Electric Cars – 10 Killer Reasons You’ll Want One

April 30th, 2010 BY Bart | 30 Comments

Thanks to the high gas prices and filthy rich oil companies I think it’s fair to say that we’ve now been pushed over the edge. I believe that in the next 10-15 years electric cars will explode in popularity, and finally put the oil guzzling car of the 20th century into it’s grave.

That being said here are the definite cool factors of electric cars:

  • No Engine - Who needs a big clunky engine? New technology is being developed right now for Mini QED, which basically turns each wheel into an electric motor. They’re much more compact and if one fails there is 3 others that just keep on going. The space saved can now be used to store batteries. The new Mini QED is an HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle) and is said to have a range of 900 miles (YouTube Link).
  • Reliability – Electric cars are not only efficient they’re reliable. Did you know the Solar Taxi has driven around the world powered by just the sun’s energy? Total distance covered: 53,451km.
  • Great On The Wallet - Although initially they will be higher priced, maintenance and fuel costs will save you money in the long run. Cost per mile varies on many factors but it can be as low as 3.4c per mile, this will improve over time as electricity gets cheaper and more advanced technology develops. Check with your local government for tax breaks on electric cars.
  • Solar Roof - Solar panels are constantly improving in efficiency and the the surface of your car translates to lots of free power from the sun. The Prius has already been modified to fit a solar roof extending it’s range and making driving even cheaper.
  • They’re Damn Quiet - Imagine walking in a downtown of a major city and not hearing car engines Did you know that a boy got hit by an electric vehicle because it was so quiet? The government also passed a bill to study the “potential dangers” of quiet cars.
  • Tesla Roadster - Just look at the stats:
    • 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds
    • 14,000 red line
    • Burns no oil
    • 244 miles per charge
    • Pennies per mile
    • Did I say it was sexy?
  • No Infrastructure - Forget the hydrogen revolution and it’s trillion dollar infrastructure that has to be built… any PEV (Plug-in Electric Vehicle ) can be plugged right into your home’s power outlet. The money that would be spent on the hydrogen infrastructure should be used to upgrade our crumbling energy grid to prepare us for an all electric car society.
  • Solar Windshields - Scientist are also working on solar panels that are transparent, this has many applications and car windows would be one of them.
  • Solar Paint - Just as transparent solar panels, there is work being done on paint that will generate electricity. This effectively will make the entire surface of the car a power station, without hopefully needing to refuel ever.
  • North America’s security… yes everyone talks about it but when you buy an electric car you start a movement that will eventually make North America oil free.

If I missed any cool features of electric cars just leave a comment below.

As a special feature I’m including the full movie “Who Killed the Electric Car “below, it’s a must see for anyone interested in “the big 3″ and hybrid-electric cars. Enjoy!

  1. JMM
    1

    The way things are going battery electric vehicle (BEVs) advocates, who believe batteries represent a ’silver bullet’ solution will shortly be responsible for yet another failed attempt at the commercial introduction of EVs. BEVs do not have, nor will not have the range or recharge time desired by consumers. If BEVs are sensibly aimed at commuters with less than 50 miles to travel and all day to recharge they stand a chance of claiming a pretty reasonable chunk of the automotive market. If they are touted as a ’one size fits all’ replacement for internal combustion engine powered cars they will fail – again.
    Hydrogen fuel cell/battery hybrids (fuel cells and batteries are complementary technologies) will give the range and rapid refueling required, and the coming decade will see their gradual implementation and they will ultimately replace the engine in hybrids like the Prius. It would be pretty idiotic to advocate spending a trillion dollars on hydrogen infrastructure presently, to service the few hydrogen vehicles on the roads at the moment. You build the refueling infrastructure to supply the vehicles as and where you introduce them, you cluster the vehicle and refueling points together, and gradualy grow the nertwork, first in fleets then later to consumers.
    Final thought on this point (before this turns into an essay, and there is a lot more that could be said on how battery only advocates should really start asking more questions on the real performance, cost and particularly lifetimes when subjected to daily deep discharges, of whichever battery chemistry they favour, never mind raw material availability (battery materials are a resource we generally extract out of the ground), ability of the industry to meet projected demand, recyclability and disposal) it is often said that hydrogen refueling infrastructure represents a ‘chicken and egg’ situation, it does not. You develop the vehicles first. To use a for once valid analogy, when the car was invented there were no gasoline stations, when the demand is there the refueling infrastructure will happen.

  2. Spec
    2

    No, EVs are not a silver bullet solution. But when gas starts costing $5/gallon again, people will learn to adapt to their limitations. Perhaps an EV as a 2nd car used mainly for commuting. Or perhaps the Chevy Volt that has the low cost of an EV for the first 40 miles plus the range of a gas car when needed.

    Fuel cell vehicles are still WAY too expensive (even more so than EVs). And hydrogen vehicles do not have all that great of a range themselves. The plug-in series hybrids like the Chevy Volt are a much better and more economical solution.

