Posted by: jdavis | June 2, 2008

Electric Cars

Last month, my work schedule happened to grant me another share in communing with nature. I have always been looking forward for such opportunities of being one with them and simply enjoy the beauty of simplicity. While traversing the road going to the beach, I was once again held in awe by the wonders of nature.

On the beach, I thought of simply being alone and enjoy the world on my own. Sharing my cabana with a family of three seems to me unwelcome. But grace has it when out of them, the child most especially bring my thoughts back to my work and inspired me once again. It so happened when the electric power tripped off and seeing the child playing with his electric car made me wonder, could we instead replicate the toy car as real cars?

Surfing the net, I found the article by Andrew Heasley  that suggests electric cars as the future of cars undermining the electric cars and the hydrogen powered ones. I am quite glad that there is a continually growing desire to develop cars that are environmentally protective and at the same time environmentally sustainable. These are the ones that our planet needs. It is not anymore new to the informed public that fossil fuels are a great contributor to global warming and climate change because of its carbon dioxide emissions. Considering the number of cars in the world, each car’s little contribution of CO2 combined is enough to pose great damage. Aside from that harnessing only the fossil fuel is not of great benefit to us consumers because of its being non-renewable and it takes billions of years before they can be reproduced.

Nissan’s current endeavor in partnership with Renault of building plug-in rechargeable electric cars that can be recharged right at home is quite a welcome. The car company is currently taking with great seriousness the firm consideration of trying to display electric cars fit for public consumption by 2010 and rolls it into public use by 2012. As of this moment they have already made and presented two concept cars, the Mixim and the EA2.

 What are the advantages these cars presented? First is the availability and sustainability of the power source which is electricity. I do believe in it for the majority of countries that have cars are really the countries that have electricity. The generation of electricity would not be an additional task as that of mining petrol. One may think of the source of electricity as may be the source of pollution if one would think of the coal and nuclear energy as the source of production but there are alternative sources such as the wind water and geothermal energy.  Second, the operation of the car includes recharging in a 100-volt for only six hours and in a 200 volt for only 30 minutes. One recharging would last the car a 160 km driving range. It uses lithium-ion batteries which is lighter than usual petrol engines. Lastly, the article suggests getting rid the car of mechanical linkages thus makes it more compact and on the other end making it also more spacious. Fewer parts would mean less trash to dispose of in the event that the car breaks up.

Others types that don’t produce greenhouse gas emissions are hybrids and hydrogen-powered cars. Hybrids are also good in the sense that they do contribute in preserving the environment by lessening the CO2 emission because they switch to electricity stored on the lithium-ion battery. However, there is the question of longevity and end of life recycling.

The article suggests that having hydrogen as an alternative for fossil fuel is as of this moment not very viable because of the difficulty of its storage and management in the car. At the same time there are only a handful of its refilling stations. More than that, the process of using hydrogen as fuel involves converting the energy generated into electricity and storing it in a fuel cell which is later harnessed to power the car.

I do really think that having an electric powered car would be better of than hydrogen powered one – for love of the environment and for convenience.

 I went home refreshed and satisfied!





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