Dozens of new electric-vehicle models from Toyota, General Motors, Ford and others have already hit the streets and highways within 2011-2012 years. These were Nissan and General Motors as early movers with battery-electric cars and plug-in hybrids. Thus, Nissan has delivered the first Leaf to a customer; Chevy has put its 350 Volts on trucks for delivery to dealers; Mercedes handed over the first leased F-Cell hydrogen car and Think has opened its new Indiana factory with City plug-ins.
Obviously, speed, luxury and performance are always in demand. But cars of the future will be defined more by their impact on the environment. In fact, most drivers are hesitant for a number of reasons, whether to buy electric vehicles. On the one hand, they cost $7,000-$20,000 more than vehicles with internal combustion gas engines. On the other hand, there is no guarantee that there will be some other promising green technology.
Will there be enough infrastructure for electric cars?
The question is “which comes first”: the electric car or the infrastructure for electric cars? How and where will drivers recharge their all-important batteries? Electric vehicles have notoriously limited ranges. For this reason we need an infrastructure of roadside electrical chargers. Besides, they must be as widespread and numerous as the existing gasoline service stations. That’s the key thing which automakers have to answer. Especially, if they ever hope to fill up the roads with their EVs: cleaner, greener and of smarter image.
How do electric cars work?
EVs are probably the simplest form of mechanical transportation. The basic drive train consists of a switch on/off battery, attached to an electric motor. It drives the wheels. Most electric cars have more methods to control the electricity, going to the motor, and to control the system of gears, driving the wheels. In addition, ‘solar powered’ vehicles incorporate a solar collector. This converts solar energy into electricity, slowing battery recharging.
How to build an electric car?
Electric vehicles are fascinating both to build and drive. In fact, they are so simple in their overall construction. People with basic construction skills can easily build them. In the simplest form, a very basic electric car consists of a:
- Steel body
- Basic wheels
- Electric motor
- Car battery
- Electrical switch to turn the electricity on/off
A more sophisticated system will be to convert the existing gasoline car to an electric one, with the help of EV conversion kits.
Pros & Cons of electric cars
Actually, electric cars have existed around as long as gasoline versions. But their limited range has always outweighed the fact they are simple to use and easy to drive. Besides, they are
- Environmentally friendly
- Energy efficient
- Reducing energy dependence
But EVs face some challenges:
- Battery cost
- Driving range
- Recharge time
- Bulk and weight
However, researchers are still working on improved battery technologies. The future electric cars will come with increased driving range and decreased weight, recharging time and cost. Both these factors and the customers will ultimately determine the future of EVs. Further transportation is in electric cars, they say.