Energy 101: Electric Vehicles

Energy 101: Electric Vehicles

Wouldn’t it be pretty cool
to do all of your daily driving without ever having to fill up at a gas station? Well,
that’s quickly becoming a reality for people who drive electric vehicles,sometimes called
EVs. EVs are gaining popularity. And with good
reason,they’re convenient; they’re sleek and quiet; they keep our air clean.
And for most of the short-distance driving we do, they’re the perfect way to get from
point A to point B safely, reliably, and comfortably. Okay, have a look at the numbers. More than
80% of Americans drive less than 40 miles round trip for their daily commute, which
is just right for an EV. Many of today’s electric cars can go up
to 100 miles on a single charge. That’s because battery technology continues to advance,
becoming smaller while storing more energy. Lithium ion batteries, like the ones in cell phones, are a big reason for that improvement. Here’s how an EV works. Batteries transfer
energy to an electric motor. The motor turns a drive train that turns the wheels. It’s
a highly efficient technology: up to 80% of the battery’s energy is transferred directly
to power the car. Everything is computer controlled, and a display
shows you how the car is performing. The display lets you know about how much battery power
you have left, and if you need to find a place to recharge, new software built into the car, or
on your mobile device, will guide you to the nearest charge point.
When you’re ready to charge your EV’s battery, instead of a gas tank, there’s
a power port. And instead of refueling, you recharge. Just plug it in!
Most people will probably recharge overnight when they’re done driving for the day and
electricity may be cheaper. But for a quick charge during the day, charging stations are
popping up in thousands of convenient community locations across the U.S.
Check out this extended range EV. It starts by using battery power, but when the battery
power runs low, a gasoline-fueled engine kicks in to power the electric motor, which in turn
drives the wheels. So for shorter trips, you can rely on electricity, and still take longer
road trips whenever you want. Anywhere you go, you can simply plug in or fill up.
EVs have a lot of great advantages: cleaner air, lower maintenance costs, and they help
reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil.
America has had a long love affair with cars. Now, we’re starting the next chapter, this
time falling for clean, comfortable, convenient electric vehicles.

59 thoughts on “Energy 101: Electric Vehicles

  • YOu paid $105,000 for battery and motor? I didn't pay that for my 2 story house (paid cash)!!!!!!!!!!!!! ANYONE that pays more then $20,000 for a car and drives it less then 10 yrs is a FOOL and you just won first prize!

    That tax credit is nothing but a WELFARE HANDOUT as was the $8,000 handout to buy a house or "energy credits"! Why should I pay more taxes so you FOOLS can throw away your money? ALL TAX CREDITS SHOULD BE WIPED OUT! You should pay your FAIR SHARE of taxes!

  • It should cost a lot less to build an electric car; the car companies are ripping us off. GM says it costs $80,000 to build the VOLT; what kind of fools do they think we are?

    blah blah blah
    blah blah blah
    All u ever write is to whine, complain, and make retarded arguments.
    keep your old azz astro van.
    I will keep my VOLT. (37 MPG vs 17 u claim ur monster gets, which I highly doubt)

  • ANYBODY that spends over $25,000 for a car are TOTAL IDIOTS! There should be a 50% luxury tax on any car costing more then this!

  • My power comes from hydro and nuke plants.
    I have no NEED for van, such as yours.
    I travel with my 2 daughters. (BTW, they love this car, especially my oldest, since it will be hers)
    My VOLT can travel the same 600 miles, on 16g vs ur 36g, (saving ±$75), granted I must refuel, but I have to stop anyway, kids get hungry and restless.
    By the time I NEED a vehicle with a higher seating capacity I will buy one.
    It WILL be an electric vehicle, more that likely, a TESLA

  • SATURN's EV1.
    I wish I could have been lucky and old enough to have one.
    It would have been MYSTERIOUSLY stolen, I MEAN SAVED.

  • By "refuel" you mean waste HOURS waiting for it to charge! I can travel 600 miles NON-STOP with 7 passengers and my 'cost per year' is FAR LESS then an electric car because I didn't overspend by $15,000 or more!