    • Responses to Spec
      3
      pete says:
      September 21

      The power that is available is not for us, Its secret those oil guys would kill. I was 16 and saw my first 100 mpg v8. We are sheep Solar roof quick charge 110 house power.Every car corp has electric,and like a space ship ,,,,now!We only get to see what the world can see, but there is a lot more.electric cars called the volt where flattened,on utube.in 1979-80 after they drove 3 years.

  3. JMM
    4

    Ahh but….

    Fuel cell vehicles cost a lot because they are made in very small numbers. It almost doesn’t matter what the technology is that powers the vehicle if it is hand built it will be high cost. Hence the tremendously misleading figures that are banded about and attributed to fuel cell cars.

    If you look forward to when fuel cell or battery vehicles are being mass produced a different picture emerges. According to recent work by General Motors, for mature technology and regarding a typical vehicle capable of a 500km range (310 miles – enough so that most people don’t worry about being not getting home) the fuel cell system is 1/6 the mass, ¼ the volume, 1/10 the cost of the lithium ion battery system and be refuelled in minutes rather than hours.

    The paper is in the Journal of Power Sources 165, 2007, 833-843 and is by Helmolt, and Eberle and to use a direct quote from it to finish;

    …there are still major improvements needed for the fuel cell electric vehicle to become auto-competitive. Today, cost, range and refueling figures are inferior compared to ICE-based powertrain concepts. But it should be pointed out that these figures are much better than those of advanced battery electric vehicles; and that projections show that fuel cell drivetrains can become cost competitive to internal combustion engines. Ultimately, the major driver for fuel cell vehicles is their inherent high efficiency on a well-to-wheel basis, especially when renewable energy sources are utilized for the hydrogen production.”

  4. Bart
    5

    Everything comes down to mass production… parts and labor get cheaper and just the sheer fact of mass production better and more cost effective technology will also be developed… I still hope that EVs will be the future… google has also just started to work on a system that will even out our energy distribution with the help of other industries so that’s a great step towards mass EV transportation going forward.

  5. Lael
    6

    Thought this might be of interest, another MIT discovery. http://www.gizmag.com/lithium-ion-battery-breakthrough-mit/11244/
    This would make li-ion batteries on par with ultra capacitors with charging in a matter of seconds. And the good news is that it should be available in only a couple years!

    • Responses to Lael
      7
      Bart says:
      July 17

      That’s the HUGE next step good find Lael :)

    • 8
      January 20

      Hi Lael i have already left my comments about MIT as i have read they are very nearly there in cracking the lithium PI04 AND lithium ion problematic characteristics ie not fast enough charging and running distance, the car manufactuers should pour in a huge amount of money to them as they are the only ones nearly there according to your comments and my research, that these batteries will overcome these problems by quick charging at home and running problem free distance, but then again what do they know, James conversationalis commuter comments clarified, GM I hope you are reading!

  6. tayanna
    9

    why they dnt want to sell these electric cars to be more efficient.

    • Responses to tayanna
      10
      January 20

      To Tayanna i agree but i am afrarid oil sales would diminish practicaly over the next few years which is not in their interests, morons, James conversationalists commeter comments clarified.

  7. RD
    11

    Don’t care. These cars ARE UGLY!!! I would never buy one unless the tree huggers force everyone to. What about people who have to drive long distances?? From say, Atlanta to Dallas. It will take an extremely long time recharging at some remote truck stop on the side of the road. I suppose no one has thought of that. I suppose the new motto will be, ”Be American, don’t drive across country. Who does that any way.”

    • Responses to RD
      12
      Bart says:
      July 17

      Hey RD you need adoption to push the technology… there are batteries like ’AA’s that now can charge in seconds and as Lael said other companies are already looking at the issue if you can charge your car in 15 seconds wouldn’t you switch?

      also take a look at the volt the design is not too shabby :)

      • 13
        RD says:
        July 18

        Good point Bart. I still think we are years away from making these cars a reality due to a lack of charge stations. The size of these cars are another, they are very lite weight and chances of survival would be slim in an accident (I have degrees in Physics and Mechanical Engineering with years of experience in production so I know what I am talking about). Still, if you are going to push electric cars, you need to make them where a family of four can travel with ease and comfort. Another problem, where is all this energy going to come from? Can’t say solar, some areas particularly like Canada and Alaska during the winter, have long periods of time without direct sunlight. Even the pacific northwest has periods of rainy days with little sunlight. There is only so much you can store at a charge station. Also with the possible looming extra cost being passed to the consumer as a result of the Cap and Trade bill …. how much will it cost to charge? Can people afford such an increase in energy costs with most of the nation already struggling to make it from pay check to pay check? Anyway you look at it, people will be dictated to as to how many miles they will be allowed to drive to work or play. I work in Minot ND and commute 4 hours a day on an average day. I am hardly in a position to sell my house and move to town. Many are in the same position I am. China, India, and Mexico will never go along with the idea of abandoning fossil fuels. Theoretically, if diplomatic policy by either forcing these nations to conform to this standard (How this will happy with China bailing out the US by absorbing all our debt and basically owning us is beyond me) through the UN or future G-8 fails, war maybe the only way to force them to change their minds.
        The volt is a start though I will admit. The price though will prevent a lot of folks from purchasing it though. A lot of money for something you will hardly use if you are struggling to make it financially.

