicles is already under way among manufacturers. Volvo has announced it will make no purely petrol-engined cars after 2019; the British government expects the All-Electric future to arrive by 2040; and Tesla has just started selling its first electric car aimed squarely at
the middle classes: The Tesla Model
3 sells for $35,000 in the US, and 400,000 people have put down a
small, refundable deposit toward one. Several thousand have already taken delivery and the company hopes to sell half a million more next year. This is a remarkable figure for a machine with a fairly short range and a limited number of charging stations.
Some of it reflects the remarkable abilities of Elon Musk as a salesman, engineer, and a man able to get the most out his factory workers and the governments he deals with. The share price suggests that the company is bigger than Ford, though it makes a tiny fraction of the number of cars and in most years loses enormous sums of money. Elon Musk is selling a dream that the world wants to believe.
This last may be the most important factor in the story. The private car is a device of immense practical help and economic significance, but at the same time a theatre for myths of unattainable self-fulfilment. The one thing you will never see in a car advertisement is traffic, even though that is the element
in which drivers spend their lives. Every single driver in a traffic jam is trying to escape from it, yet it is the inevitable consequence of mass car ownership.
The sleek and swift electric car
is at one level merely the most contemporary fantasy of autonomy and power. But it might also disrupt our exterior landscapes nearly as much as the fossil fuel-engined car did in the last century. Electric Vehicles would pollute far less than fossil fuel driven vehicles; instead of oil reserves, the
The carbon footprint and other emissions of electric vehicles depending on the fuel and technology used for electricity generation; using a battery, flywheel, or supercapacitors
rarest materials for batteries would make undeserving wealthy and their dynasties fantastically wealthier. Gasoline stations would all but disappear. The air in cities would once more be breathable and their streets as quiet as those of Venice, Italy. Cars that were as silent as bicycles would still be as dangerous as they are now to anyone they hit without a necessary audible warning.
The electric cars of the future will be so thoroughly equipped with sensors and reaction mechanisms that they will
1. Tesla Model S
2. Nissan Leaf
3. BMW i3
4. Mercedes EQC 400 5. Renault Zoe
6. Chevy Spark
7. Volkswagen eGolf 8. Kia eSoul
9. Ford Focus Electric
10. Fiat 500e
never hit anyone. Just as brakes don’t let you skid today, the steering wheel of tomorrow will swerve you away from danger before you have even noticed. But it’s reasonable to suppose that there will be cars that can overcome most human errors within the next five or ten years.
This is where the fantasy of autonomy comes full circle. The logical outcome of cars which need
no driver is that they will become cars which also need no owner. Instead, they will work as taxis, summoned
at will but only for the journeys we actually need. This the future toward which Uber, another Silicon Valley firm that has attained an immense valuation and despite almost breathtaking losses, continues to work. The ultimate development of the private car will
be to reinvent public transport as we know. Traffic jams will be abolished only when the private car becomes a public utility. What then will happen to
our fantasies of independence? We will all have to begin using electric powered bicycles.
The emergence of Metal–Oxide– Semiconductor (MOS) technology led to the development of modern electric road vehicles. The MOS, invented at Bell Labs in 1959, led to the development of the power MOSFET by Hitachi in 1969, and the single-chip microprocessor
by Federico Faggin, Marcian Hoff, Masatoshi Shima and Stanley Mazor at Intel in 1971. The power MOSFET and the microcontroller, a type of single-chip microprocessor, led to significant advances in electric vehicle
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