    Nuke power plants are FAR MORE dangerous then coal; all we need is one accident (earthquake?) and MILLIONS could die from radiation! The Gulf oil spill was bad but could be cleaned up; a nuke accident can make millions of acres unlivable for CENTURIES. Less Nukes; more Coal!

  • no, this just shows how ignorant you are.
    refueling is as simple as refilling my TINY 9 gallon GASOLINE tank and travelling another 300 miles.
    You might be able to travel twice as long as I can without stopping. BY HAVING A TANK 4 TIMES AS LARGE.
    Cry me a river.

  • And as I said: I HAVE NO NEED to seat more than 3.

    Questions: Do you still use incandescent light bulbs? Wood burning stove?
    or have you upgraded to CFL or LED lighting? Do you even know what these are?

  • LEDs are like electric cars; their cost is 10 times what it should be and the payback would take 50 years!!! I grew up with wood stoves (which are very environmentally friendly!!) I do use CLF bulbs but also thing there's nothing wrong with incandescent bulbs and the government has no more right to ban the then they do to ban coal or large size drinks!!!!

    The extra $15,000 you WASTED on your under-powered toy car would buy gas for YEARS! Wait until you have to replace a $10,000 battery!

  • The extra $15,000 you WASTED on your under-powered toy car would buy gas for YEARS! Wait until you have to replace a $10,000 battery!

  • In 2011, an article in Forbes magazine counted the cost of an electric vehicle, saying, "At $0.11/KWH for electricity and $4.00 per gallon for gasoline, you would have to drive the Nissan Leaf 164,000 miles to recover its additional purchase cost. Counting interest, the miles to payback is 197,000 miles."

    "Because it is almost impossible to drive a Leaf more than 60 miles a day, the payback with interest would take more than nine years," the article continues

  • you are wrong the volts engine acts as a generator only to charge the batteries only after 40 miles the motor turns on to charge the batteries while you drive the car the generator motor also can be set up to put electricty back into the grid or your house if you like there is no motor connection to the transmission or axle

  • anyone watching this should look up "who killed the electric car". there's much misinformation on the subject of energy; the technology to have a battery-less electric car is over 100 years old. There have also been cars that store energy in flywheels, and cars that run completely on magnet motors. Even your conventional car could gain much gas mileage if a peltier junction were used on the exhaust rather than an alternator. In the 70's a regular gas car was built that got 370 mpg. Crapitalism.

  • Nope. The Volt's motor can connect directly to wheels, just like in Prius. This is because it's just so much more efficient. Here's a quote from a recent MIT technology teardown report: "A complex transmission system also allows the gas engine to connect directly to the wheels."

  • the alternator doesn't start the car, the battery does. The alternator charges the battery with a pulley off the crank which causes resistance. Meanwhile, more power is used to cool the motor by running a water pump the same way, then additional heat leaves the exhaust. This is incredibly inefficient. Exhaust heat could and should be used as power either with steam or a newer device called a tec cooler or peltier junction that would replace the alternator.

  • No, not just like the Prius. It can only support the drive train under very strict circumstances which rarely ever happens. So, the MIT is only half right. The car NEVER drives gas powered only.

  • Yeah, and sohocialism has created really good cars, right? TRABANT, WARTBURG, ZIL, ZAZ, VAZ and you name it. Really great cars……not.

  • show me the peltier that will provide the same power as an alternator from exaust heat. show me the freewheel battery with low enough parasitic loss to work in a car long term. and most of all, show me the magnet motor that actually produces power.

    Dont get me wrong, im all for e-cars etc, but none of the options you've listed are viable. kinetic batteries have some good potential, and some drawbacks… peltiers lack the efficiency to be usefull for power generation, and magnet motors are bs.

  • in 2010, 5000 patents were classified. Anything of real efficiency is simply not available because it threatens the market. A magnet motor is an antenna, it works by sympathetic vibration and does not produce power itself. Electricity is not the amount of charge an electron carries, its the shockwave the charged electron creates, hence tesla's demonstration of voltage with no amperage. How many top colleges do you have to buy to control the intellect of a generation? It's about 35.