  8. ogabang paul
    14

    fossil fueled cars are the major contributor of global warming.minimize global warmig,use electric cars

    • Responses to ogabang paul
      15
      countryboy 101 says:
      February 8

      i think you tree huggers should go get a ford f-250 disel cause they are the best and the thing i like the most is when the black smoke comes out of it after i roast the tires. i would like to see u do that in one of your little smart cars so u can go shove one where the sun dont shine cause you will never get rid of fuel burning cars.

    • 16
      GeoPoko says:
      June 8

      It is fossil fuel usage that might be causing ‘global climate change’. Most electrity in the U.S. is still generated by coal and is much ‘dirtier’ than your gasoline powered internal combustion engine. Basically using electric in a big city like L.A. would push the polution outside the city, not reduce it.

  9. Ignor
    17

    Great news! Now lets sort out the power stations. I personally don’t agree with the hydrogen models. Won’t these models remove O2 from the atmosphere? And isn’t there only about 4% H available?

  10. Bob Nob
    18

    My opinion is electric, solar panel cars are a win win deal for every American. I think we as Americans should follow our president suggestions and invest in the American made energy efficient stuff like electric cars, solar power panels, windmills ect.. . Building this stuff will create jobs for Americans. And when most Americans have job’s located in America to work at every day they will be able to go to the grocery store and buy food for our family’s again, Instead of having to be told by the store keeper everyday that, if I don’t have a job and if my family is hungry, and I don’t have any money to pay for food, then why don’t I go and eat my foreign car!

    Bob

  11. Bob
    19

    If Obama wants to create jobs why doesn’t he propose to give the 26 billion to a company like Tesla instead of giving it to the same old
    GM that offers more of the same. Then the price of the Tesla beautiful 4 door would come down in price. There should also be huge tax credits for buying a fully electric car.

    • Responses to Bob
      20
      January 20

      great comment bob tesla ai the real deal electric car, coversationalist commuter comments clarified.

  12. Neil
    21

    Absolutely right! The way to stimulate the economy and get our country moving on a greener path is to provide tax credits for electric cars and solar homes. We cannot just throw our hard-earned tax dollars at problems and hope that helps. It seems to be the same old tax and spend program of the traditional Democratic Party. The twist this time is that Obama is taking the U.S. quickly toward Socialism.
    BTW, our President needs to refrain from ignorant comments on police matters that he knows little about. Sheesh, talk about reverse racial profiling, Obama needs to examine his own motives and actions. He is not the black president, he is the President.

  13. Dave T.
    22

    I cannot wait until the day that most of the car lots that you drive by are ones that have electric or solar powered cars on display. I plan on getting one in the next 10 years as soon as my finances are stable.

    • Responses to Dave T.
      23
      January 20

      really great comment i definetely can see this happening this time around no who killed the electric car comments and short films this time around, conversationalist commuter comments clarified. James

  14. Unknown
    24

    The tesla roadster i-s sexy!

  15. Handbag Hook
    25

    Electric cars are awesome. Electric cars enjoyed popularity between the mid-19th century and early 20th century, when electricity was among the preferred methods for automobile propulsion, providing a level of comfort and ease of operation that could not be achieved by the gasoline cars of the time.

  16. whitney lou
    26

    i think it’s a great thing to do!

  17. nikita arora
    27

    that is really great….i loved this idea. this is a wonderful method o reducing pollution in our environment. the cars are totally eco-friendly. but i don’t think these cars will be as popular as normal cars are…because people generally don’t beleive that such cars are reliable. still, if we promote we can get some good results across the world. but as these cars are using four elecric motors, won’t it be wastage of electricity and ofcourse poor nations will never accept it. and what kind of batteries these cars are using?

  18. nikita arora
    28

    that is really great….i loved this idea. this is a wonderful method o reducing pollution in our environment. the cars are totally eco-friendly. but i don’t think these cars will be as popular as normal cars are…because people generally don’t beleive that such cars are reliable. still, if we promote we can get some good results across the world. but as these cars are using four elecric motors, won’t it be wastage of electricity and ofcourse poor nations will never accept it. and what kind of batteries these cars are using?

  19. anoyonmous
    29

    well solar cars should be a good idea. All over the world are selfish with the money. Taxes, no gas, increase the payment for the insurance. Motor repairments. I am sick of the world selfishness. Its never FREE.
    Why complain. Why the blame. That is sick!

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    30

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