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Why Electric Cars

Why Electric Cars?

This article is here to explore the many reasons why people chooseto build and drive electric cars- both their advantages over ICEvehicles as well as the independent reasons people are drawn tothem. So why Electric Cars?

Emotional:

  • I like the feeling of doing something myself and having it turn outgreat, and driving a vehicle that you've modified and made your ownis a great experience. It’s not the same as going down to the localcar lot and picking it out, it begins to have its ownpersonality.
  • There is a great sense of independence with owning an electric car,you are so much less dependant on external factors. In an ICE caryou have no control over the price of oil and limited control overservicing the car and buying replacements for the all thecomponents. An electric car, especially one coupled with solarpanels at home for recharging, allows total control over the sourceof energy used to power your vehicle. The power no longer lies inthe hands of oil companies but with the consumer. This is perhapsone of the reasons that electric cars are opposed by those inpower.

Environmental:

  • The average ICE car uses about 20% of the potential energy of thefuel in useful motion while wasting the other energy as heat, noiseand pollution. Electric cars use upwards of 80% of their 'fuel', apercentage which can be increased relatively easily as most of itslosses are electrical. So in essence an ICE car is a heater withthe side effect that it can move people from A to B. There is muchmore appeal in driving a vehicles whose method of propulsion is soefficient at doing so.
  • Electric cars produce far less green house gas emissions than anICE car, even when power plant emissions are figured in. Mostemissions from electric vehicles come from power plants. It is mucheasier to clean the emissions of power plants than those of a fewmillion cars. Electricity can also be produced much more cleanlythrough the use of wind, hydro, solar, and other greentechnologies.
  • Unlike an ICE car who's emissions and efficiency get worse andworse with the age of the car, and electric car will most likelycreate less and less pollution throughout its life as the source ofits electricity improves. Assuming that the emissions of powerplants get tighter regulation (or decide to improve of their ownaccord) and renewable sources grow in prominence not only will anelectric car create less emissions than an ICE car to begin with,the gap will continue to widen throughout the life of the car.Installing solar panels on the roof of your home could mean thatyour electric car has zero emissions whatsoever; that is not even aremote possibility in an ICE car.

Economical:

  • In most cases, electric vehicles cost less to operate than ICEcars. The cost of charging electric vehicles is minimal compared tothe cost of buying gas for a 25 mpg vehicle. Even when you figurein the cost of replacing a lead-acid battery pack, about $1800every 3-5 years, the cost of owning an electric vehicle is stilllower than that of owning a gas car.
  • Electric cars are inherently much more reliable than ICE cars. Oilburning engines have hundreds of moving parts which all have thepotential to fail at any stage. There are also many disposableparts in an ICE which aren't present in an Electric car, items suchas oil filters, belts, air filters etc. just aren't required forelectric propulsion. In an electric motor only the rotor (1 part)is moving and typically the only thing that needs to be serviced isto replace the brushes every 100,000km or so. (60,000 miles).
  • From a national perspective electric cars can easily source their'fuel' from local sources of electricity production unlike ICE carswhich require the import of huge amounts of foreign oil. This isgood for the local economy as well as eliminating the risks ofrelying on unstable countries for the transportationindustry.

Political:

  • Most western countries need to import a large proportion of theirrequired oil. This oil is usually sourced from unstablemiddle-eastern countries which is often counter-productive fortheir development. Countries which can simply dig holes to makemoney have little inspiration to educate their people or improveunemployment etc. Some have suggested that there is inverselyproportional relationship between the rights and freedoms of thepeople and the global demand for oil. Electricity is far easier toproduce locally than oil.
  • More Information needed...

Safety:

  • An interesting question when considering the safety of electriccars vs. ICE cars is whether or not you would give one to yourchildren. There are plenty of scaled down versions of electric carsavailable for very young children with very little inherent risk.You probably wouldn't think twice about getting your 8 year old anelectric toy car; all they have to do is plug it in and go, nomaintainance, no complicated moving parts, no dangerous flammablefuels... but buying an 8 year old an ICE toy car, even with thesame power levels would be much more intimidating anddangerous. The analogy scales up quite well, yes electric cars havequite high voltages but that is easier to contain than a powertrain that runs on an exploding liquid.

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