  • you said allot without saying anything there. how much power do you get from a million volts and 0 amps? and even if you could transmit a usefull amount of power wirelesly, how do you suggest keeping the antennas efficiency high enough to make it worth while?
    lay off the crap pipe, mate.

  • 0 current transversely, but I'm not talking about transverse electromagnetic waves; I'm referring to longitudinal electrostatic waves.There are some talks given by eric dollard and peter lindemann on the subject if anyone is interested, don't take my word for it.

  • Its not 100% clean but it is better then petrol cars. At night when most people charge car in Britain the coal plants are turn off so its only nuclear, and wind. It lets a country be cleaner as if the power is being made clean then the cars are cleaner but if your power is 100% clean you could still be stuck with petrol cars. Petrol still has to be refined and that takes a lot of power so that will be using the same coal burned plants to produce the electricity.

  • New transmission CVT design by BitRaptor. Is a continuously variable transmission CVT gear only (the only one functional in the world), very compact and lightweight, and which could replace the current systems both for efficiency, simplicity and not least the costs.

    Because this CVT work only with pinions is better the all other systems by efficiency and high torque transmission.

    In the web page bitraptor com you will find more explanations, drawings and a short video of a basic prototype.

  • if peak oil were true, cars would be made more efficient and the price would increase accordingly…yet in 100 years there have been no appreciable efficiency gains. You can talk "proven science" all you want, but at the end of the day any study you cite was paid for in the same dollars that oil is priced at

  • the finacial system is made up too so what's the difference? People like to think a diploma is the only thing that qualifies a person on something, but in the age of the internet you can watch any college lecture for free, and information is harder to hide. There's also that thing called doing it yourself. Anyway, my vote isn't counted because I have no money to pay taxes with and even if I wanted to buy an electric car I couldn't

  • if you think that you probably don't understand how america works. None of these things like energy, food or health are real problems. You didn't vote for oil, you didn't vote to spend a billion on a slight modification to a bomber wing, and you didn't vote to suppress ancient knowledge and technology, but you paid for them.

  • CO2 is not a problem, its what plants breathe. Benzene is a carcinogen from car exhaust. Ethanol and hydrogen do not produce it. Hydrogen can be stored as a solid and is therefore safer than gas. I could go outside and scoop a bucket of seawater and make it for free with my solar panel. I could grow ethanol. Household AC current can be read wirelessly with a meter. That causes cancer, DC solar doesn't. You pay for 25 watts to light a cfl but it can be done with 2 watts and charge a battery too

  • I was one of those who never had the courage But now that we have managed to build a solar panel and have advanced in knowledge and think make money from it not only saves It is unbelievable You can find here ABOUTSOLARCELLS.COMXA.COM all the tips guidance …. will learn how to build end help build keeping in touch with them and THOSE with EXPERIENCE help them find what they need and guiding is one of the best in the market believe me ABOUTSOLARCELLS.COMXA.COM

  • I want 400 to 500 miles of range with an extremely fast charge. Nothing less! If I buy a car regardless of what powers it, I want to be able to cross my country with it!

  • Batteries are expensive,, are you sure you want nothing less than 400 miles of range? Since most people need a pit stop every 2 to 3 hours anyway a good 300 mile range seems quite adequate.
    I think when we see the 100Kwh battery for a 300+ reliable mile range,, at a reasonable cost,, we'll see the ICE go the way of the steam engine.

  • Yeah, I'm completely sticking to my 400 to 500 mile range battery before I accept the technology fully. I see this coming in about 5 to 7 years max. I can stick with my current car until then. If it doesn't happen I'll just pick up another gasoline car. I do know for a fact that my first electric car will be a Tesla and hope to see gas cars put to the trash heap of history fairly soon.

  • On second thought. I may fold if Tesla creates something worth while with over 300+ mile range battery on their upcoming car.

  • I think Tesla came really close to that with the 85Kwh battery in the belly. What I find interesting is that 'frunk'. There's space where the transmission would go if it were a gas car. If they could stick an additional 20Kwh battery there,, all range anxiety arguments would dry up.

