The Electric Vehicles are closer than ever to turn into the reality that we all need. Hybrids have paved the driveway and now Plug-Ins have the advantage. Then, in the future the Fuel Cell will make the perfect completion for a totally green automobile.
As we have repeatedly said, Leaders is what the World really needs. Speaking of leaders, Henry Ford had that dream in 1910! Along with Thomas Alba Edison they built a couple (perhaps more) of electric cars. The problem they immediately faced was the very limited range allowed by the Lead-Acid batteries. That condemned humanity to a dependency on the internal combustion engine, with all its disadvantages and consequent damage to our environment.
The good news…
The good news is that although we keep using Lead-Acid batteries in our cars with practically the same technology from the 1800s, there have been new developments. Some of them have in the past been damped by political and economical interests, (Watch “Who Killed The Electric Car”) but the truth is always stronger than meanness. Frozen and buried patents are now re-emerging and we will likely see the economic-efficient Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries powering most vehicles in the market. This has been opening doors for the leaders in the automotive industry. Toyota has been successfully selling the Prius Hybrid for several years now. Some of the Prius’ users are already happily completing hundreds of thousands of miles.
Hybrids combine (small) internal combustion engines with Electric motors to power the vehicle. Now many people are installing some extra batteries and chargers in them since they discover that running on electricity the vehicles riding cost is between 10 and 20% of equivalent usage of gasoline.
The trend (for now) is fully electric plug-in cars.
The NiMH batteries seem to be the most cost effective for that purpose, though Chevy Volts that will hit the market this year are being designed to use a so far more expensive + less efficient option that is the Lithium-Ion battery.
Anyway, the main purpose is being accomplished: to reduce the pollution produced by the large internal combustion engines, and at the same time save money. This will be especially interesting and attractive in the near future when the electric vehicles will come down in price. Do you remember when the first HDTVs showed up in the 90s of the past Century? They were 4 and 5 times as expensive than they are today.
Many leading companies are working at this and vehicles with performance of 100 or more miles per gallon are just around the corner.
What a wonderful time to live!
Electric Vehicles are the American solution, they are more energy efficient, reduce our dependency on fosil fuels and imports, and Prevent Pollution!