The term electric car refers to the motor vehicles that use electric energy for propulsion. Electric cars have different sources of energy apart from the on-board battery. Some get their energy from the sun while other have a generator that runs on gasoline and are referred to as hybrid cars. The term electric car is commonly used to refer to the vehicles that run purely on an on-board battery. The world is changing and everybody is going green, cars are not left behind and manufacturers have been forced to invest in electric cars that will not cause any pollution and thus reduce global warming.
The popularity of electric cars was on its best in mid 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century. This was due to the comfort and functionality on the car that could not be experienced in gasoline propelled cars. However, the improvements in the gasoline engines brought down the reign of electric cars during this period. The impact of thegasoline cars on the environment has made car manufacturers, especially the big players, to rethink the idea of having electric cars on the road once again.
The environmental concerns combined with the oil crisis have seen the electric cars being manufactured in new and improved models that are enjoying their fair share of popularity all around the world. The car is environmentally friendly as it runs on a battery that can be charged at home and thus it is does not pollute the environment and is economical compared to gasoline cars.
Big time vehicle manufactures have electric cars that are either on the road on their near future plans. We will look at a few of the electric cars that have been manufactured and are on the road or are scheduled to be released in the near future from different manufacturing companies.
The Nissan Leaf: This is an environmentally friendly yet affordable family car. It is one of the best electric cars from Nissan with 5 doors and a compact look with a sitting capacity of five. The manufacturers placed it at 100 miles or 160 kilometers driving in the city with on an eight-hour full charge. This is suitable for a daily commuter because 100 miles will cover the needs of a daily commute. The energy unit comprises of 4 flat laminated cells with 48 modules and enclose in a rectangular battery pack. The pack is about 600 pounds and is stored below the passenger seats for a low center of gravity.
CODA Sedan: a private company, CODA AUTOMOTIVE INC, which concentrates on building electric cars, makes this model. CODA is a name derived from music and refers to the end part of a music piece. This name is supposed to signify the end of combustion engine cars and mark the start of the electric car domination. The CODA Sedan is CODA’s first that can do up to 120 miles on a single full charge. The car is 4-door and 5-passenger vehicle that is scheduled to be released in mid second half or 2011. The mile range and the fact that this car does not pollute the environment is reason enough for this car to make headlines.
Ford Focus BEV: This is a prototype electric car from the ford motor company that is supposed to hit the market by 2011 in the US and in 2012 in Europe. This project has 15 BEV prototype cars now, which are meant for demonstration purposes. The BEV has a range of about 100 miles and a single full charge with a top speed of up to 85 mph. A full charge of the lithium-ion battery takes between 6 and 8 hours via a common socket of 230 volts. This car is being developed for the sole purpose of creating a comfortable car that does not contribute to the pollution of the environment.
Chevy Volt: This is an electric plug-in hybrid car that is being manufactured by the division of general motors, Chevrole t. The release is scheduled in 2011, but deliveries are expected to be made as early as December 2010. The car runs on a lithium-ion battery (16 kW-h, of which 10.4 kW-h are usable). Simply plugging it into a residential power outlet, between 120 and 240V AC, can charge said battery. The car has a combustion engine that directs its power to the electric motor and the remainder goes to the battery.
This model is not completely out of the pollution class because of the 4-cylinder engine. The car, with batteries alone, can travel up to 50 miles while the combination of electricity and gasoline totals to around 379 miles.
Hyundai BlueOn: This is a product of the Hyundai Motor Company and it is a five-door hatchback electric vehicle. Going with the manufacturer’s report, the BlueOn has a range of about 87 miles and a top speed of up to 81 mph. Tests involving 30 units were began in late 2010 and the official market release is scheduled for 2012. The car runs on a 16.4 kWh lithium polymer battery pack, which fully charges for about 6 hours using a standard 220 V power outlet and only 25 minutes if a three-phase outlet is used. The max speed is 81 mph and can move from dead zero to 100 km/h in just above 13 seconds, which is impressive for an electric car. The car has a sound that mimics gasoline combustion engine, which gives the driver a feel of power.
Tesla Model S: this is an electric full-sized sedan in the process of devolvement by Tesla Motors. The production for the retail market is scheduled for 2012. The car has a range of about 160 when fully charged. The model can move from zero to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds. There will be an option of larger batteries that are expected to hit the 300 miles range on a full charge. The charging will take about three to five hours, though this will entirely depend on the capacity of the battery. This is a high performance vehicle that can compete comfortably with the BMW 5-Series.
Electric cars are the future of a pollution free world and we are living in the beginning of that future.