Page 3 - ElectriCar Magazine
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             Pininfarina Butista Electric Supercar
referred to as “zero-emission vehicles” because they produce essentially no pollution from the tailpipe or through fuel evaporation. This is important,
it means that the use of electric vehicles could greatly reduce emis- sions of carbon monoxide and smog- forming pollutants in cities with dirty air.
While electric cars themselves are clean, generating the electricity to charge vehicle batteries produces air pollution and solid waste. If electric power plants produce electricity us- ing clean energy sources such as solar or hydropower, emissions are negligible. However, power plants which combust conventional fuels like coal (used for more than half of the electricity generated in the U.S. today) produce emissions such as particulate matter, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxid.
These same plants also cre- ate carbon dioxide, a combustion product of all fossil fuels, which contributes to global warming.
There are several factors that affect this pollution tradeoff. It may be easier to control pollution at a power plant than from individual vehicles. Power plants often are located outside major centers of urban air pollution. Finally, while only a fraction of today’s pow- er plants use renewable resources (biomass, wind, geothermal, or solar power), electricity can be produced from these clean sources of energy.
Potential health or safety risks associated with widespread electric vehicle use have not yet been fully evaluated. Many vehicle batteries contain toxic elements or produce toxic emissions which could make battery production, transport, use, and dispos- al a significant solid waste issue. Coun- tries of our planet must consider how to safely dispose of or recycle these used-up and discarded batteries.
There are now many electric vehicles on the road now, but these are limited in capability by our current battery technology. The most common bat- teries allow a car to travel only 60-70 miles on a charge, they cost $3,000
to $4,000 for each battery pack, and
All-Electric Vehicles continued on page 88 1
All-Electric Vehicles use a battery to store the electri- cal energy that powers the
sufficient for more than ninty per- cent of all household vehicle trips in the United States. For longer trips, it may be necessary to charge the vehicle or swap the battery in route.
The efficiency and driving range of Electric Vehicles varies substantially based on driving conditions and driv- ing habits. Extreme outside tempera- tures tend to reduce range, because more energy must be used to heat or cool the cabin. High driving speeds reduce range because of the energy required to overcome increased drag. Compared with gradual acceleration, rapid acceleration reduces range. Hauling heavy loads or driving up significant inclines also reduces range.
Electric vehicles are gaining atten- tion as an option for improving our air quality and lessening the United States dependence on imported oil. Re- search and development is under way on advanced battery and fuel cell tech- nology and automakers are stepping up efforts to design electric vehicles for fleets and personal use. While today’s technology is new to us, in the twenty- first century, battery-powered vehicles have been around for a long time.
Electrics flourished before the rise of the gasoline automobile and some 50,000 electric vehicles were in use in the United States by 1912.
Electric vehicles are sometimes
 motor. Electric Vehicles are sometimes referred
to as battery electric vehicles. Electric Vehicle batteries are
charged by plugging the vehicle into an electric power source. Although most U.S. electricity production contributes to air pollution, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency categorizes All-Electric Vehicles as zero-emission vehicles because they produce no direct exhaust or emis- sions. Because Electric Vehicles use no other fuel, widespread use
of these vehicles could dramatically reduce petroleum consumption.
Both heavy-duty and light-duty Electric Vehicles are commercially available. They are typically more expensive than similar conventional and hybrid vehicles, some cost can be recovered through fuel savings, a federal tax credit, or state incentives.
Currently available Electric Vehicles have a shorter range per charge than most conventional vehicles have per tank of gas. Electric Vehicle manu- facturers typically target a range of 100 miles on a fully charged battery. According to the U.S. Department
of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, one-hundred miles is
JUNE 2020

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