The electric car, most commonly referred to as the BEV: battery electric vehicle, is an automobile that runs solely on batter power. The best thing about the BEV is the fact that it does not use gasoline so it can be considered a zero emission vehicle. So why has this car not stuck around, especially in a time when our fuel economy is in such turmoil?
Most people are not aware of the fact that the first electric car was introduced before the gas powered car. With the introduction of the “Model T Ford in 1907, which featured an internal combustion engine, was half the price of even the least expensive electric car, could travel a lot further, and could go a lot faster. This effectively spelled the end for the electric car until the oil crisis of the early 1970s prompted renewed interest in alternatives to the internal combustion engine, with electric motors at the forefront” (Air Pollution News).
Car manufactures haven’t given up on the electric car and since the birth of the Model T have enhanced the BEV’s system to operate more like a combustion engine. The new breed of electric cars can go up to 70mph and run longer than 100 miles before needing a charge (Air Pollution News). The downside of this new breed was having enough docking stations where owners could charge their vehicles quickly and efficiently.
Currently, people with fuel conscious minds are converting their combustion engines into electric motors. They do this by exchanging the gasoline engine with an electric motor which gets its power from a controller which gets its power from an array of rechargeable batteries. According to Marshall Brain of HowStuffWorks.com, it’s all in the wiring whereas with a gas powered vehicle it is all in the plumbing. The biggest advantage and really the only way to distinguish between a combustion engine and an electric engine is the sound. An electric engine is nearly silent which could prove to be a really nice asset to have in a car. (Brain)
The costs associated with transforming your engine into a fully equipped electric motor can be a very expensive ordeal. But the overall impact that it could have on your wallet in the long run and the environment around you might just be worth it.
Brain, Marshall. “How Electric Cars Work.” HowStuffWorks.com. 2 August 2009 http://auto.howstuffworks.com/electric-car.htm.
“The History of The Electric Car.” Air Pollution News. 22 July 2009. 2 August 2009 http://www.airpollutionnews.com/the-history-of-the-electric-car/.
By Kallie Marin