  • Batteries are expensive,, I envision electrics with a starter battery in the belly like the Tesla of 40Kwh for a 140-160 mile range. Which is more than adequate for most everyday driving. But would be upgradable to say 60Kwh when the customer can afford it.
    Also that frunk could be designed to accept an additional range extender battery if needed. So electric cars that work is possible,, it's only a matter of just doing it. Despite what the oil companies would have us believe.

  • Carbon footprint:  electric cars versus gasoline cars:
    Most people think that the carbon footprint on the planet from an electric car is smaller than an equivalent sized gasoline car, but this is actually not the case.  If you have an electric car and you are charging your batteries from the grid, the amount of CO-2 released to the atmosphere is much greater than an equivalent gasoline car.
    Inefficiencies occur when you transfer energy from one form to another.  In a gasoline car the chemical energy in the gas tank is converted to thermal energy in the engine and then the engine converts the thermal energy into mechanical energy to power the vehicle.  Thus, there are two conversions, chemical to thermal and thermal to mechanical.  If each is 50% efficient, the overall efficiency is (0.5) x (0.5) = 0.25, or 25 %.  That is typically what the efficiency is of a modern gasoline car. 
    Now let’s look at the electric car where you are getting your electricity off the grid, and the electricity being supplied to the grid comes from fossil fuels, or at least most of it.   At some power plant fossil fuel is being burned and turned into thermal energy (conversion #1), the thermal energy is then used to create steam (conversion #2),  the steam is used to spin a turbine to get mechanical energy (conversion #3 – about 30% efficient), the turbine is connected to an electrical generator to produce electric energy (conversion #4), the electricity has to be transmitted over wires (conversion #5, actually not a conversion but equally inefficient losses occur in transmission), the electricity arrives at your home and is used to charge the batteries in the car (conversion #6 – battery charging about 30% efficient); and finally the batteries are discharged through electric motors on the wheels to get mechanical energy (conversion #7).  So now if we multiply all these inefficiencies together and except for the two at 30%, assume they are all 50%, here’s what we get:
    (0.5) x (0.5) x (0.3) x (0.5) x (0.5) x (0.3) x (0.5) = 0.0028, or 0.28%.
    By this simple calculation it can be seen that an all-electric car is about 75 times worse for the planet than a gasoline powered car of the same size from the standpoint of CO-2 emissions.  Of course, if you are charging your batteries by a windmill on your roof, then the electric car is much better than the gasoline car.     
    In this DOE video they say that the last conversion is "as much as 80% efficient."  I doubt that, but if it's true we replace the last number by 0.8 and you get 0.0045, still terrible compared to gasoline cars. No matter how you ratchet the numbers for an electric car up, the end result is always much worse than gasoline cars.  If the government wants to save the planet by getting people to buy electric cars, they should make a regulation that requires they come with solar collectors to charge them.    

  • This video is heavily slanted towards small automobiles and makes no mention of electric trolley or battery buses. still, it's pretty good

  • One of the most important characteristics of an EV is that the 'fuel' costs ~1/3 as much as gasoline.

    An efficient car (30 mpg real-world) may cost $150k over its lifetime to fuel. A comparable EV over the same lifetime would cost closer to $5k, saving its owner $10k just on fuel, not to mention oil changes and engine & transmission maintenance. If that EV costs less than $10k more at the time of purchase, it's already close to cost parity with a gasoline car. And batteries continue to get cheaper every year.

    Now, compare that to hydrogen. Hydrogen fuel cell cars cost much more than battery electric vehicles. Plus, the cost of hydrogen is much, much higher than either electricity or gasoline. Based on real world efficiency results with hydrogen, fueling that same car will cost closer to $45k! Given the choice between spending $10k or $45k on my car, I know which one I want.

    And on top of the costs, I can make my own electricity, either with solar panels or with a home generator. In the case of a natural disaster, like a hurricane or blizzard, I can refuel an EV by myself. There's no way I'd be able to do that with either gasoline or hydrogen.

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